How to Write Brilliant Blog Headlines
November 1, 2013 | By David Shephard
We have become a nation of scanners. I blame smartphones and laziness, but reading has become the practice of scanning headlines as we wait in queues, on the train or over lunch in the break room. Consequently, headlines have been elevated in status as they are the one and only thing that stands between your content marketing being read and the dreaded finger swish. Writing a killer headline for your blogs is a relatively easy task if you just follow our winning formula.
It’s a numbers game
Ever wondered why there are “8 Steps to a Better Body” or “5 Things you Should be Doing Now”? Numbers really work in headlines. When you break things down into 5 easy steps, or 7 reasons or 8 tips, it sounds far more manageable. People are attracted to the promise of a step-by-step plan or easy stages that they can follow to achieve success. Just as 103 steps to weight loss seems overwhelming, 3 steps to great abs will keep your headlines safe from the swish.
Use alluring adjectives and remarkable reasoning when crafting the perfect headline for your blog posts. For example, describing something as ‘awesome’ or ‘great’ won’t let your headline stand out from the crowds. Instead employ ‘sublime’ or ‘irresistible’ when trying to lure your readers in.
Your reasoning needs to be captivating as well so try using something with a little more moxie. Here are some examples:
Asking a question is a great way to pique interest. When you ask a question, readers will assume that the answer can be found in your article and curiosity does the rest.
Your headlines should also have an implied value so that the reader will have something to gain from reading your article. Perhaps they will learn a secret like the secret to perfect pancakes, celebrity secrets or the secrets to success. Or maybe you wish to pass on a skill or a new technique that will help them to live better life or be more successful. Readers are far more likely to engage when they think they have something to gain.
Most magazines, newspapers and blogs stick to a basic headline formula which is by now so familiar to the reader that it seems like an old friend. Try this formula out next time you are struggling with a headline and marvel at how much easier they are to generate.
Question or number + adjective + keyword + promise
- 6 Exciting ways to spice up your love life
- How to easily sell your home in a day
- 4 Must-have accessories for your Winter Wardrobe
Headlines that can be read at a glance have far more impact than ones that can’t, especially in today’s fast-paced world so be sure to keep it short. Value-added headlines which promise the reader something for their time are also more compelling. When you are writing an article, a blog, an email, a newsletter or an ebook, the headline shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be the aspect you spend the most time on.