The importance of headlines can hardly be overstated. Newspapers and channels have already shown us the importance of sensational and attention grabbing headlines. The same principle also applies for any kind of online content targeted at potential customers. As this is the era of information overload, people have far too many options to choose from. Haven’t you always wondered if there was a formula for writing amazing headlines? We do have a formula to share, but along side the best tips to create your own great headlines.
Remember, your content may be the best but it will only be known when someone choses to read it. The first thing that people notice is the headline and based on that they decide whether to read the article or not. Statistics give us more insights:
Why are headlines important?
8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy
2 out of 10 people will read the rest of the content
The idea is if 80% people will only be reading your headline- you better make it work. Even the remaining 20% are getting convinced because of the headline. A great tactic shared by Upworthy’s editor-at-large, Adam Mordecai on Quora says:
[Tweet “The key is to not overthink your headlines and make every sentence perfect. Remember 20 will be crap”]
5 Tips For Writing Amazing Headlines For Your Posts!
1. Be clear and include a keyword
The headline should be clear and concise. It should not confuse people. Do not try to show off your vocabulary by using words that nobody will understand. It should clearly tell the readers what to expect if they read the whole article. Use at least one of your main keywords or phrases at the top. This will also help you in the SEO business.
2. But keep them guessing
However, being clear does not mean giving away everything. Building curiosity is one of the best ways of making people click a link and read through till the end. You must have seen those viral “what happens next will blow your mind” links. They just play mind games and make people desperate to know what is inside. Although, be careful that the content of your post should match the headline. Headlines that fail usually have nothing to do with the content. Don’t compose a clickbait.
3. Note the word count
Length of the headline is very important here. Headlines should be short enough so that people can grasp the message in one glance. Also, do note that all social networks and search engines only show a certain number of words in the headlines. For instance, we all know that Twitter has had a character limit of 140 and so your headline should be smaller than that to accommodate the links and hashtags. Similarly Google search results will only show a part of the headline if it is too long. Ideally no headline should exceed 70-80 characters.
4. Understand the audience
Different groups of people like different types of content. Sensationalist headline news may work for entertainment seekers but they may not work the same way with a more corporate B2B audience. So, it is always important to keep your actual target audience in mind while deciding the tone of your headlines.
5. Avoid cliches
Finally, creativity is the key to successful headline news. It cannot really be taught but it depends on the talent of the copywriter. Go through other contents on the same topics, especially the ones by your competitors. Take some time to analyze the responses to those headlines and figure out the types that are used most widely. Avoid them or at least find a way to give a twist to them.
The formula for writing amazing headlines
[Tweet ” Great headline =Number or trigger phrase + powerful word or adjective + keyword + promise”]
Use some examples:
a. How to (trigger) make amazing (adjective) pumpkin pie (keyword) for your next house party (promise)
b. 7 (number) amazing (adjective) pumpkin pie (keyword) recipes for your next house party (promise)
The tips mentioned above should guide you in writing effective headlines. However, you should always be prepared. It is a good idea to maintain a list of good headline ideas and types. This way, you will be able to go through them when you are stuck and come up with something powerful.
How do you come up with your own headlines? Do share your challenges and experiences with us!
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