Writing Irresistible Headlines
Headlines are so important when it comes to writing content and yet, they may seem like no big deal. As a matter of fact, writing effective headlines is an art form and your constant goal must be to writer headlines (each and every time) that are irresistible to your readers. You want your readers to read your headlines and then be compelled to read on.
The weight of a headline
Of course, obviously, the headline in your article is the very first thing that your reader will see. It is important to remember that you have no more than three seconds with which to capture the attention of your reader. If you can accomplish that in 3 seconds, you have a chance that the reader will actually read your article from start to finish. If not, you don’t have a chance. That is precisely why you need to make sure that your headline is compelling, exciting, extremely interesting, and truly grabs your reader in every possible way. No doubt, that sounds like a really difficult challenge; however, once you get the hang of writing successful headlines, it will become easier and easier to draw the attention of your readers.
If you can get the reader past the headline, you will have to prove yourself in different ways with the body of the article. At least, in that case, you are allowed more than 3 seconds in which to do it! Of course, you next goal after enticing your reader to the point where he or she wants to read the article is giving the person the desire to reach out and interact with you. That, of course, is the beginning of what will hopefully be a long-term, solid, mutually beneficial relationship.
When it comes to importance (and how much weight it carries), your headline is way up there in importance. You can think about your headline as the gatekeeper. If the reader doesn’t make it past the headline, that person will not get anywhere (and you will not get anywhere).
On the other hand, there is a great deal of potential if the reader does make it past your headline so you better make it really good! In order for your headline to be successful, it will need to contain several elements. What you are attempting to do is to make that headline stand out among all of the headlines out there.
You have several optional approaches that you can use and you may have to go through a bit of trial and error in order to determine which one actually works best for you and for your business.
- “Who wants… ?”: This is interesting and effective in many instances. You (as the writer/business owner) are assuming that the readers want something and there is a very high likelihood that you are correct. The truth is that everyone wants (and needs) something. The bottom line is that if you are offering minimal effort for maximum return (as a general concept), people will definitely bite. That idea is appealing to everyone. Who wants to work hard and reap only minimal benefits?
- Mention proprietary information in your headline: If you make the readers think that you are sharing sensitive information only with them (because they are special and only special people are given that particular information), they will definitely want to keep reading.
- Explain other people’s secrets: If your headline is an explanation of how another person is able to accomplish something that is apparently mysterious, that headline will have a lot of appeal for your readers. Everyone wants to be in on the secret.
- Explain how to do something difficult in your headline: If you give the reader the impression in your headline that all of the information that they need for that particular thing is contained in your article below, the reader will not be able to resist reading on. That is a really clever approach.
Your headline is one of the most important elements in your article. Remember that you only have 3 seconds to capture the attention of your reader and you better make that headline everything that it needs to be and more! When it comes to the structure of your headline, after you have written it initially, it is not a bad idea to examine the structure to see if reorganizing it may make it even more appealing to the reader. Your headline not only must be compelling and interesting but it must also give the reader the idea that you are capable of solving their problems. If you can accomplish that, you will be golden!