Headlines are really the most important part of your article writing, blog, LinkedIn post, YouTube Video and so much more...
It is the first thing that can grab the attention of your reader or web visitor.
Busy people keep their lives manageable by deciding almost instantly whether something is worth their time.
The headline is your first and sometimes only chance.
Their eye will scan the headline and an instant decision will be made.
Does it interest them, intrigue them, or amuse them or can it be ignored? There's no second chance.
No appeal. Just one chance.
There is no going back and the rest of your article, brilliant, amusing, and informative though it may be will never be read.
It's the headline's job to entice them, engage them and capture their attention so that they ignore all other distractions to read to find out more.
It's scary, but this process takes just a second or two and it's brutal. An email appears, a web page loads, a magazine page is flipped open and in a second or two the readers has made an instant judgment - to read or move on. I’m sure you can relate to this yourself.
Using a ‘question’ in your headline is the most effective way of doing this. This is also something that the search engines like – especially when the rest of your article contains the answer!
A question, if written well, should
be able to attract, intrigue or even to gently provoke your readers to
want to read more. Using more ‘interesting’ verbs will help you do this.
Writing Headlines – Keep It Simple
There are different elements within any headline that readers will ‘connect’ with. You can’t squeeze all of them in at once, otherwise you could actually lose the impact you are wanting to create.
Some people suggest headlines should contain no more than seven words, but you can have equal success with longer titles.
Here are some simple guidelines:-
- Ensure the message in your headline is clear and ‘to the point’
- Your headlines should highlight the ‘benefit’ to your reader of reading your article
- Get your headlines to ‘resonate’ with your reader by showing that you understand their pains or particular business issues
- It must be clear - The headline is not the place to be confusing or circumspect. It has to be clear what the headline is saying and what the rest of the article is about.
- It must be relevant - The headline must be relevant to the introduction and the rest of the article otherwise you will lose the reader as soon as they see any discrepancy.
- It must be lean - A waffle-filled wordy headline will not be read. Keep your headline short and to the point.
- It must be exciting - Don't bore your reader - excite them, amuse them, make them curious...
Here are some great resources to help to create headlines:
https://answerthepublic.com/ (my favorite)
Frank Furness CSP CFP TOT is a professional speaker and consultant specializing in technology, sales and customer service.
He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 69 countries. Frank is the author of bestselling books ‘ ‘Walking with Tigers – Success Secrets of the World’s Top Business Leaders’ and How to Find New Clients and Business’
Download your free copy of his latest book ‘'Creating the Perfect YouTube Video' at https://www.productivitycentre.com/youtube