It's no surprise that your headline is crucial to the success of your article. It's the first thing your reader will see, and it has to do many things, including getting your reader's attention, drawing them into your article and encouraging them to read more, and summarizing what the article is about - and you've only got about 15 words in which to do it. This article will explain how you can avoid leaving it to chance.
There are some basic considerations when writing your headline. Who is your reader? What are the important features of your product or service? Lastly, why would your reader want to buy your product or service – what benefit will reading your article offer your reader?
For maximum readership, write your headline as if you were creating short, curiosity-arousing teaser copy on an outer envelope. Compel your reader to read further without being so blatant in your headline that it turns them off.
Here are ten ways to produce effective headlines all the while taking into consideration your answers to the earlier three questions: who is your reader, what are the important features of your product or service and what benefit does reading your article provide?
1. State a benefit, something like "Learn how to potty train your dog in 3 easy steps."
2. Use words that help the reader visualize, such as "Keep your socks dry. Eliminate doggy carpet puddles, and wet socks, in 3 easy steps."
3. Highlight your offer in your headline. "Learn how to create an award winning aquarium."
4. Use numbers and statistics.
5. Make it newsworthy using words like: new, introducing, or announcing.
6. Make a promise or guarantee.
7. Make a big promise. This is used a lot – Lose 20 pounds in 20 days.
8. Use a reasons why headline. "10 reasons why you're losing money in the stock market."
9. Anticipate and address your prospect's fears.
10. Pique their curiosity.
There are of course many ways to produce a good, attention getting headline. Psychologists and skilled copywriters will both tell you that people don't buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional ones. Fear, greed, curiosity, benevolence, jealousy, lust, insecurity, pride, and frustration are among some of the effective emotions copy writers tap into.
The same holds true for article headlines. If you can provide a headline that appeals to their emotions, not only will you have more people eagerly reading your article, you'll have more websites, blogs, and newsletters printing and linking to your article.
When writing your headline, it is often useful to write several headlines and choose the most effective or to write your copy first and let your copy dictate the headline. Regardless of how you proceed, experience and reading other eye catching headlines will help you explore the process.
Visit an article directory and take a look at the articles that catch your eye. Browse through the articles with the most readership and examine the differ net headline styles. This exercise will help you create article headlines that generate the same readership numbers. The end result, more traffic and visibility for your website.