Writers can consider their headline as the crowning jewel of their piece. It’s a headline that makes sure readers get to look at their piece, read it as a whole, and appreciate it the way writers want their piece to be read and understood. You might write a Pulitzer piece, but if it has a bad headline, chances are no one would even appreciate what you’ve written. And in the business of copywriting, marketing, and blogging, having an unappealing piece can be dangerous – and having a crappy headline can be very catastrophic for the future of your campaigns.
If you’re looking for ways to make your headlines more attractive, then you’ve come to the right place. We have some quick tips you can use to make your headlines more attractive and more appealing to your readers. And with these tips you’re about to read, you can hopefully make and write more impactful headlines that will definitely make a mark with your readers. Here’s how you can make this work:
Start with the basics: Get your concepts first before you get creative. Before you start with making a great headline for your article, you should start with the basics. Make sure you begin your headline with a foundation that you’ll be slowly working with. Imagine this as a skeleton or a framework you’ll constantly be revising for your “perfect” headline.
- Get yourself some drafts to work with. One big mistake writers often make when they attempt to write a headline is that they start from scratch and “hope for the best.” Instead, try to come up with drafts and working titles you simply have to modify instead. To get the best results, try to focus on writing “basic” headlines you usually see when you research about your pieces. These include, “X Tips to…” or “How to…”. They might sound “basic” at first, but they’re great to work with as they go straight to the point.
- Make sure your draft titles are actually accurate. When you make drafts you want to work with, make sure they’re accurate to what you really have written in your piece. People hate clickbait because they mostly underdeliver, and you don’t want this to be the reason for audiences to unsubscribe. So when you write drafts to edit, make sure the information they share reflects what you have. For instance, “X Auto Insurance Apps With Less Than 3 Steps to Register” means you’ve found auto insurance apps that actually have registration that takes less than three steps.
Check what your headline contains before you play with them. Once you’re done making your title drafts, you can proceed to analyzing the contents of your drafts. What exactly are parts of your headlines that should be retained, and what can you remove? This is the perfect time to dissect your titles and check what “format” you want to use. Great headlines usually follow this format: adjective + keyword + rationale + promise.
For instance, “Great Marketing Tips to Help Newbies Survive Any Industry.”
- Take note of your point. When you analyze your headlines and make drafts for them, make sure you don’t forget your article’s “point” or value. This makes sure you’re always aware of the topic you’re working with, and you can start analyzing what sorts of things you can do to make it appealing to readers. For instance, don’t just say “X Tips to Marketing You Should Remember,” as this seems very generic. Instead, make drafts like, “X Tips for Beginner Marketers” so you know your article has tips for newbies. This allows you to remember that creative edits you’ll be making have to retain the core premise that the article is for “Beginner Marketers.”
- Numbers usually appeal to your audiences. Numbers draw people’s attention, especially if you use them correctly. Designers would say we should pick contrasting colors for clothes, so we get others’ attention. This could be the same for statistics, lists, and numbers, as they tend to grab the attention of readers that usually just skim search engines while they look for solutions to their concerns. When you have topics with “list words” such as, “Statistics,” “Methods,” “Facts,” “Techniques,” they can definitely grab your readers’ attention.
Get playful with your headline: Make it catchy, sexy, and entertaining. When you have your draft to work with, now’s the time you can start playing with your headline. This is where you’ll have to think about what grammar “tricks” to use, and how you can present your article in an attractive way. Think of this as “dressing up” your headline, so it’s a headturner when other readers get to see it.
- Play with strong and impactful language. When you play with your titles, try to use strong language that elicit an emotional response from readers. For instance, take note of words such as “brilliant” or “hate,” or words that would otherwise sound “extreme” for readers. When you put your title alongside other familiar topics in a list, yours will pop out because the language you’ve used is surprising. Don’t do this all the time, though, as your headlines may lose their sparkle.
- Focus on helping with your headline, not just telling. When you get creative with your headlines, make sure you’re making headlines that “help” audiences instead of just telling them what your articles contain. This is an important consideration, as you’re not really writing news stories that just “state events.” Your blogs most likely have solutions and tips, so your headline should be framed in that way as well.
Make sure it’s SEO-friendly: Search engines should love your headlines, too. When we write headlines, there’s got to be balance – aside from making your pieces stand out for readers, your titles have to be appealing to search engines as well. This doesn’t mean your headlines should be technical, though. Rather, they should take note of some things to make the headlines “flow well” with the rest of your website.
- Keep your title short. While we want a headline that explains our piece the best, we might write something too long. This isn’t great, as search engines have limited space for headlines, and even social media sites have character limits for their page previews. To keep it safe (and for the added challenge), keep your headlines under 70 characters so you’re sure they’ll be visible in most search engines.
- Titles should work with social media networks. When you make headlines for your pieces, try as much as possible to “simulate” how they’d appear not just in your site, but in social media pages. Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram can be great resources when it comes to spreading word about your pieces. So the better these titles work with these social networks, the more reach it can have. One consideration, for instance, is for your title to be “tweetable” (or fits Twitter’s 130-character limit), so people can share it easily.
Image: Facebook post showing how headline appears
Headlines That Count: It’s All in the Message
With the above tips in mind, it’s important to remember that the best headlines for blogs don’t just come from “clickbait” and filling everything with buzzwords. A huge part of making a successful headline for a blog or a post is to make sure you use a language that not only fits your branding, but also the kind of tone and voice your audiences use. It’s also helpful if you “spice” up your headlines with creative use of questions, declarations, and even exclamations to make your article titles sound more exciting and engaging.
If you have more tips for your fellow writers, please do include them below. And as always, if you have comments and thoughts on any of these tips, don’t hesitate to write a comment! Goodluck with your piece, and we hope to read it!
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- Blogging 101: Quick Tips to Making Attractive Headlines - April 5, 2020