When it comes to content creation, the importance of headlines cannot be over-emphasized. Headlines play a vital role in how well your content performs on social media sites as well as search engines. Writing great headlines is not easy but not unachievable, it takes time and patience.
Whether you are a newbie blogger or you have been around for a while, you will surely learn one or two things from this post.
Why Should You Write Great Headlines?
Headlines is the first thing that attract people to your blog posts, no matter how good your content may be, if the headline sucks, you may find it difficult to get people to read it.
I learnt this lesson the hard way, but since I learnt the significance of crafting great headlines, I have started devoting enough time to crafting my headlines. If you want more traffic and you probably want to create viral blog posts, I will advise you to learn the act of writing great headlines.
Ehsan did a post here at Blogging cage where he shared some tips on writing viral blog posts and during the comment interaction I got the inspiration to write this blog post.
In other to help you in your journey of creating great headlines which is an important aspect of writing viral blog posts,
I will be sharing with you 3 key Elements of Great Headlines.
1. Great Headlines are Short
Great Headlines are pretty short! Yes, you heard me right. I have discovered that when a headline is becoming too long, something above 80 characters, it becomes boring. I have discovered that most of the popular blog posts out there have short headlines, there headlines are usually around 50-70 characters long.
One of the most popular blog posts on CopyBlogger is “10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer“, this blog post headline is short and straight to the point, and the post has about 300 comments.
Don’t get me wrong, am not totally against long headlines, there are some instances and exceptional cases where long headlines have and will performed well; it all boils down to whoever that is crafting the headline and how well he can write it.
That said, if you are just starting out will headline writing and you really want your headlines to work well, I will advise you to stick with short headlines between 60-80 characters.
research has shown that is takes about 10 seconds (or so) to impress or convince people on the internet, this means that it takes people just 10 seconds to make a decision and it likewise takes you 10 seconds to convince them to click that link and head over to your blog to read your contents.
So, if you have just 10 seconds to impress them, I doubt that what you need is a “headline that looks like an essay body”.
For you to impress them quickly, you need to make your headline short and concise. You need to tell them what your blog post is all about in few characters.
2. Great Headlines are Compelling
Making your headlines compelling is very very very important (I intentionally emphasized that). If your headline is short but not compelling it will have any effect on your click-through rates or conversions.
I won’t want you to joke with this aspect of headline writing, because it is the heart beat of great headline copy. A headline is compelling when it is attractive and it creates a sense of curiosity in the mind of your readers.
The best way to make your headlines attractive and compelling is to make use of compelling and attractive words in your headlines, the kind of words that will raise curiosity in the mind of your readers.
A good example of this is “10 things you don’t know about Traffic Generation”. A lot of bloggers are struggling with traffic generation and when they come across such a headline, it creates a kind of curiosity in them; they want to know the missing part of traffic generation in their life.
They are eager to find out those 10 things that they don’t know about traffic generation. Some will even start wondering if those 10 things are the things that are preventing them from getting traffic to their blog. 😀 😉
Can you see the psychological effect of a compelling headline at play? If you want to create such headline, you need to take your time to think and rethink your headlines till you get a perfect copy.
You can use words like: Unknown, sexy, effective, brilliant, new, unique, secret, truth, proven e.t.c. to help make your headlines more compelling. For more of such keywords, you can check out.
3. Great Headlines are Promising
Have you heard the phrase “What is in it for me?” this is the question that comes to the mind of potential readers as soon as he/she comes across your headline!
Top bloggers and marketers don’t joke with this third point because it is very important just like the other two that I mentioned above. People don’t just want to waste their time; they want to get value in return for the time they spend in clicking through to your blog and waiting for your blog to load up.
If you want your headlines to have higher CTR, you should start promising your readers something in exchange for their time in your headlines. For example, the initial idea I got for this blog post title was “3 Elements of Good Headlines”, I later wrote “3 Elements of Great headlines”, but I was still not satisfied so I eventually settled for “3 Key Elements of Great Headlines”.
Note the word “key” in this post headlines, that word is promising you “3 important” or “3 keys” of writing great headlines; who doesn’t want to know 3 keys for writing great headlines, I doubt such bloggers/writers exist.
Another good example is, “4 Techniques for losing weight in 7 days”, take a sneak look at that headline, it is promising to help you lose weight in just seven days and this headline can be much rewritten as “4 Techniques for losing 100 pounds in 7 days”, the concept remains the same, it is promising the reader something!
So start promising your readers something in your headlines as from now on!
Writing great headlines comes with practice, the more you write headlines, the better you become at it. So don’t just sit and wait for the magic wand of headlines writing, it is not going to come!
So sit up and start practicing till you become perfect with your headlines writing skills.
I love comments and other people's point of view, I will love to know if this post have been helpful to you and don’t forget to share your experience with writing headlines in the comments.
photo credit: kpwerker