Writing engaging headlines that engage and pull people in, is a very specific type of copy that can actually be considered an art form. Everyone wants to write clever headlines that grab people’s attention, but that don’t lie or mislead your audience. You want to pique their interest so that they’ll click through to the article and read the rest of what you have to say.
Don’t Promise Too Much and Always Over Deliver
There is no point in writing the best, most awesome headline that promises them everything and delivers nothing when they get into the article. Make your headline promises real but avoid modifiers that are not provable.
Every single news agency is famous for this, they take something out of context and spin it and use it as a headline to pull people in. What happens when you flick through and read the article and realise half way through that you have been misled? You feel misled and if you’ve purchased access to the article ripped off. It’s much better not to mislead of dupe your audience or they’ll stop following you, you want to build trust and through trust and your following.
Don’t Give Away the Milk
The sole purpose of your headline is to engage your audience enough to make them click through and read your article. You don’t want to or need to tell your entire story in your headline, the headline should leave them wondering and wanting more.
Make Headlines Important
In my opinion headlines are more important that the other work that you do and the other copy that you write, because if a headline doesn’t engage and make people want to read your article no one will ever know how great an article you have. Put as much thought if not more into your headlines as you do the product you are teasing, and you’ll be more successful. Off the cuff last moment teasers never work as well as planned out and focused teasers.
What Are the Benefits?
Anyone in sales should know that you focus on benefits and not features, it works the same with headlines if you can identify benefits of watching or reading by clicking through, those can be the basis of various headline teasers. The focus should be the headline; the meat of the product should be the headline. But, don’t give it all away. Keep it to just a few words so that they’ll click through.
Ensure You Understand
If you don’t understand the point of the story, or the facts behind why you’re creating the headline, it will be hard for you to create effective teasers. If you’re having trouble coming up with teasers, it’s possible that your product is at fault and not focused enough.
Avoid Snake Oiliness
“Should,” “better,” “if,” “could,” and other words like that make the reader feel slimy. You don’t want to be seen as a snake oil salesman – you want to be seen as an honest contributor to any discussion and an authority within your niche. Don’t “should” your customers and try to frighten them into watching or reading further.
Once you have come up with what you consider to be a killer headline, leave it alone for a day or two and then come back to it and see if you feel the same. Ask a business associate or someone that will give you an honest opinion for their opinion of your headline. You could also hire a professional to help you write compelling and effective headline the pull in our audience without misleading anyone. As I said at the start writing effective headlines can be considered an art form however it’s an art form that almost anyone can learn to be effective at.
Finally, if you are planning to use your headline (article / blog post) online you might want to consider the search engines also, this means that you should ideally include a keyword phrase within it, however I would not sacrifice an awesome headline just for the sake of search engine optimisation.