Believe it or not, there actually is a science behind writing effective blog headlines and the sooner you learn about it, the easier it will be for you to turn your readers into die hard fans. This article will be highlighting a few things to consider when crafting your blog headlines. If these headline techniques are used properly, it can provide your blog with a healthy dose of regular traffic. So if you have been wondering how you can get thousands of eyeballs reading your content regularly, you should continue reading.
If numbers are anything to go by, then this infographic on the current state of blogging can’t be overlooked. The truth of the matter is that there are millions of blogs on the internet all fighting for the same audience. However, your headline will grab the attention of readers and get them to read your post over your competitor’s.
Just look at Yahoo! – Marissa Mayer, bless her heart – their headlines are amazing, you click in, the article sucks and you scroll straight down to the comment section because that is where the really good content is.
There are a number of reasons why a good blog headline is important, here are a few:
- Your headline is important for SEO.
- Your headline is used by default when shared by readers on social networks thus it could be the difference between getting just a handful of readers or a flood of traffic.
- Your headline serves as the bait to hook readers into your content.
According to David Ogilvy who wrote the famed copywriting book Ogilvy on Advertising, the sole purpose of a headline is to get people to read your content. So the obvious question then is, how do you craft powerful blog headlines that will not only hook your readers, but force them to read what you have to say? Well, here are a few ways to do it:
1. Explain How to Do Something
“How to” articles are some of the most popular articles on the internet today. More and more people are always looking for newer, faster and better ways to get things done. The tip to consider if you opt for this type of headline is to always communicate a benefit to your reader. Chances are if your readers come across your article on Google or on a popular social network, they will be compelled to click through because you are offering a solution to their problem.
Good examples of these types of headlines can be seen below:
Learn How To …Without…
How To Improve Your … With one Simple Change
Discover How To … In The Next 10 Minutes
2. Create a List
Lists have a reputation of going viral. Why? That’s easy, people love lists! The good thing about lists is that any type of list you create is bound to attract traffic. They are easy to compile, they are fun to read and they generally create a lot of conversation online. Examples include: Top 10 lists, 10 reasons not to do… and 6 reasons why… A look at some of the most popular articles on this site reveals why using lists in your headlines should be included in your blogging arsenal.
Note: Huge lists are better so try to come up with content that is 50 Ways to do this…or even 100.(yes, I didn’t take my own advice when writing this blog post.)
3. Ask a Question
This is not only a good strategy if you are looking to draw in large numbers of readers to your site, but also if you are looking to get an equal amount of engagement and interaction from them. The main reason for this is because people are wired to answer questions.
Don’t we all just hate the people who have to express their opinion on everything – those “righteous” online trolls that we encounter on a weekly basis? Well, as much as we do, we can all relate to them because we all want to be heard. By using this strategy in your headlines, you can get a decent amount of people who not only want to be heard, but also want to be acknowledged.
Examples of these kinds of headlines include:
Have you ever …
Did you know…
Is it possible to …
4. Use Shocking Statements
Another good technique you can use to draw large numbers of readers to your site is by using shocking statements/phrases in your headline – channel you inner shock jock from the late 80s. The main reason why “shock therapy” is such an effective technique is because we are programmed through our past experiences and future hopes to either acquire pleasure or avoid pain.
Thus any headline which has one or two of the said emotions is bound to raise a lot of interest from readers. Good examples of such headlines can be seen below:
The hidden dangers of …
A shocking 90 per cent of businesses…
From rags to riches: the incredible story of…
5. Hidden Knowledge
As I mentioned earlier, people are always on the look out for new information that will help them make more money and get their tasks completed faster and easier. Writing hidden knowledge titles for your blog posts helps to arouse that curiosity factor in your readers forcing them to read what you have to offer.
Moreover, such titles also help to portray you as an expert in your field. Examples include:
8 power blogging secrets the experts don’t want you to know
The real reason why my Twitter followers grew 500% in 2012
It is common knowledge that the main reason why most people rarely achieve success in their lives or businesses is because they are afraid of failing. They are embarrassed of being laughed at and as such don’t make any effort to succeed because they don’t want to make any mistakes.
As a writer, you can benefit from this fear by crafting blog posts that give solutions to the most common fears people face. Remember people are programmed to acquire pleasure or avoid pain and if you can give them a way to avoid the pain of failing, you can be sure of getting a lot of readers. Examples of these headlines include:
The 8 most common mistakes bloggers should avoid at all costs
The top 10 words misused by bloggers and how they affect your rankings
7. Use Keywords
Another good way of receiving massive amounts of traffic to your site is by using keywords in your headlines. There are two major benefits of using keywords in your headlines. First, keywords grab the attention of readers who are scanning content. Second, keywords are important for the long term health of your blog because they help your blog rank for the specific words that your readers are searching for. Examples of keyword headlines include:
How to make money online
How to lose weight fast
Note: Make money online and lose weight fast are two of the most trafficked keywords on the internet today.
8. Use Power Words
Words are powerful. Certain words have the power to produce certain effects. When crafting your blog headlines, it is important to know what kind of effect the words you use will have on your readers. Some power words that could result in an overflow of traffic to your site include: Free, amazing and easy. A headline that includes any of those words is bound to raise a considerable amount of interest.
That said, it is important for you to remember that most people are skeptical about such headlines because they look spammy. The sad truth is that posts with such headlines do not offer any real value – at least most of them don’t. So take the time to experiment and know what works best before implementing.
9. The Warning Headline
This is probably the most effective headline technique available today. It catches a lot of attention – I mean a lot. As we learned from David Ogilvy, the purpose of creating good headlines is to hook your readers. The warning heading is guaranteed to captivate your readers hook, line and sinker. Good examples include:
Warning: More than 40% of Adult Americans have less than $500 in their checking accounts.
Warning: Your Google and Facebook ad costs will double if you don’t do this.
To say these headline techniques are killer will be doing them an injustice. These headlines work extremely well. In essence, a good headline will drive massive amounts of traffic to your blog, however, it is important to remember that once you attract your readers, make sure you impress them. click here to learn how to create an amazing introduction paragraph to hook your readers in and keep them on your site.
P.S. If you need more help generating blog headline ideas go to this awesome site Content Idea Generator. Also, if you have more ideas about how to create a killer headline or if you think my ideas suck, then let me know in the comment section below.