How to create great headlines so your content actually gets read

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What's in a headline? Well, actually quite a lot. A great headline should entice the reader to want to read the whole article, blogpost or even book. A headline should not be click bate. Repeat - a headline should not be click bate! Leave that to the teeny boppers on YouTube with their army of emojis.

If you're serious about writing, whether it's for your own blog or as part of your PR efforts, then learning how to put together suitable headlines that do their job is essential.

Here's a statistic for you:

8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.

So, it is super important that your headline entices those lovely readers to check out the 'meat' of your content.

Your headline should:

Be shareable on social media

How many times have you fallen down a Facebook black hole of reading articles that people on your newsfeed have shared? It probably happens every single day, and with social media being such an important part of people's lives, the chances are most of the content you come across will have found its way to you via these social platforms. 

Be SEO Friendly

A few simple tweaks to your headline will help it to fly up the Google search pages. Think of something simple and to the point, which ties in to the rest of the article, and be sure to repeat your keyword(s) throughout the piece.

Be intriguing and informative

People love to learn new things, and they particularly love to learn new things that other people don't yet know about. Think about when some massive news breaks, and you see the BBC Breaking News story alerts popping up all over your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Why? Because people love to show that they've heard or received the information first, which in turn creates curiosity and intrigue in others. 

Create an emotional reaction within the reader

What kind of stories do you click on? For me, whenever there's something about a cat, I just can't resist. Typically, we like to be moved by something (think a touching story of animal rescue against the odds), we want to know about something that will directly be relevant to ourselves (for example, 5 Things Every Cat Owner Should Know), or something that connects with our sense of self (How To Make 2019 The Best Year Of Your Life).

These pointers should get you on the right path, but if you're really struggling then you can use tools such as Coschedule's Write Better Headlines which will analyse your headlines according to a selection of criteria, allowing you to modify it until it passes. 

 

If you found this useful, you'll love my Monthly Marketing Magic Package, designed to help small business owners with their PR, marketing and content creation.