You know the saying, “If it bleeds, it leads”. People react better to controversial, shocking, unusual and punchy stories. You want to hook people with your title and make them want to read the rest of your post and hopefully move them closer to the point of sale.
Check out these quick tips on how to spruce your headlines:
1) Be clear and direct. Movie posters usually offer great examples of effective taglines. Write titles that tell people exactly what they should expect inside your post. Boil down the main point by writing down several different headlines and saying each one out loud to see which one grabs attention.
E.g. “How to Find and Tap into Unmet Demands”
2) Create urgency. Another type of successful headline is the one that drives a sense of urgency or importance. You want readers to feel tempted to read your post when they first see the headline.
E.g. “Stop Whatever You’re Doing Right Now And Watch A Bunch Of Elephants Attack A GoPro Camera”
3) Be controversial. Controversy tends to spark a lot of interest and debate, which also makes them spread like fire. So try making your titles a bit controversial and see how your readers react to it.
E.g. “19 Things Only People Who Grew Up Awkward Will Understand”
4) Make them curious. If people are curious enough, they’ll likely click through just to read the whole story.
E.g. “How a Life-Long Entrepreneur Transformed into a Full-Time Author”
5) Use numbers. Numbers are a great way to set expectations for an article: it informs people exactly what they’re going to get and gets them to pay attention.
E.g. “23 Things Everyone Who Grew Up In Finland Will Remember” Three Headline Formulas
Three Headline Formulas
All Gain, No Pain – Get The [Adjective] Power Of [Your Benefits] Without [Pain / Problem]
E.g. “The Amazing Power Of Running A Business Without Leaving Your Home”
The Explicit Promise – We Promise You This: [Highly Desirable Pledge]
E.g. “We Promise You One Thing: You’ll Never Work For Somebody Else Ever Again”
“Popping The Question”
E.g. “Could Podcasting Make You a Better Writer?”
Also, include keywords in your title to help people find your content and reassure them that they’ve come to the right place. But don’t make it sound like a sales ad. Write down your headline to get a feel of how it looks and sounds.
Try to keep your headlines between 8-10 words. You want to be accurate and exciting at the same time, not necessarily the new Hemingway. Caps letters can grab attention to your title, however when taken to an extreme, the headline can end up looking ridiculous. When using caps and formatting, do it wisely and keep your reader in mind.
Ultimately, you want to sound natural. Don’t be afraid of using conversational words like “So what’s next?” or “Here’s how you can join today.” People love drama, so forget about passive titles – they are boring and un-clickable. Instead, activate your sentences with action words and calls to action.