If you’ve created a high-quality article, video or images that took hours of your time, you really hope that it will engage your readers. Here’s the scenario. You excitedly click “post” and incessantly check to see how many likes and shares you receive. The usual fans click ‘like’ right away which you appreciate, of course. The thing is you’re looking for more engagement. You want shares and hundreds of likes for your hard work. When that doesn’t happen, you may feel like it was for nothing. Something you may not realize is your titles may be falling short which is the most important part of your whole post.
With so much information online, readers are usually browsing headlines. If something hits them, something that may have kept them awake at night, they will click and read. While you may feel skeptical about the power of headlines, it’s been backed by science. Based on statistics, your headline is the largest influence on how much traffic you’ll receive. It’s more important than the post itself. If you create captivating headlines, you stand to increase your rankings immediately. You will be able to grab the attention of your readers even through all the other posts out there.
Consider Who You Want to Attract
While it’s a nice thought to create a headline that will attract everyone, it’s more important to have a relevant reader. It’s better known as your target audience. An audience that will become engaged with your post. They may become a customer or client of yours because what you have is what they want. This is an important foundation to creating posts and headlines effectively. Hopefully, you know who your target audience is. If you know who they are, consider what their obsessions are.
What do Your Readers Want?
If you can figure out what your readers really want, you’ll have plenty of brilliant ideas for headlines as well as content. Your readers want something tangible from you. Think about a friend who has exciting news about their life. What is it that makes their day? What makes your day? Some general things that excite people are;
- A promotion
- Making a sale on their first product or service
- Getting into a relationship
- Gaining a new client
- Losing weight
With these examples in mind, you could create headlines that promise to help them get these desires. The headline is the promise while the content, video or images fulfill that promise.
- 7 Secrets to Getting a Promotion
- How to Sell Your First Product Easily
- 9 Ways to Attract Your Soulmate
- How to Show a Potential Client that You’re the Right Fit
- Lose 10 Pounds in 20 Days While Still Enjoying Donuts
The How-to Headline
Can’t you just see it now? Your post retweeted thousands of times and shared all over Facebook? The power of how-to articles has been monitored on the blogosphere. Results showed that these types of articles were the most prominent in the shared and liked department. This is because you’re delivering a promise with this style of headline.
Another bonus of a how-to headline is it’s a great guideline to deliver the information you’ve promised in the headline. Keep this in mind, people don’t want to learn how to do more. What they want is to seek out tips and tricks they can use to make life easier and for them to feel happier about themselves. There are a wide variety of how-to headline formulas out there.
Here are some great samples;
- How to Increase Sales and Get Rich (this is a double how to with similar promises, one leading to the next)
- How I Made a Fortune While Eating Potato Chips
- How One Simple Thought Can Change the Success of Your Business
Listicle Headline Formats
So with your target market in mind, consider what do your readers have to know in order to improve their lives? A headline that lists various reasons, secrets or styles so people can obtain their desires is golden. They just want to experience concrete information on self improvement in the simplest way possible.
For example, if you’re offering a course on how to make money online, effective headlines can include;
- How to Make Money Online (Even if You’ve Never Clicked a Mouse)
- 7 Secrets that Will Allow You to Quit Your Job this Year
- How to Quit Your Job and Make the Same Amount of Money
Who Else Wants?
This style of headline is an excellent strategy specifically for social media platforms. You are already implying that you know how to achieve a desire that many of your readers are also seeking. It has been used a lot with internet marketing but not so much with other industries.
Here are some examples;
- Who Else Wants Great Hair with Little Hassle?
- Who Else Wants a Free Holiday to a Warm Place this Winter?
- Who Else Wants Pet Food that Makes their Dog Healthier?
Using Power Words
Another important aspect to creating a headline that will be noticed on social media is to evoke emotion. One of the best ways to achieve that takes just one power word. They can make all the difference on whether you gain attention to your post.
Here are some examples which are divided into
Fears; agony, danger, toxic and victim
Make us feel alive; amazing, conquer, magic and stunning
Anger; abuse, lies, punish and ruthless
Greed; free, frenzy, profit and rich
Safe feeling words; guaranteed, no risk, research and tested and proven
Here’s a real statistic that should motivate you into curating awesome headlines. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline while just 2 out of 10 will read what follows. People have so much information thrown at them daily that they have developed filters.
Spelling out the specific benefits they will get by reading more is where your power lies. Engaging readers to respond to your posts will make them feel emotional about it. This is why they’ll pass it onto others. The headline is the first step to getting noticed and when you create it, make sure you deliver the promises in the body of the post.