How to Write Great Headlines Without Giving Yourself a Headache

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Your headline is the most important sentence of every article you write, edit, or buy.  That’s because no matter how great your article is, few people will ever read it unless your headline grabs them by the eyeballs and pulls them in.

Great headlines that grab your reader’s attention are tantamount to the success of your written material.

Statistics say that on the average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline. But the grim fact is that only 2 out of 10 will continue on and read the entire piece—at least, this is true if you have an “average” headline.

What Junk Mail Can Teach You About Writing a Headline for the Web

Direct response sales writers have been known to spend 80% of their time writing headlines!  While you don’t need to spend that much time on your article headlines, you can dramatically improve your readership rate (and slash your bounce rate) by paying a little bit of extra attention to your own headlines.

Every sentence you write should have one function—to get your reader to read the next sentence. That’s why a bang-up headline is so much more important than a snappy ending. This is especially true for internet writing.

3 Tips for Creating HeadlinesHeadline Writing

  1. Arouse curiosity in your reader by making a specific claim—one that alludes to other interesting and useful information that, if known, will provide an obvious benefit to your audience. Questions are often good. Revealing “secrets” can also be quite effective too.
  2. Humor can go either way. Use humor sparingly and carefully. Be careful not to drive away the readers with a cornball headline that elicits groans. When in doubt, don’t use it.
  3. Use a number. The heading of this list uses the number 3. Try something similar like: 5 Reasons why the Customer is Always Right, or 10 Ways to improve your Memory.  “How to” is another highly compelling headline “formula” that is good to use.

Spend the most time on writing your headline. Writers often get on a roll and can crank out hundreds of words of content in a relatively short time. But when it comes to creating headlines, make sure you take a little extra time. The 5-10 words in your headline are the most important ones in your entire article.

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Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane grew up not wearing a helmet, drinking from the hose and not wearing a seat belt. She managed to survive and now spends her time developing websites, drinking coffee, and eating chocolate.