Arguably, the headline of your story matters more than the story itself, which explains why the best writers are known to spend 50% of their time creating a headline. The point here is, you can be a world-renowned writer, but if your headline does not clique the interest of the reader, you can expect to fail miserably.
Unlike in the days of print where headlines served the purpose of merely catching the eye, their functions have evolved with the advent of the internet. Now you need to be more creative and unique to write headlines that will capture the interest of your readers.
So how do you go about writing a great and clickable headline? Check out the following tricks:
The language you choose for your heading naturally affects how readers view your headline. If you use blunt and uninspiring language, readers will be turned off and will likely ignore the content of your writing. However, if the language is simple and informative, they will be itching to read the story.
A good headline should be intriguing and easy to understand. Powerful and emotional words like: 'never', 'essential', 'effortless', 'fun', 'free' etc., go a long way in attracting more readers to your post.
"Powerful and emotional words like: 'never', 'essential', 'effortless', 'fun', 'free' etc., go a long way in attracting more readers to your post."
The sole purpose of writing a catchy headline is to attract a big audience, and this is where keywords come in; the keywords you choose for your headline should be optimized to drive traffic, and therefore should be something that people are actively looking for.
There are plenty of tools you can use to find high-volume keywords. However, keep in mind that keywords with high search volume are more competitive, and your content has to be unique to rank high on search engines.
Have you ever wondered why many copywriters use numbers in their headlines? The reason is people typically relate numbers in headlines with content that is digestible and easy to understand. It is however wise to assess the content of your writing to make sure the numbers don't seem forcefully fixed. Check out the examples below:
One thing you will notice in the above-mentioned articles is how skimmable they are, thanks to how they articulately use numbers in the headlines.
A good headline should promise to provide value, say teach a skill, make something easier, or even inform on unheard news. More importantly, it should follow-up on the promise by offering something valuable. For instance, if your headline says 'how to make one million dollars working online,' go ahead to show precisely what one should do to make the said amount.
"A good headline should promise to provide value, say teach a skill, make something easier, or even inform on unheard news."
The whole idea here is to dare your readers to read the article. Once you manage to stimulate their emotions, you have already convinced them that the information you provide is valuable and helpful.
Your headline should not reveal the main takeaway of the article, but it should be intriguing enough to persuade the reader to read further. In other words, if the reader can decode what the article is all about just by reading the headline, they will have no motivation to go on.
Consider the following headline:
Can talcum baby powder really cause cancer?
The headline does not reveal whether or not the powder really causes cancer. Rather, it leaves room for curiosity, which ensures the reader accesses the content to unveal the truth.
For sure, your headline plays a critical role in urging your audience to read your article. Therefore, make sure it captures the spirit of the story through creativity, honesty, and intrigue.