10 Tips for Writing Great Headlines

Sep 7, 2016

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A photo by Alejandro Escamilla. unsplash.com/photos/N7XodRrbzS0Many writers consider the headline of their post or article an afterthought that they tack on at the end.

On the contrary, the headline is the first impression you make on the reader. It determines whether they will read the post or not. Even though 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, only 2 of those 8 will continue on to the body. Since the odds are against you, it is important to craft a thoughtful, attention grabbing headline. Your content may be witty and informative, but how fabulous can it truly be if no one reads it?

We have compiled a list of tips on how to write catchy, concise headlines for your blog and social media posts that will engage your audience.

10 Tips for Writing Great Headlines

1. Include keywords

Carefully chosen keywords will boost your SEO so that your post reaches a larger audience. You want your post to be easy to find. This will also tell your reader what the post is about in a very direct way.

2. Show value

If the post is meant to teach the audience, explain what they will be learning how to do. An example of this is “How To Write Great Headlines” or “Headline Writing 101.” If it simply informative, the headline should straightforwardly display why the post is valuable.

3.  Analyze your audience

What interests your audience? A headline that resonates will pique their interest and motivate them to read more. If you know what topics are trending with your audience, your post will be that much more successful.

4. Use numbers and lists

Lists are satisfying. They break large tasks down into smaller, friendlier goals that you can strive for. Starting a headline with a number looks bold and suggests that this will be a quick, fun read.

5. Stay on topic

A headline can be creative as long it still gets the message across. What is focus of this post? Make it obvious! This is not the time to be mysterious.

6. Help instead of tell

While there is nothing wrong with informative posts, “helping” posts have proven to be shared more. If readers think that a post is going to help them with something that they struggle with, they are more likely to read it. Everyone wants to know the best way of accomplishing a task.

7. Use positive or negative superlatives

Words like never, always, worst and best create a sense of urgency that can work in your favor. They give your headline strength, even if the topics isn’t a matter of life or death. It’s okay to be exaggerated!

9. Brainstorm ideas

Coming up with that elusive perfect title can be frustrating. Get out of the office for a change of scenery or run your ideas past a coworker. Brainstorm at least 5 options that could work and write them down. You might be able to combine two or tweak them until they sound right.

10. Keep it short and sweet

Readers have text coming at them from all directions, fighting for their attention. Don’t write a headline that is a drag to read. Brevity is key here!

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