Blog posts need great headlines – just like sales letters, newspaper articles and any other medium where you’re competing for attention. Think of yourself: Why do you read a post or an article in the newspaper ? Yes, because of a great headline and a short introduction that both catch your attention. If you want to win a new readership when people come to your blog from search engines and keep your old readership interested, you need to write headlines that draw people in and even make them want to consume more of your content.
Here’s how to get attention with the right Headlines:
1. Make it about your readers
When you learn about copywriting (e.g. at Karon Thackston’s course) the first cardinal rule is the rule which is most commonly violated by bloggers. Instead of making the post about you, make it about your readers. For example, posts like “What I did today” or “Updates from my vacation” are common enough posts by bloggers who think they have an interested audience.
The reality is, if your blog titles are about you, you’re losing audience rather than gaining it. Your blog titles should always be about your reader, what reading the article could do for them, show them already in your headline what powerful benefit they receive by reading your article.
2. Make your titles unique
Uniqueness is critical in blog titles. In most industries, topics have been written about again and again, and people are just tired of the same stuff and they are definitely tired about reading the same titles again and again. Why should I read post 1000 about how to do Facebook marketing? Right, nothing you need. You can’t avoid that you write about a topic that others have written about in the past. There is simply too much on the Internet. But what you can do: you can make it yours. With your unique ton, your unique point of view and what you learned. In fact, if you can make your blog title sound controversial or counterintuitive, you’re sure to get readership.
3. Target your market’s inner conversation
Your audience tends to have a very similar internal conversation. For example: Internet marketing beginners: “I want to make money online, but I don’t really know how to start.” As I have been and you might have been as well – you are just overwhelmed by all the information out there. Anyone keeps telling you something else. You just need step-by-step advice, someone holding your hand maybe? It’s the same with everything you want to learn – you need a starting point. Or not long ago my mum wanted to learn patchwork. She did all she could to find out about patchwork. Unfortunately, what she couldn’t find was a starter pack. Something which simply contained all she needed to try out patchwork. In the end she nearly gave up: Buying all tools to just try it once and never do it again seemed to be crazy. But then she found a starter pack and just bought that.
If you are your target market you know what they are looking for. You know where they need help. So make sure to join these inner conversations of your users and give them what they need.
A very, very powerful principle in headline writing is to simply echo or address your reader’s internal dialogue. If you can show them that you understand what their frustrations are and that you can help, you will go a long, long way towards winning their trust. We do it here in the Living for Mondays Academy. When I started out, I couldn’t find a good place to start with Internet marketing, all information seemed to be different. Someone said you should start with social media, another one pointed me to writing articles and learn about copywriting. But what actually should I do? It took me a bit before I finally got started. What helped me was Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook because it simply told me step-by-step how to get from A to B.
Writing attention-catching headlines isn’t always easy. Sometimes you might even find yourself stuck on just the headline for hours. That’s okay – it’s just part of the process.
Some people find that they write the best headlines after they’ve written the actual post. Others find that writing the headline first helps them. Some people find they write the best headlines in the morning, while others write the best headlines after a couple beers. Learn your own habits. It might take a while to really figure out what works best for you, but once you figure out your own best habits for writing headlines and also learn to get into your reader’s head, you’ll have an incredibly valuable skill for life.
Speaking of habits, if you need to get used to get your butt of the chair and start your own Internet business join our free 30 Days Blog Action Plan – after 30 days everything becomes a habit.