Do you fear writing headlines?
I know that may sound like an odd question, but as any writer knows, often the toughest part of writing a blog post or article is the headline.
Since the headline is undoubtedly the most important part of your post, it’s critical that you not only know how to do it well, but that you don’t fear taking a strong stand when you do.
The quality of your headline can be the difference between a post that is read, shared and engaged with or one that falls flat.
There are, of course, other reasons you article may flatline, but your headline is what gets you past the door with your reader.
Mamby-pamby headlines won’t cut it Boring headlines won’t get the job done.
No matter how stellar your post is, if no one gets past the headline it simply doesn’t matter.
What Makes a Headline So Important?
Why is your headline so important?
The short answer is, if you want to get the reader to, well, read your post, your headline is what makes that happen.
Studies show that 8 out of 10 people will read a headline. Only 2 out of 10 will actually read the post.
What does this mean for you, as a writer?
It means if you don’t instantly seize attention, the odds of someone going on to read your article drop considerably.
All your hard work, research, edits and rewrites to perfect your post are for naught if people don’t get past your headline.
Promises Made and Kept
Your headline serves as a promise to your reader.
Think about the headlines on magazine covers.
You’re at the grocery checkout counter. A headline on a magazine catches your eye. You start flipping through while waiting.
Tme is short, and you wind up throwing the magazine into your pile of groceries so you can read it later.
Why? Because a headline drew you in. You not only want to read the article. You’ve purchased the entire magazine.
That headline did exactly what it was meant to do.
And I bet it wasn’t boring either. Or you wouldn’t have even picked it up, much less bought it.
Follow The Magazine Industry’s Lead
Magazine writers have honed their headline writing skills to a fine art. They know if that headline doesn’t sizzle, the magazine will get passed over.
They’ve learned how to grab reader attention instantly, with headlines that inspire curiosity.
They write irresistable headlines.
Of course, if you fail to keep the promise made in the headline, you’ll still lose the reader, but you absolutely must draw them in first. That’s job one.
Where Marketers Fail
Too many marketers and business owners are afraid to write hard-hitting, emotional headlines. They worry that they’ll sound phony, or too much like a salesperson.
They think sleazy salesman.
Why is it we’ve come to think of selling as something evil? If nothing was sold, we wouldn’t have cars, homes, clothes, food.
We’d still be living off the land in a cabin in the woods. And even then, traders would come a’call’n.
There’s nothing wrong with selling — with integrity and sincerity.
And your headline sells your article — and opens the door to product sales as well.
So much rides on your headlines. You cannot afford to be afraid of them.
Boring, snoozer headlines just won’t cut it.
Why Are You Writing To Begin With?
As a marketer, no matter what business you’re in, you have something of value to offer.
You have answers to your customers’ questions. You have solutions to their problems.
You can provide insights and lessons learned that you can pass along, helping your customers bypass your mistakes.
You simply cannot be a headline writing wimp.
People Are Busy
Everyone has a lot on their plates. They’re busy with work, family, obligations, errands. They don’t give up their time easily — or lightly.
If you can’t hit them between the eyes, stop them in their tracks, grab their interest immediately, they’ll just keep going.
Someone else who’s not afraid to hit people between the eyes will get the attention you should have gotten.
It may not be fair. But it’s reality.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Think about your own habits, perusing social media in those stolen minutes between your daily obligations. You scroll along, seeing pictures and articles.
But mostly you just keep moving
Then suddenly, bam! A headline catches your eye. You stop because it’s addressing something you’ve been thinking about.
That headline makes a promise to you.
If the promise is stong enough, and relevant to you, you open the post.
That’s the job of the headline – to get the post opened.
What comes after better be easy to read and quick to satisfy that promise. But it’s the headline that made you stop.
To be willing to take a few moments to check out the article.
A boring headline wouldn’t even have made it onto your radar.
Be Bold With Your Headlines
Don’t be afraid to make bold statements in your headlines. The bolder, the better.
Use emotionally powerful words — like astonishing, sure-fire, remarkable, gigantic. By themselves, they may not look that powerful, but in a well-written headline, they sizzle with energy.
Consider these two headlines. Which would make you stop and read?
“10 Sure-Fire Ways To Increase Revenue Instantly”
“10 Ways to Make More Money”
Or these two:
“12 Easy Life Hacks That Will Make Your Summer Sizzle”
“12 Ways To Make Your Summer More Fun”
Which one in these two examples has more punch? More pizzazz? More interest and curiosity?
Which one would you open?
These are just two examples, but you get the idea.
Readjust Your Thinking About Headlines
It’s time to start writing headlines that work for you, not against you.
Remember why you’re in business and what makes your product special.
Believe in yourself and your product.
And never, ever fear shouting it to the world.
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