Headline writing is probably the first and most important skill you need to learn as a blogger.
Your headline is the first,and maybe only impression you make on a possible reader.
A great headline can also communicate a full message to it’s intended audience and it must absolutely lure the reader into your body text.
A compelling headline must promise some kind of benefit or reward for the reader,in exchange for the valuable time it takes to read me.
In the Copywriter’s Handbook copywriter Bob Bly wrote about 8 time tested headline categories that compel action and rake in sales.
Go straight to the heart of the matter without any attempt of being clever. Bly gives the example of PURE SILK BLOUSES-30 PERCENT OFF as a headline that states the selling proposition directly. A direct blog post might read FREE SEO E-BOOK.
Takes a more subtle approach. It uses curiosity to raise a question in the reader’s mind which the body copy answers. Often a double meaning is utilized,which is useful online. An article might have the headline FRESH BAIT WORKS BEST and yet have nothing to do with fishing.
3.A News Headline
Is pretty self-explanatory,as long as the news itself is actually well…news. A product announcement,an improved version or even a content scoop can be the basis of a compelling headline.
4.The How to Headline
Is everywhere online and off, for one reason only– it works like a charm. An example would be,um, oh yes the title of this post.
5. A Question Headline
Must do more than simply ask a question,it must be a question that according to Bly,the reader can empathize with or would like to see answered.
He gives this example from Psychology Today? Do You Close the Bathroom Door Even When You’re the Only One Home? Another example used way too much in Internet marketing guru-ville is Who Else Wants to Get Rich Online?
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6.The Command Headline
Badly tells the person what he needs to do such as Exxon’s old Put a Tiger in Your Tank campaign Bly indicates that the first word should be a strong verb demanding action such as “Subscribe to Makingbigcash Online Today!.
7.The Reason Why Headline
A very effective technique,your body text consist of a numbered list of product features or tips,which you then incorporate into the headline such as Two Hundred Reasons Why Open Source Software Beats Microsoft. This technique is actually the underlying strategy behind the blogger list post such as 8 Ways to Build Blog Traffic.
8. The Testimonial Headline
This headline is highly effective because it presents outside proof that you offer great value.
This entails talking what someone else has said about you,your product or service,and using their actual words in your headline.
Quotation marks let the reader know that they are reading a testimonial,which will continue in the body copy. An example might be “I read making big cash online first thing each morning” admits Angelina Jolie.
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Here are some interesting statistics:
On average 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy,but only 2 out of 10 will read the article.This is the secret to the power of the headline and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.
The better the headline,the better your odds of beating the averages and getting what you’ve written read by a larger percentage of people.
Writing a great headline doesn’t guarantee the success of your writing. The benefit conveyed in the headline still needs to be properly satisfied in the body copy,either with your content or your offer.
HOW TO WRITE A GREAT HEADLINE
The copywriting trainers at American Writers and Artist teach The Four U’s approach to writing headlines.
Headlines,Subheads and bullets should:
1.)Be USEFUL to the reader.
2.)Provide him with a sense of Urgency.
3.)Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow Unique and
4.)Do all of the above in an ULTRA-specific way.
In a recent issue of the Early TO RISE
EZINE,copywriter Clayton Makepeace says to ask yourself six questions before you start to write your headline:
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1.Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading?
2.What specifics could you add to make your headline more intriguing and believable?
3.Does your headline trigger a strong actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject at hand?
4.Does your headline present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
5.Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a proposal transaction?
6.Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the reader into the body copy?
Clayton Makepeace’s six questions combined with the basic structure of the Four U’s provide an excellent framework for all of my readers to sstart writing spectacular headlines.
Another tip guys for super headlines use title-generator it’s a great tool that’s helpful for unique headlines the directions are self-explanatory.
Just a quick share with you this holiday weekend. So leave me some feedback in the comment box. Please help post this article on your social media outlets for more exposure. Take care,Darrell