The following is a guest post by Lillian Leon. Her bio is at the end of the article.
Okay, so you’ve written an awesome blog post with great content. But how does your headline stack up? Because if it stinks, no-one’s going to read your post, right?
You see, in the online world, your headline is the single most important part of your content. There’s so much going on that, instead of reading every blog post, people scan for information. They look for headlines that capture their interest, and only click on the ones they feel are worthy of their time.
Which is why your headline has to stand out. It has to grab your readers’ attention, spark their curiosity and get them clicking through to your content – all in a matter of seconds.
Plus, a great headline has loads of other flow-on benefits as well:
- It drives traffic to your blog
- It encourages others to share your post
- It gets you more followers – which then drives even more traffic to your blog.
And we all know what that means?
But crafting a good, compelling, attention-grabbing headline takes a lot of time and practice.
So to help you get started, I’ve listed below 7 powerful headline techniques you can use now to start skyrocketing traffic to your blog.
Plus, at the bottom of this post I’ve also included 7 other quick tips for honing your headlines to make them even more powerful (don’t ya love the number 7?). So be sure to check these out too.
7 Powerful Headline Techniques to Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic
Advertisers have been using numbered lists for donkey years, and now, lists are proving to be one of the most popular headline techniques in the online space.
So why are numbered lists so powerful?
Well, for a start they’re really easy to write. And secondly they’re brilliant attention grabbers because not only does the reader get a choice of options (ooh aah!), they also know exactly what to expect from reading your post.
Plus, lists are quick, to the point and very scannable, and that’s an excellent proposition for the impatient online reader.
Just think of the number of times you’ve clicked on a list? You’ve just clicked on one now! I rest my case.
Odd numbers, and round numbers (like 10, 20 or 30), tend to work better for lists.
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The “How to” headline is another oldie but goodie.
This headline technique is so simple. But it works. Because most of us are on the internet to learn, and starting your headline with “How to” tells the reader straight away they’re going to learn something from your content.
I know, it’s not the sexiest headline on earth. But it’s certainly one of the most effective.
- How to Write a Blog Post in Less Than 2 Hours
- How I Made $10,000 in Two Weeks
- How to Get Banned by Facebook
- How You Can Look 10 Years Younger Right Now
- How to Create a Website in 5 Easy Steps
Questions are really powerful – in both headlines and body copy – because as humans, we’re programmed to answer questions in our own heads.
So, by asking a question you’re already making a connection with your reader. Plus, you’re implying that the answer can be found by clicking through to the article. This, in turn, sparks curiosity and compels the reader to click through.
The more intriguing the question, the more effective it’ll be.
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- Want More Comments on your Blog?
- Is Your Husband Cheating on You?
- Do You Have What it Takes to Be Successful?
- Do Your Friends Secretly Think Badly of You?
The Internet is full of people claiming to cure the world, and it’s hard to know who to trust. This is why headlines that provide assurance to the reader tend to do really well.
You see, most people are followers and will only buy something if it’s been proven to work, or tried and tested by others first – especially by people they trust. (Think: people in lab coats promoting health products!)
So give your readers the assurance they’re looking for and they’ll be flocking to read your content.
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We all love a good secret.
It’s kinda like being in an exclusive club – and knowing something others don’t know kinda makes us feel special too.
What’s more, discovering secret formulas can be pretty cool because it means you get an advantage over others. And who doesn’t want that in this competitive world?
So share a secret. Reveal something. And watch your blog traffic explode!
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- The Biggest Secret to Looking 10 Years Younger
No-one likes to make a mistake. So what better way to get attention than to point out mistakes in your headline?
By pointing out mistakes, you’re creating anxiety that if the reader doesn’t read your content, they’ll make the same mistakes too. And who wants that?
Yep, it’s cheeky. But it works!
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We’re a society of worriers, and we’re constantly afraid of all the different things that might go wrong in this scary world of ours.
What if we lost someone we love? What if our house got burgled? What if the aliens came to earth and kidnapped us? (Okay, that’s a bit far-fetched but you get my drift.)
The Fear headline is kinda like the Mistakes headline – just a little deeper and darker.
Identify the one thing your readers fear the most, and you’ll have yourself a headline that’s pretty much impossible to ignore.
- Warning: How Secure is your Home from Home Invasions?
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- The Shocking Truth Behind Online Dating
- Is Your Husband Lying to You?
- How to Tell if Your Child is Playing with Fire
7 quick tips for honing your headline
Okay, so now you have 7 different techniques you can use now to craft your own attention-grabbing headlines. Here are 7 more quick tips to help make your headlines even more powerful:
- Keep it brief – 12 words or fewer.
- Include your biggest benefit or the biggest problem.
- Use keywords for search engine optimisation.
- Use title case as it stands out more than lower case.
- Include power words such as ‘skyrocket’, ‘ultimate’, ‘awesome’, ‘brilliant’, and so on.
- Include superlatives like ‘most bizarre’, ‘the best’, ‘biggest mistake’, and so on.
- Inject humour if you can.
Over to You…
So there you have it: 7 powerful headline techniques and 7 more quick tips to skyrocket traffic to your blog.
Love to know what you think. Do you already use some of these techniques? Have they worked for you? Do you have others you’d like to share with us? Please share with us in the Comments field below. Thanks for dropping by.
Lillian Leon (@OMRookie) is a copywriter who’s recently taken the dive into the world of internet marketing. In her blog, she captivates her readers with her candid experiences as an online marketing rookie, and shares with us the knowledge she discovers along the way – from social media, blogging and internet marketing to SEO, traffic generation and, of course, copywriting. Visit her blog: www.onlinemarketingrookie.com