A headline is the first thing prospective readers see when arriving at your article, so it’s vital that you make the right impression, otherwise the rest of your words may as well be thrown on the scrap heap.
Many writers conjure up their headline after they’ve written the rest of the piece, however, it is much more effective to craft the headline first and let the rest follow, as the headline is the most important piece of the puzzle.
So, here are a few tips to help you write catchy and effective headlines…
How to write effective headlines
1. Use numbers. I’m unsure of the exact science, but numbers work! For some reason, numbers are easy to digest and as a result, serve to entice readers. There are no set rules to follow, but 5, 7 and 10 are particularly popular – but it may also pay to go against the grain and throw in an obscure number from time to time.
2. Add descriptive words. By adding interesting adjectives like ‘sensational’, ‘amazing’, ‘odd’ etc. you can really make your article stand out from the crowd and seduce potential readers.
3. Use an interesting logic. Particularly when writing a list article, the use of words such as ‘reasons’, ‘facts’, ‘secrets’, ‘tips’, ‘tricks’ etc. will make the piece stand out and give people the motivation to click through and read your content. We inquisitive creatures after all!
4. Make a bold promise. Tell the reader what they will gain from reading your article. Will they uncover amazing money making secrets, or perhaps know how to make the world’s best pie? I’ll leave that for you to decide. But whatever you promise, make sure you deliver.
5. Throw in a ‘why’ or ‘how to’. We all want to know how to do something or other and, therefore, ‘How To’ gets punched into search engines on a regular basis. Let your readers know that they’re going to learn how to do something, and they are sure to read on. Alternatively, words such as ‘why’ and ‘when’ are great trigger words to use in a headline.
Basically, people don’t want to be bored, they want to be excited and enlightened – so let them know that from the outset and they’re sure to be reading from the palm of your hand (so to speak)!