Do you know what that one thing killing your blog is?
Bad headlines. No matter how well you have written your post, all it takes is one poorly written headline to kill it.
When writing content, a few qualities can expand the responsiveness of your text. Without a doubt, the most important one for compelling people to look at any of your content or blogs is your headlines.
Effective blog post headlines persuade readers to click through and read. In this post, I will share a few highly effective tips for writing your next blog headline that will act as a catalyst for your readers every time.
A headline is supposed to perform one vital task: it should get your readers’ attention. It is not there to present a summary of your content or to make a sale. It is to encourage the reader to read your content.
So how do you write headlines that persuade your readers to click through your posts and read them?
Actually, it is quite simple to tweak a boring headline and turn it into an attractive one. All you need is practice and some good tricks like the ones I am going to share now. These will transform your dull headlines into irresistible ones.
1. Use Numbers
Adding numbers in your headlines always attracts interest. Look at this post headline: “Top 6 Tips…” If you are interested in reading that post, something must have interested you about it. There are several reasons why numbers appeal to people.
First, seeing a number in a headline makes it look precise. People prefer specific topics because being able to predict what a post is about gives them a sense of control. Being in control is an important emotion for humans because it decreases stress levels.
Thus from the very beginning, readers understand the main concept behind such a post. They understood precisely what they are going to read as they start out.
Another reason, according to eye-tracking research, when numbers are expressed as numerals, they draw more attention then text does. So use “4” instead of “four.”
Also, using numerals in your headline conveys credibility. For example, “How to Make Your First $100 Per Month with Blogging” will be more engaging than, “How to Make Money from Blogging.”
Another perk of using numbers in your headlines is that when you create your article as a list post, you make your post sound more organized. Here are a few effective ways to use numbers in your list posts headlines:
- Use odd numbers because they sound more specific and real. Use 7 or 11 but don’t go for number 10! It’s been used millions of times and has lost credibility.
- Higher numbers have increased in value and tend to get more shares. This means adding more points in your post is more effective (but make sure your content is actually good).
- Write your list post first without keeping any specific number in mind; you can number it when you are done.
2. Use Emotional Triggers
Headlines with emotional triggers work to convince readers to click. So what are the emotions you can use in your headlines in order to make them look persuasive? Consider these and their corresponding words:
- Trust –”professional,” “results,” “influential,” “proven”
- Greed – “final offer,” “cheap,” “treasure”
- Lust – “exciting,” “thrilling,” “tempting” “amazing”
- Indolence – “steal,” “easy,” “simple,” “seamless”
- Anger – “lies,” “abuse,” “corrupt”
- Curiosity – “secret,” “uncommo,” “bizarre”
- Fear – “risky,” “deadly,” “sins,” “damaging”
- Pride – “inevitable,” “beautiful,” “effective,” “intelligent”
(Check out a big list of emotional headline triggers in Mary Fernandez’s post.)
Thesaurus.com is a useful resource for exploring more ideas about emotional terms and for finding synonyms for them. Creative thinking can yield fresh words that will improve your click-through rate.
3. Use Trendy Words
There are a few trendy words that your target readers use, and you need to know those exact keywords in order to write persuasive headlines. They will also help you to gain a good ranking in Google!
You can use Google Keyword Planner to search for the keywords in your niche. It’s useful to conduct an easy Google search on your niche and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to check the list of “related searches.” This will give you some ideas on trending topics to use in your blog post titles.
Related: Top 6 Blogging Trends in 2018
When using trending words in your post titles, always ensure that you use the exact word that your audience wants to see. People love to feel in control, and if they see something they are already aware of, they will likely click on your post.
4. Surprise Your Audience
Blog post titles can work particularly well when they have an ingredient that amuses your readers. For example, consider this: “Women Meets Jesus after Death.” This title has an ingredient of surprise because readers will always be curious to know about life after death.
The idea is that when people encounter uncertainty, they’re compelled to gather information to fill their knowledge gap.
Putting it more simply, human beings are curious and are always willing to satisfy that curiosity.
To employ the principle of surprise effectively, use something in your headline that arouses astonishment and curiosity. Doing so will make your readers wonder, “How?”
Some examples of phrasing that can trigger surprise are:
- you need to
- blow your mind
- will make you
- when you see
- what happens when
- here are the
- this is what
- I’ve ever seen
Definitely make sure that the post you are writing offers great quality and value to your readers so you’re not just tricking people into clicking on your post.
5. Focus on Your Readers
Focusing on your readers immediately in the post’s title is a copywriting tool that experts use to get attention.
The simplest way to create headlines that directly focus on your readers is through using the word, “you.” For example, “Are You Looking for a New Phone?” is more compelling than, “Brand New Phone for Sale.”
6. Use the Power of the Negative
People are attracted to titles having superlatives like “greatest,” “best”, or “fantastic.” However, these words cannot surpass the power of negative words, such as “worst,” “adverse,” or “never.”
Research from Outbrain suggests that headlines with negative superlatives attract 30 percent more readers than positive headlines do.
Wondering why? Well, it’s mostly because people use positive superlatives so often that they have become somewhat cliché. On the other hand, people see negative superlatives as more genuine because they intrigue or shock.
Resources for You
I am keen on technology that makes my business run smoothly. While there are many great resources and tools available to people, a handful of them are so good, I need to mention them here.
One of these is CoSchedule. CoSchedule’s headline analyzer is a highly effective and popular resource among bloggers and writers. It gives a comprehensive analysis of your suggested headlines and gives them scores in these areas:
- Use of keywords
- Emotional value
- Length evaluation
- Balancing of words
Another highly effective tool for headlines is Jon Morrow’s “52 Headline Hacks.” The guide has 52 different headline samples segmented into various niches. You’ll definitely get a few practical ideas for your blog post from this resource.
CopyBlogger’s Headline Formulas is another useful addition to your headline resources. It will help you generate some attention-grabbing ideas.
Ready to Write Headlines That Persuade?
That’s it! You now have a good grasp of how to make those eye-popping headlines for your posts that persuade your readers to dive in.
Just remember one last point: writing persuasive headlines takes practice. You will experiment with tons of them before you’re able to create ones like those we’ve discussed here. So stay adventurous and don’t give up!
Latest posts by Sana Syeda (see all)
- How to Write Headlines That Persuade Your Readers - November 26, 2018
- Top Ten Fantastic Apps Every Writer Should Know - August 27, 2018
- Critical Marketing Skills You Need to Write Great Content - July 25, 2018