Do you sometimes get stuck trying to look for a headline that will catch the attention of your readers?
That happened to me many times, until I came up with some guidelines.
A killer headline can either make or break your content. A great headline draws attention, promotes curiosity and makes an article irresistible to read. And in an internet bloated with content, will make sure your efforts are not wasted and gets the attention it deserves.
Here are the guidelines I follow and hope you will too:
1. You need to K.I.S.S
Keep It Short and Simple!
A killer headline is brief and straight to the point. When crafting your headlines, do not beat around the bush and go round in circles, make your headline clear and precise.
Simplicity is memorable, and attention spans are short. Capture interest as fast as possible and remember that fewer words stay longer in your readers mind.
Make sure that those words are a question that your article promises to answer, or information you promise to divulge.
2. Make use of the 3 U’s
This is a simple formula that has made it easy to clear up a bad case of writers block.
The 3 U’s are – make sure your headline is Ultra-specific, Unique and Useful.
A headline that is ultra-specific should be precise on what you as the writer seeks to achieve in your content. For instance, if my aim is to help you increase your click through rates with killer headlines, I will specify it in my headline.
Unique headlines arouse the curiosity of your audience. Give them a headline they have never seen or heard before.
Once you have aroused genuine curiosity in your readers, you’ve got them, and you’ll find it a lot easier to convince your readers to accept your viewpoint.
Useful headlines are relevant to the wants and needs of your readers. Take my headline for example. Who would not want to know how to multiply their click through rates?
3. Use captivating questions
When asking questions, make them captivating.
The question you ask should be a question that your readers want an answer to. However, do not overdo this technique by trying to twist every headline into a question. You need to ask something that your readers care about and will elicit one of the following responses:
“Yes!” – I’ve been wanting to know that!
“Hmm,Tell me more!”
If your question doesn’t arouse great excitement, or great intrigue, perhaps a statement is better.
4. Use the simple “How to…”
“How to…” Such a simple start to a headline, but also highly effective and tells the reader exactly what they’ll learn from your article.
Blunt and to the point headlines remove the guesswork for your readers and easily informs them whether your article is worth their time or not. Something that they’ll appreciate and reward you for.
Just make sure the rest of your headline is interesting enough for that decision to go your way.
For example, take the headline “How to blog for only 10 minutes per day”. To really arouse interest, I’d change this headline to “How to 10x your traffic while blogging for under 10 minutes per day”.
Which headline are you more likely to click on?
5. Numbers & Lists
“5 Ways to multiply your clicks through rates with killer headlines”. That headline would have probably been more effective than the headline I chose.
Like I’ve mentioned before, people are looking for quick-fixes. Easy, numbered steps that solve their problem as promptly as possible.
Someone once said that good writing should be like a ladies’ skirt, short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the essentials.
A wise person indeed.
Bonus: Deliver what you promised
Once you’ve crafted the perfect headline, published your article, and received all those well deserved clicks, your work is only part done.
Remember, there is nothing that disappoints readers more than investing time in a question that isn’t answered, or a promise that was not delivered.
Whatever you have promised your readers in exchange for their time, you better deliver it.
Otherwise, to put it frankly, you’ll lose trust that’s very hard to get back.