Every day, millions of blog posts are written and posted on social media. Most of them, quite frankly, will barely be read. They will come and go like waves on a beach, soon to be forgotten by their writers and never discovered by readers. The funny thing is, many of these articles could be quite useful to readers, but a poorly written headline kills any chance of getting clicks.
You see, to really develop an audience from social media for your blog, you need to have the best blog headlines that get clicks. They must engage the user, enticing them to learn more. Remember, headlines are often the only thing someone sees on social media before deciding whether or not they want to click on your article. Writing a powerful headline actually isn’t that hard if you follow these tips:
Match Content With the Headline – Before we go on to all the tips, I want to make sure that you follow rule #1. Your headline should always match the subject of the article. Never lie to your audience by writing a headline JUST to get the click. I could have tagged this article with the headline, “Warren Buffet Is Giving Every American One Million Dollars,” and I’m sure I would have gotten a 50% click-through rate, but I would have been abusing the trust I’ve slowly been building with my users over the years.
Just remember the quote from Warren Buffet: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Avoid Using Industry Jargon – I’ve been in the online marketing industry for almost twenty years, and it’s easy to forget that not everyone understands all the jargon we use. If you use jargon in a headline, you can inadvertently turn beginners off to the article. Here are two example headlines. Which would you rather click on?
- “Learn How to Figure Out Your ROAS”
- “Learn How to Figure Out The Return on Your Advertising Spend”
If you don’t know the term ROAS (Return on Ad Spend), there is little incentive to click the first headline. The second avoids this problem by avoiding any jargon, instead clearly explaining what the article is about. Keep it simple!
Use Emotional Power Words – In my book 365 Writing Prompts, I have included bonus content—a list of 365 power words that can trigger emotions in a reader. They can make your headlines more engaging to get the click. You want to feed on these basic human emotions: fear, comfort, greed, joy, lust, anger, and desire for the forbidden. Here are ten examples of power words:
Everyone gets stuck in a vocabulary rut from time to time, but try to use unique words that strike emotions in your readers.
Improve Your Readers’ Lives – Think about the article from your readers’ perspectives. How can it make their lives easier? For this article’s headline, I showed you how it could make your life easier by making your headlines work better. Always explain what the article can do for your reader.
Make It Personal – I used the word “You” intentionally in my headline because this article is about helping you, the reader. You can also include the word “I” in an article to make it personally about the author. Both are powerful words in headlines and generate more clicks.
Use a Numbered List – People love numbered lists; just look at how David Letterman used them so successfully on his nightly top ten list. Numbered lists work because they make a specific promise to the reader of what they will learn. Just from the headline, you knew you would learn about seven tips for headline writing.
Keep It Short & Simple – Headlines should never be complicated or too wordy. Always keep it simple and as short as you can. Just check out these sample headlines:
- Why People Share Online
- What is Inbound Marketing?
- 5 Free Content Promotional Sites
All are short and to the point. You know exactly what you’re going to read about before you click.
Writing headlines that drive clicks isn’t that complicated. Just make sure to follow these tips, and you’ll be pulling in more traffic than ever.