The headline to your article or blog post can arguably be more important than the words below it. The headline is your articles' calling card; it's bait on the fishing hook.
A great headline is what attracts readers to your piece and is often the difference between a successful article and one that gets ignored.
As a writer, you know that in today's world a great headline is very important. We are inundated with masses of media daily beamed onto or smartphones and laptops, so standing out from the crowd in the over crowded market takes skill and inventiveness.
If you are seeking to grab your readers' attention, you are in the right place because in this article you will see how to write better headlines to entice wider audiences to your work.
Numbers are an intrinsic aspect of grabbing the readers' attention. Look at any popular blog or even at newspapers, and you will notice that a large portion of their headlines involves numbers, this isn't an accident.
Everything from fitness magazines to homemaker magazines will have a few headlines that begin with a number.
Our brains are wired to react to numbers, so when you see an article about
10 of the best ways to get super tight abs, you'll be interested simply because you want to know what is number one; whether you want abs or not.
There is no formula to adding numbers to headlines but they do draw people in and gets people interested straight away.
A big part of grabbing the readers' attention with a decent headline is using adjectives. However, it isn't as simple as using adjectives that fit well, aim to use interesting adjectives that appeal to people's imaginations.
Words like essential and incredible strike a chord with people and peaks their interest. While words like strange and absolute will ignite the reader's sense of curiosity.
So, be sure to use adjectives but make sure you use the right ones.
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When writing a list post using unique rationale in your headline is a brilliant way to make your audience take notice. A common mistake writers make is using the word things in a headline.
For example "10 things you can learn from listening to The Mountain Goats". You need to be a little more original than that, so use words such as facts, lessons, tricks, and secrets to get people curious.
Two key elements to crafting the perfect headline for your article are trigger words. "Why", "how", "what" and "when" are trigger words that entice a reader and draw them into the rest of the article.
"Why" and "how" work best because they are words that aim to convince someone of something.
A headline such as:
Why you need to stop eating kale right now will get someone so ready to disagree with you that they will read the article without a second thought, so including trigger words is always beneficial.
The 4 U's
Finally, if ever in doubt when writing a headline, always remember that a good headline should contain the four u's: uniqueness, ultra-specificity, urgency and usefulness.
Your headline needs to stand out from the crowd, resist being generic and be useful to the reader in some way. If you don't have at least three of the above u's, your article won't get the audience it deserves.
See Also: Six Blog Writing Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb
Before reading this article you may have thought that the headline was simply the topping on your article-cake but in many ways, it's the whole cake.
Headlines are like first impressions at a party filled with blog-posts and think-pieces. If you make the wrong first impression on someone by being boring or unclear they will move on to the next article at the party and forget you even existed.
To avoid this from happening you need to stand out, and you can do that by following the guide above. The tips and advice in this article will go a long way to making your headline writing skills an art form within itself, so take note of this post the next time you need help grabbing your audience's attention.