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The Secret to Writing Killer Headlines

No matter how engaging an article, blog post, guest post, white page, or press release may be, it simply won’t get the attention that it deserves without the perfect headline. Unfortunately, writing these eye-catching headlines is one of the most difficult skills to pick up. For those that are ready to drive in more quality traffic, it may be time to freshen up on some of the leading tips for unbeatable headlines.

Research Beforehand, Not As an Afterthought

Writers may not need to be the leading expert on a topic, but they should be exceptionally familiar with the subject in its current state. This means research should move well beyond fact checking and should give the writer a finger on the current pulse of the industry. Headlines should be in line with what other writers are saying while still maintaining a unique voice. The more time that is spent on this step in the process, the easier the project will be and the more enticing the headline will become.

Appeal to Their Ego

Appealing to the reader’s ego is one of the best ways to pull in traffic and have them give the article a shot. Appealing to the ego means that the reader believes they will read something that they should already know on the subject. ‘Five Mistakes Serious Investors Should Never Make’ is a title that will have any investor or individual interested in investing wondering what they are missing. The readers may feel as if they do not check on the article they will fall behind on the topic.

Make it Urgent

An enticing title should also have some sense of urgency if possible, and readers should feel like they cannot simply come back to the headline at a later point to catch. Traffic skimming through articles are notoriously apathetic when they do not feel a sense of urgency, and even using a word such as ‘immediately’ could put them past the tipping point of reading the article. If the article does have a definitive time frame, such as a sale that is only lasting for 24 hours, it should almost always be part of the headline.

Add Value

A headline that adds value means that the reader will feel as if they will find information that can be found nowhere else. While this is not always plausible for a headline, it can spark interest in the subject, even for those that are not well-versed on the topic. A writer can improve the alluring nature of their headline by clearly stating that the article will have ‘never before seen tips’ or ‘lesser known facts’ about the topic.

Finally, a headline should improve the writer’s credibility within the community, not lessen it. This means that the title is only the beginning, and writers should follow through with the promise of their headline for maximum effect. When readers feel as if the headline is nothing more than a bait-and-switch, the effectiveness of all future headlines will be diminished.

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