Want to learn how to write a headline that will score you a knockout every time? You know, the type of irresistible headline that grabs the attention of your readers with the equivalent of a literary one-two punch?
If so, we have five great tips for you below on how you can start writing powerful headlines — plus a fun headline-analyzing tool you can use to gauge emotional impact.
Idea 1: Use Numbers
As Brandon Cox for Social Media Today puts it, numbers are “brain porn” for your mind. If that’s not reason enough to use numbers in your headlines, I don’t know what is. Check out what else Brandon had to say about how to write a headline with this tactic — “A headline with numbers in it will yield more traffic than a headline without.” Well, there you have it, folks! It looks like people respond well to headlines with numbers in them, so it’s probably time you gave it a whirl too.
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Idea 2: Ask a Question
Asking a question (especially a provocative question) in a headline gets attention — and readers. Dean Rieck for Copyblogger thinks so too. He says, “Asking a question directly involves your reader. However, your question cannot be random or clever. It must relate directly and clearly to the major benefit of the product. It must also prod the reader to answer ‘yes’ or at least “I’m not sure, but I want to know more.’”
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Idea 3: Include Powerful Words
Which headline would you be more inclined to click on?
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3 Tips for Writing Killer Headlines
Of course you’d pick the latter, right? This may be a more obvious example, but the point here is that the words you choose for your headlines truly matter — especially when it comes to adjectives. Including a power word in your headlines is a surefire way to get more readers.
Here’s a small list of words that will spice up any headline:
Idea 4: Teach Them with a “How-To”
How-to headlines are all about teaching your readers something valuable. To determine what to teach them, consider your industry. Do a little research on the most trending topics within it to see what people are most interested in reading about right now. Then, create a how-to blog post that will inform your readers how to master that topic. Images are crucial (usually screenshots work well) for how-to posts.
Annabel Candy for Successful Blogging suggests, “Help your readers do something better, faster, in simple steps, or with confidence.” She provided this list for reference:
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Idea 5: Be Yourself
There are countless articles that offer advice on the absolute best ways to write a headline. They may be filled with fantastic tips (ahem, this one), but you shouldn’t completely conform to another writer’s style. Your voice is the one thing that makes your writing style unique, and the only way you’ll be able to tell what resonates with your readers is through trial and error.
If you feel like you have a great headline but it doesn’t align with any of the ideas listed above – or it doesn’t conform to what another writer says is the only way to write a great headline, don’t let it dissuade you from trying it out. Don’t be afraid to be unique – it just might be the secret to writing the most powerful headlines of all.
Here are some examples of the more unique headlines I’ve tried out:
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Bonus: Free Headline-Analyzing Tool
The Advanced Marketing Institute has a free Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer that gives each headline you create a rating based on how well it will connect with your readers emotionally. The rating is based on how many emotional marketing value words you use in relation to the total number of words your headline contains.
The Advanced Marketing Institute says, “Most professional copywriters’ headlines will have 30%-40% EMV Words in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have 50%-75% EMV words in headlines.”
Personally, I use the headline analyzer every time I write a headline because, one, I think it’s fun. (And, no, I don’t care if that sounded exceptionally nerdy.)
Two, I believe it has helped me write better headlines. When I’ve submitted a headline that’s tanked, (which hardly ever happens, of course) I rework it until it gets a higher rating. Ultimately, I think it’s helped me create stronger headlines.
And three, I can use it to back me up if someone says my headline sucked. “Oh, you hated my headline? Well, Headline Robot loved it. In fact, Headline Robot thinks I’m a gifted copywriter because of that very headline. So there.” (Yes, I may or may not envision the headline tool as a marketing-savvy female robot that must compute headlines as a means of existence.)
Anyway, I hope the tips in this article, plus the bonus Headline Robot, has helped you understand how to write a knockout headline that’ll get you the readers and exposure you deserve!
Still not sure how to write a headline? Leave your questions below and I’ll be glad to answer them.
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