6 Tricks to Create Compelling Headlines

If you want people to really stop, share your content, and really listen or read it, save time and get more traffic by creating compelling headlines. Here are 6 easy ways to do it.

If you want people to really stop, share your content, and really listen or read it, save time and get more traffic by creating compelling headlines. If you really want to capture your audience’s attention you need a very strong headline.   It’s going to really help you with your budget if you don’t have money to put in to.

infographic-whatmakesagoodheadline

This infographic by Neil Patel from Quick Sprout will give you a simple formula for enticing headlines.

1) Be concrete – use numbers.

Don’t be afraid to use numbers in your headlines to tell people concretely and exactly what you’re going to share with them. It’s better than just posting a headline with a how to, just a generic how to do something.  You’ll find a lot of videos on YouTube you’ll find with “how to” because people will be searching on YouTube for exactly that, how to do something. If you want to capture their attention, drive their traffic to your website off of a platform like YouTube, which is meant for searching for stuff on how to, then you’re going to have to be a little smarter than that, okay. Use your numbers in your headlines.

2) Collect inspiring resources 

This is very specific to you and what your interests are, whatever your industry may be and you’ll want to see a website that has some good writers. They could be guest bloggers, it doesn’t have to be one particular expert in an industry, but it’s very important to have a place to go to see who’s doing it right. Again I’m not a big believer in reinventing the wheel. Find the people that are doing it right and fashion your own content along with what they’ve been doing. I am a big believer in that.

You should have a content aggregator. I know I use Feedly. Google Reader was one of my trusted resources to aggregate my content, but they’ve since gone the wayside. It’s important to have a content aggregator, NewsGator, whatever it is.

Look up content aggregator on the web, you’ll find one that works for you and however you want to do it, on your iPhone, your smartphone, whichever brand it may be. Just collect those resources and always look to see what headlines they have that are attracting your attention, right, because chances are you’re going to want to attract your audience’s attention in the same industry that you’re looking up your inspiring resources in.

Okay, one of my most inspiring resources actually for content is Yahoo news. Yahoo does a great job of aggregating a lot of news from around the world and they categorize it based on technology, whatever the subject matter may be, but you want to see compelling headlines go to Yahoo news and you can set your browser to look at it every day. That’s a great resource that inspires me to try to learn more about creating my own compelling headlines.

3) Understand your audience’s pain points

It’s very important to think about what keeps your audience up at night. Is it because they don’t have enough customers? Is it because they don’t know what’s supposed to go on their website? Or how to get more customers to pay upfront? Whatever it may be, you’ve got to know what your audience’s pain point is. If you don’t know, you don’t have a large enough audience to gauge what their pain points may be, take a look at blogs or forums in your industry and see what comments people are putting on other blog posts that are inspiring enough for them to want to comment on.

Now once you learn the pain point, apply a very interestingly crafted headline for it. I had a blog post that I was working on, Seven Deadly Sins of Website Redesign. It was when I was working on redesigning a website in a particular industry, trade show industry and I was working on redesigning the website. It just occurred to me that the client really didn’t have an understanding of what was supposed to go on a website.

I was working with a web designer for the website and we were just developing the content based on a lot of the content that they wanted to appear on the website, so we built the framework. A lot of the things that they had wanted on the website that they thought might be interesting really just turned out weren’t going to be very helpful to them. Think of it that way, put it in terms of what are the deadly sins or the things that you should never do.  That’s a great way to spark some interest, create a compelling headline and get people to click through and come to your website, generate traffic, and build you up as the authority in your brand.

4) Answer your fans’ questions

If you have questions that are posted on your blog, or questions from readers of your social media posts, address them in your headline. I get it all the time on YouTube on my videos.  A lot of my podcast videos get a lot of interest. People are just really interested in podcasting and they want to know how to do it themselves. There’s a little bit that goes into developing a podcast, but it’s totally doable. Some people ask me very specific questions about how I do something in podcasting and that might be just the fodder enough for a post, so I incorporating that in my podcast and blog headlines.

5)  Test various headlines

You want to see what’s going to work best for your content. You can tailor your headlines if you have different social networks that you use – maybe a little bit more professional on LinkedIn, maybe a little bit more friendly or fan-like for your Facebook page, but you can test your headlines and you can do it in more than one way, okay.

You can post the same content at different times on social platforms and see what works best or you can put it in a newsletter and test the subject line with your audience to see who opens the most. I would recommend doing this if you have a large enough audience where your sample size is going to really make a difference. If you have only a few people, maybe less than 50 on your newsletter list, then it might not make sense to do something like that, but you can definitely test your headlines on your website, see which ones are clicking through. Is it the one with the numbers where you’re saying the six ways to do something or the seven deadly sins or whatever it may be?

6) Analyze Your Post Results

You want to see what’s going to resonate best for whatever your goals may be. Now you should really try to drive the traffic to your website; you want to generate those leads and, of course, generate customers so you can get those conversions. You really want to see what’s working and what’s not because if you don’t analyze what you’ve worked on to see what’s getting you the best results then you’re just going to keep trying to throw stuff against a wall and seeing what sticks. That’s as far as I’ll go explaining that little saying, but you want to really make sure that what you’re doing is paying off, that you have a return on your investment.

Ginny Soskey ( @gsosk on Twitter) wrote a great Hubspot post on how to write better headlines. Really cool infographic too.  She tries to help you write headlines –  what makes a good headline. It gives you some awesome stats. This is the number one piece that I grabbed from this infographic. It’s so short and sweet. The perfect length for a headline is six words.

Now I’m going to give you a resource that I use and it’s a content generator website.

http://portent.com/tools/title-maker

portent content idea generatorIf you forget that link, take a look on the web and do a search for content generator, headline generator. That’s what it is, it’s headline generator. You’ll come to a website that’s going to allow you to put in your subject and a particular word, a singular version of your keyword. Then you’re going to be able to type it into a field and then it’s going to give you an awesome headline. I recommend just trying a few out, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t. It’s going to come up with some very interesting headlines.

If you want to see some compelling headlines take a look at the newspapers. They are really in the business of having to create compelling headlines, so that they can keep the print industry alive. They really need to get those eyeballs for attention because the Internet is a big competitor for that, right?  Writing compelling headlines is more important now than ever.

RESOURCES:

portent.com/tools/title-maker
Infographic – Ginny Soskey- Headline Writing Tips ( http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/headline-writing-tips )

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