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Research suggests that 80 percent of Internet readers scan headlines, but only 20 percent ever click on them, according to Moz. If you know how to write seductive headlines, however, you increase the likelihood of capturing and charming readers beyond a simple glance at the title of your blog post.
1. Use Proven Headline Strategies
List blog posts (such as this one) draw in readers because they make a simple and direct promise. Go short and sweet (4 Ways to Cash In on your Pension) or up the ante with a mega blog post (101 Cute Crafts for Crochet Connoisseurs).
How-to blog posts perform just as well. They provide simple, detailed instructions for accomplishing a task (How to Teach Your Dog to Shake). Earn bonus points for a surprising how-to that combines improbable ingredients or elements (How to Unclog Your Sink with a Tennis Ball and a Coat Hanger).
Copyblogger, a well-known authority on blogging strategy and success, shares several proven headline formulas for new bloggers. Use them to inject variety into your blog post headlines as well as to inspire future posts.
2. Incorporate Pop Culture
Movie stars, rap artists, television shows, and other pop culture elements make headlines more interesting because readers relate to them. They also expand your blog’s reach because they increase the chances of readers find it.
Make sure pop culture references make sense in the context of your blog post. For example, if you start a personal finance blog, you might write a series of posts about how television characters manage their money (Why “Friends” Characters Couldn’t Actually Afford Their Swanky NYC Apartments).
3. Refer to Physical Media
When you need inspiration for blog headlines, turn to magazines, newspapers, and tabloids. Which headlines grab your attention? Why do they work?
History demonstrates that single headlines possess the power to inspire entire media campaigns. In 1980, the soap opera “Dallas” fueled months of speculation and excitement with three simple words: Who Shot J.R.? The phrase garnered maximum publicity because of the question posed (and its potential ramifications for the TV show).
4. Start Simple, Then Build
Don’t attempt to craft a perfect headline from scratch. Start with a question you want to answer, a problem you want to solve, or a list you want to create.
After you know the bare bones of the article’s direction, build around it to form a headline. You might start with something simple (Ways to Celebrate Retirement), then expand on it in an unusual or funny way to create a catchy headline (6 Wacky Ways to Ring In Retirement).
5. Ask a Question to Which You Want the Answer
What have you always wanted to know? What keeps you up at night? If a question nags at your subconscious during insomnia-riddled nights, you can bet it rings other people’s bells as well.
Research the question, then write a blog post that answers it. You might discover more than one answer or a single, satisfying solution that will finally mollify your curiosity.
6. Give the Answer in the Headline
Sometimes the question doesn’t matter as much as the reason behind its answer. These headlines often start with the word “why” and present a surprising conclusion (Why 43% of Consumers Carry a Credit Card Balance). They give away just enough information to whet the appetite, but they inspire curiosity at the same time.
7. Describe the Result
To add punch to your blog headlines, tell your readers how they will benefit from the post’s content. Advertise a surprising and beneficial result that intrigues readers.
If possible, increase the potential for readers’ satisfaction or acceptance. For example, provide them with a way to excel at work (These 10 Sales Secrets Will Leave Your Coworker Competition in the Dust).
Writing great headlines takes practice, but it produces results once you get the hang of it. To put these blog headline tips to use, sign up for a risk-free trial at BlogPress.