Let’s face it.
You want more traffic to your blog.
You’ve heard that you need to write more compelling content to get more traffic.
You spend a lot of time to research about your post, outline it, start writing, editing and polishing it to be published, and then write a headline in 10 seconds, and then publish a post.
And that’s a big mistake. That’s the difference between you and big bloggers.
They spend a lot of time writing their post, and they spend even more on writing the headline.
80% of People Just Read Your Headline
According to Brian Clark of Copyblogger:
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
Having a dull headline will mean more people won’t read your article. So all the work you did in researching, outlining, writing, and editing your post will go in vain.
On the other hand, having a sparkling headline will make people eager to read you post.
That’s why Brian Clark continued to say:
This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.
Want a proof that a headline could make a great difference?
Your Headline Could Multiply Your Traffic by 50x
Yes, you read that right.
That has happened to John Wesley of Pick The Brain.
He published a great post, that he was sure it’ll be great for his audience.
He published the post, but he just got 100 visitors for that post.
He thought that the problem is in the headline, so he removed the post, and then reposted the same content. He didn’t change anything, except for the headlines, and he hit publish.
And guess what…
That same post got 5000 visitors.
Yes, a headline could make that big impact. You could read the full case study here.
The best part is that this story is common. The difference between a dull headline and an attractive one is often thousands of visitors.
That’s why Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic started to write 100 headlines a day few years ago. He knew how important it is to be able to write an attractive and shocking headline.
He did it until he mastered it. He did so for 2 years. After that, his posts on Copyblogger gets 2000 shares while the average of other posts get 500 shares. Shocking? All this because he writes great headlines.
And I suggest you to do the same as Jon Morrow. It’s an art you need to learn over time.
It’s really essential to boost your authority online.
But until you learn it, here are the 6 steps to write shockingly attractive headlines.
The first step?
1. Put your head in your readers’ shoes and find the benefits
Think about the main benefit that your readers will gain.
Look from their perspective. Try to make your headlines benefit-driven.
Do they want to have a better design or they want to make their design convert more prospects into leads?
Do they want to lose weight or do they want to look better?
Think about the end-purpose that your clients want to have, but don’t be generic. Try to be as specific as you can.
2. Create a simple How-to headline
This is a very important step.
Having a simple how-to headline will prevent you from going off-topic. It’ll remind you of your topic. It’ll make you know that your post is benefit-driven.
This step is very simple, but it’s really important.
You just add the benefit to how-to, and you’re done.
Here are few examples:
- How to look better
- How to Increase Your Rates
- How to Get More Clients
- How to Write Headlines (This is the one I used for this article)
Follow this step, and then write the article.
After you finish writing the article, follow the next step.
3. Find a great headline template
After you finish writing the post, you need to find a template you can adapt for your topic.
This step is crucial, especially at the beginning, until you master writing headlines.
A good source you could look into are magazines. Find out the headlines they use on the cover. They spend a lot of time on the headlines on the cover because that’s how they could get more sales.
They did research for years, and they hire copywriters for tens of thousands of dollars to write these headlines. Save yourself some time and follow these.
Another great resources you could look into:
- Headline Hacks: This is from Jon Morrow of Copyblogger. As I said, he is a pro in writing headlines. Model the 52 templates he uses most of the time.
- 101 Headline Formulas: A great resource from Peter Sandeen
- 131 done-for-you headline templates: Another great resource from Jenna Dalton. You don’t just get headline templates, you also get a 35-minute video on how to write better headlines. A lot of great info there.
Find a couple of templates that work and adapt it to your topic.
After that, follow the next step to make it more attractive
4. Use the Power of Power Words
After you choose a template, adapt it to your topic, try to inject power words to make it more attractive.
The power words create a stronger emotional response.
According to Jenna Dalton, power words are divided into six categories:
- Fear: as agony, frantic, risky, scary, invasion, catastrophe
- Joy: as amazing, eye-opening, courage, spirit, grit, hope
- Lust: crave, naughty, scandalous, tantalizing, shameless
- Anger: lies, disgusting, smug, obnoxious, hate, punish
- Greed: bargain, freebie, massive, prize, rich, double, cash
- Trust: authentic, money back, guaranteed, iron clad, tested
- Curiosity: forbidden, confidential, hidden, forgotten, insider
Here are some examples of headlines before and after using power words:
Before: The Way to Become a Better Writer
Before: The Ingredient that Turns Blog Readers Into Fans
Did you see how powerful it’s to use power words?
And if you’re wondering, here are few resources for effective power words to spice up your content:
- 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer: A great list from the awesome Jon Morrow.
- Headline Toolkit: You need to grab the bank of power words here. Jenna Dalton did a good job with this one as well as the other resources provided in the toolkit.
5. Come up with 10-20 headlines
After you create your first great headline, repeat step 3 and 4 to create another 10-20 headlines.
Yes, you need to spend more time on headlines. It’s not just a 10-second task. Remember, it’s how you get more people to read your awesome work.
You could use different templates, or use the same template but with different power words.
Be more specific and add more details that make people want to learn more.
This is where your creativity shines.
At the beginning, this will take time. After that, the process will be easier.
Henneke of Enchanting Marketing has created 39 versions of a headline for one of her posts. All of these versions use the same template. So think about the number of headlines you could come up with, when you use different templates.
You could check the post here, 39 Ways to Write Deliciously Seductive Headlines (and Attract More Blog Readers).
6. Decide on Your Final Headline
After you have a list of 10-20 headlines or more, leave the list for a day or so. If you’re in a hurry, leave them for at least half an hour.
After that, come back and narrow these headlines to 3. Then choose the one you’ll go with.
This could be a tough decision sometimes. You could ask a friend or a previous client on which headline will attract his attention to read the post.
You could also test headlines by using tools like Kingsumo Headlines.
And don’t worry, over time, you’ll know your audience better and this step will be easier. You’ll know what resonates more with your readers, and what repels them from reading your posts.
The Simple Secret to Write Attractive Headlines
Yes, writing headlines that grab the attention of your readers to read your post could be tough, but it’s not impossible.
But with practice you could become a master in doing it.
As I said, Jon Morrow was writing 100 headlines a day for a year or two. Now, he has one of the most popular blogs on the internet, Boost Blog Traffic.
I don’t mean that you need to write 100 headlines a day, but you could start with 10-20 headlines a day. After some time, your muscles will be trained to write better headlines.
So what are you waiting for?
Don’t make more people ignore your posts because the headline was repelling them.
The world is looking for your great content. Don’t abandon them with dull headlines.