The headline is often the first thing a reader sees when they come across an article. It’s the first impression, and it’s essential to make it a good one. A killer headline can be the difference between a reader clicking through to read the rest of the article or moving on to the next thing. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at five tips for writing headlines that will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Whether you’re a journalist, blogger, or content creator, these tips will help you to write headlines that stand out.
Keep it Short and Sweet
When it comes to headlines, less is often more. A short, concise headline is more likely to grab the reader’s attention than a long, winding one. Not only that, but short headlines are also more likely to be shared on social media, as they take up less space and are less likely to be cut off.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your headlines under 12 words. This may seem like a small number, but it’s enough to convey the main idea of your article while still being concise. Some examples of short, effective headlines include:
- “5 Secrets to a Perfect Smile”
- “The Ultimate Guide to Stress-Free Travel”
- “How to Make Millions from Your Blog”
When writing your headline, focus on the key takeaways from your article and try to convey them in as few words as possible. Remember, your headline is the first thing that readers will see and it’s what will determine whether or not they decide to continue reading. So, make sure it’s short, sweet and to the point.
Use Active Voice
Using active voice in your headlines can make them more powerful and engaging. In active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action, while in passive voice, the action is performed upon the subject.
For example, “The boy kicked the ball” is written in active voice, while “The ball was kicked by the boy” is written in passive voice. Active headlines are generally more engaging and make the reader feel like they are part of the story.
Additionally, active voice headlines are less wordy, making them shorter and more effective. Some examples of active voice headlines include: “Apple unveils new iPhone” and “Trump signs new healthcare bill”. By putting the subject first, it makes the headline more informative and clear.
It is important to note that active voice is not always the best option, in certain cases the passive voice can be more effective. However, as a general rule of thumb, using active voice in headlines can help make them more powerful and engaging.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Creating a sense of urgency in your headlines can be a powerful tool for getting readers to engage with your content. By conveying a sense of urgency, you’re telling readers that the information in your article is important and that they need to pay attention to it right now.
There are several ways to create a sense of urgency in your headlines. One way is to use words and phrases like “now,” “today,” and “immediately.” These words convey a sense that the reader needs to take action right away.
Another way to create a sense of urgency is to use words and phrases that indicate that the reader is running out of time. For example, using words like “last chance,” “limited time,” or “ending soon” can create a sense that the reader needs to act fast in order to take advantage of whatever it is you’re offering.
You can also create a sense of urgency by using numbers and statistics in your headlines. For example, using a statistic like “only 5 spots left” or “50% off for the next 24 hours” can create a sense of scarcity that will encourage readers to take action.
It’s important to note that creating a sense of urgency does not mean to mislead or exaggerate, but rather to highlight the time-sensitive nature of your content. Here are some examples of headlines that effectively create a sense of urgency:
- “Last chance to save on our summer sale”
- “Don’t miss out: limited-time offer ends tonight”
- “Urgent: new study reveals shocking health risks”
Creating a sense of urgency in your headlines can be a great way to get readers to engage with your content. Just remember to be honest and transparent, and always provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions.
Use Numbers and Lists
Using numbers and lists in your headlines can be a powerful tool to grab the reader’s attention. Numbers provide a sense of specificity and structure, while lists make it easy for readers to quickly understand the main points of the article.
For example, instead of a headline like “New Ways to Improve Your Health”, a headline like “7 Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle” gives the reader a clear idea of what to expect in the article and makes them more likely to keep reading.
Lists are also a great way to make your headlines more shareable on social media. People are more likely to share an article with a headline like “10 Best Hikes in the Pacific Northwest” than one with a more general headline like “Hiking in the Pacific Northwest”.
When using numbers and lists in your headlines, make sure to keep them relevant and accurate to the content of the article. You don’t want to make a promise to the reader in your headline that the article doesn’t deliver on.
In conclusion, writing effective headlines is crucial for capturing the attention of readers and encouraging them to read on. By keeping headlines short and sweet, using active voice, creating a sense of urgency, and incorporating numbers and lists, you can create headlines that stand out and make an impact. Remember to always keep your audience in mind and to consider the overall tone and message of your article when crafting your headline. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to writing killer headlines that will help you to engage and connect with your readers.