Five Top Tips for Terrific Headlines

If your loyal followers devour everything you write then lucky you!

Most of us need to entice the reader in with the promise of something really good. That’s why brilliant headlines are vital.

You’re don’t have to rival the red top headline writers every time, although let’s just pause to remember how they turned Julio Babtista leaving Arsenal because of the poor climate into, “Weather forces Baps out.”

You do have to work at it though if you’re to capture the gnat-like attention span of most internet grazers. Here are five tips for great headlines.

  1. Write your headline first. It will focus your attention on what the post is about. You can always go back and finesse it later into something more polished.
  2. Stick to your promises. If you offer ten ways to make a million in a year then you can’t write about your mum’s cat, you need to meet the expectations raised by the headline. Incidentally numbered lists always do very well but I think they can be overplayed.
  3. Make it clear from your headline what the post is about. A transparent title helps to ensure the reader isn’t disappointed especially if they’re looking for help and are short of time.
  4.  You can win traffic to your blog from search engines by using clear key words in your title. You want your title to match the words they’re searching against. This way someone looking for “examples of bad customer service” will find your blog post entitled “five examples of bad customer service.”
  5. Make it memorable and intriguing. This won’t work every time and goes counter to the advice on clear titles but an enigmatic headline can pull in passing traffic. My blog post, “Tips for Cleaner Writing-Fur Coat and No Knickers” http://wp.me/pHqcg-67 certainly did. In this example I offered a two-part headline, one which advertised the content and the other which tempted the reader to ask the question, “what the hell is she on about!”    
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