It turns out that while taking a look at my latest blog posts, for this past year, I realized that I didn’t have a recent post about headlines.
So much so, that I wasn’t able to find the last one I wrote, even though I know I did.
Which gives me a valid reason to write a brand new article about the importance of creating strong killer headlines, and how to do it.
The truth is that a high percentage of the people who will find the link of your blog post, will read ONLY the headline, while some will share your post on their social media platforms based on attractive your headline is.
If your headline sucks, not only you are greatly decreasing the chances of your blog post being read, but you are also decreasing the chances of your post being shared by those who won’t read it, but will share it on their social media, which of course, will increase the chances of your post being read by some of their followers.
Bad headlines are still out there, no doubt. I see them every day.
But what does it take to create an attractive headline that will make people want to click, or at least want to share your blog post?
Well, it’s really easier than you think, but if you ignore those points, your headlines will keep on being plain and unattractive.
So, keep on reading and make sure you apply those tips on the nest blog post headline for your business.
The 2 Basic Must Have to Create a Great Headline
There are 2 elements you should always be aware of when you create your headlines.
1) Add emotional words
2) Be Specific
Simple enough, no?
Here is a real headline from an employment business blog that is missing few important ingredients, including an emotional word.
Here is the original headline:
6 Things You Can Do Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job
Let’s focus on the word ‘things’ here.
The problem with word like ‘thing’ is that it’s as vague and as unemotional as they make them. And while at times I know that’s it hard to use any other better word, you should try any time it’s possible.
In this case, for example they could have use the word ‘actions’ instead of things.
Or the powerful word ‘secrets’, or even ‘tips’.
Any of those words are more powerful and emotional than things.
Let’s see how…
- 6 Actions You Can Take Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job
- 6 Tips You Can Apply Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job
- 6 Secrets You Can Apply Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job
Using emotional words will increase your chances of getting your article clicked on, shared and read, many times over.
2 – Be Specific
Here is another headline that lack specific elements to make it a good to a great headline.
How To Get More Followers Fast
This headline is so vague that it might even provoke more questions than answers, right?
In how long?
How To Get 50% More Followers On Twitter In 2 Weeks
Now, while this might not be the best headline yet, you’ve got the where, how, and where.
Which headline would you me more willing to share, or click on?
The 3 Best Types of Headlines
If you were to browse around business blogs headlines, you would see that some of them like more flashy headlines than others, but no matter what your preferences are, at the end of the day, it’s not what you like, but what your readers like that counts.
Now, if your prefer more subdued headlines, that’s OK, as long as you understand the basic types of headlines that work best.
There are really 3 main types of headlines:
The HOW TO headlines, the LIST headlines, and WHY headlines
Now there are many variations of those headlines that you can create, and I will show you some inventive creation styles in this article, but they are all within the how to why, or list style types.
The Creation Formula of Powerful Headlines
How to Headline Types
How to (Blank)
How to (Blank) and (Blank)
How to Use (Blank) to (Blank … Something)
How to Be a (Blank…Desirable Quality)
How to (Blank) Even if (Blank… Some kind of Obstacle)
How to (Blank) without … (An Objectionable Action)
How to (Blank…do Something) While You (Blank… do Something Else]
List Headline Types[X] (Blanks) for (Blank) [X] (Blanks) to find more/get more/achieve more (blank) that you have to know [X] Ways to (Do Something) [X] (‘Strong Adjective’ Reasons) to (Blank) [X] Steps to (a goal of some kind) [X] Tips to (Do Something) [X] Resources (to find or achieve something)
Why Headline Types
Why (Blank) doesn’t mean (Blank)
Why you should (Blank)
Why you need to know (Blank)
Why (Blank) and (Blank) doesn’t mean (Bank)
Why (Blank) when you could (Blank)
How to Transform a Bad Headline Using this Powerful Method
Now let’s look at a very plain headline I found on a recruitment business blog, and let’s see how it could have been if they had use any of those powerful headline methods.
Their title is a plain as we make them: ‘Protecting Your Resume From Identity Theft’.
Why is this headline so unappealing?
Well, it’s got nothing… no how, no why or anything else that will make me want to click on the link of this post. No chance someone will click on it if there happened to be another article that gives the same information but with a much more appealing title.
Let’s say they had made the effort to use the simplest How to (Blank) form for their boring title, and this alone would have helped the headline tremendously.
Let’s see how we can improve it…
- How To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft
Saying ‘how to protect’ is much more powerful than saying ‘protecting’ which is a boring progressive tense that doesn’t work very well in headlines.
Now let’s say they wanted to give away a little more about the content of their article in the headline, they could have use the… How to (Blank) and (Blank) format.
- How To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft While Using Easy Information Security
This is a much more powerful and specific headline than its original, isn’t it?
Now, let’s say they want to be a bit more creative here and use the… How to (Blank) without … (An objectionable Action)
Their boring headline could sound something like this:
- How To Create The Perfect Resume Without Revealing Identity Theft Sensitive Information
Wouldn’t you admit that any of those 3 choices would have made a heck of a better headline then the one they’ve chosen?
I think it’s a given.
Now let’s play with the LIST type headlines, and see what they could have come up with.
Let’s use the…[X] (Blanks) for (Blank) type headline.
In their blog post they are using 6 points to help their readers protect their resume against fraud.
However, it’s not announced in the headline.
Here is how it could have sounded if they had used that information to create their headline.
- 6 Ways To Protect Your Resume from Identity Theft
Much stronger than protecting your resume… isn’t it?
They could have use the word ‘tips’ as well instead of ways, or any other fitting word.
To go even a step further, they could also have added an emotional adjective between the number and the ways/tips.
- 6 Secure Ways To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft
- 6 Proven Tips To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft
- 6 Ironclad Ways To Protect Your Resume From Fraud Or Identity Theft
- 6 Easy Tips To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft You Need To Know
I could transform this headline into a hundred different ways, which would still mean the same thing, but in a much more attractive way than the one they’ve chosen.
Now, for the fun of it, let’s see what would happen with the WHY type headlines. Could they have use that too?
- Why You Need To Know To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft
- Why You Shouldn’t Reveal Certain Type Of Information In Your Resume
- Why You Should Make Sure Your Resume Is Identity Theft Proof
- Why Knowing About Identity Theft Will Help You Protect Your Resume
Now, those headlines are not necessarily the best, they are just examples that came out of my mind while writing this article, but had the writer of this post chosen any of them, their title would have been so much more powerful.
Wouldn’t you agree?
I hope this post was helpful to you in realizing how easy it really is to create killer headlines that work.
What you need to always remember is that if your headline is not a good hook, people won’t bite and land on your post.
So, follow those simple tips and be creative, and I’m sure you will experience the difference in your blog post success.
In the meantime, let me know what you think in your comment below.