Did you know that your headline bears the heaviest burden? Whether you’re writing content or copy, the headline that you write literally determines whether or not someone will continue reading. In fact, many marketing experts say that the headline does 80% of the work of any piece of content.
Your headline has the job of capturing attention and motivating someone to continue reading the rest of your article, email, blog post, or sales page. If the headline doesn’t work, your content may never get read. It makes good sense then to take the time to improve your headline writing skills. This effort will pay dividends.
1. Learn from the experts. The first step to improving your headline writing skills is to start paying attention to headlines. Take note of the headlines that grab your attention. Review the headlines that attract tons of shares, views and visitors on other websites. Also pay attention to the headlines that sink like a bag of bricks. Why are they terrible and how could you make them better? I like looking at magazines, Oprah is one of the best. Check out some of the headlines in magazines that are in your niche, or ones that people that are in your niche would read.
2. Practice. You know that adage that practice makes perfect? Well, it’s not quite true. Perfect practice makes perfect. Spend time copying the experts. Write their headlines down. Many copywriting classes and writing coaches actually recommend writing copy word for word over and over again. It ingrains the concepts into your mind and helps you embrace them completely. Take it a step further and begin adding your own voice to the headlines you’ve copied.
3. Embrace headline formulas. Yes, there are headline formulas. They utilize the types of headlines that frequently capture attention and effectively draw readers into the copy. The formulas generally utilize numbers. For example, 10 Tips to Help You Look 5 Years Younger Today. They also make promises, arouse curiosity, and appeal to your prospects emotions. Learn the formulas and use them. If you are making promises about your content, make sure that you deliver, better yet over deliver!
4. Test, Track, and Tweak. Pay attention to how your readers respond to your headlines. What articles receive the most feedback or clicks? What articles are shared the most or linked to from other sites? These are strong indicators that your headline is working. Use simple analytics to test and track your headlines.
Headline writing is something that even the best writers can improve upon. Take a look at your headlines. Are they working for you? Could they be better? Spending time fine tuning this skill can help you better reach your content and business goals.
P.S. Check out our new addition to our eBook training site this week. It’s FREE. Anatomy of an Email That’s Worth Reading.