Beef Up Your Headlines with These Tips
You probably know that headlines are super important, but that doesn’t make them any easier to write. Once you’ve exhausted your energy on creating content, adding in keywords and separating ideas with subtitles, the last thing you want to do is spend more time on coming up with a title. But if you fail to do this, you’re not doing any justice to your content. A creative, engaging headline will drive traffic to your post. A boring one will get skipped over.
Recently, Twitter announced that they would be allowing users to punch up their headlines by rewriting them before retweeting. They’re probably long overdue for this freedom, but it definitely has us thinking more about headlines.
Headlines should be bold and attention grabbing. Think about the types of headlines that make you want to click. They are probably never stale or redundant or safe. They are funny, clever and enticing. They may answer a question you’ve been thinking about. By understanding what drives your behavior, you can better understand what drives others’ behavior.
Below are some simple, savvy tips to beef up your headlines on Twitter – or anywhere you see fit.
Two Second Rule: You have roughly two seconds to grab a reader’s attention, and even this can be generous. If something doesn’t pop out at the reader, they’ll scroll right over your headline. Keep them short and sweet – 65 characters or less.
- Answer a Question: When people search for things in Google, it’s often in question form. Think about some of the common questions that your audience asks and use them as inspiration for your headlines.
- Demonstrate Value: The best way to show your content has value is by putting a number or statistic in the headline. Some people prefer facts opposed to ideas.
- Add a Number: People love listicles. Right from the start, they know what they’re getting and how the information is organized. If you’re lost for a title, look to create a headline that contains 10 facts, 5 myths, 7 tips, etc.
- Use Adjectives: A few interesting adjectives can make your headline more engaging. Pull out your thesaurus and start thinking of adjectives that will fit your industry such as incredible, effortless, essential or absolute.
- Use Negative Wording: Humans are naturally insecure about things, so using negative wording drives curiosity. Use words like no, stop and without to get more shares.
Not every headline will be a winner, but the more you practice writing quality titles, the better you will get at delivering shareable headlines. Do refrain from being too out-of-the-box however, because if the title doesn’t match the content or it misleads readers, you will have a disappointed audience.