Top Ten Tips for Writing Headlines Successful Marketers Can’t Afford To Miss!

18th August, 2014 - 4 minutes read

Writing a punchy and catchy headline in Content Marketing isn’t just good idea, it’s absolutely vital. In the jungle of everyday posts, tweets and shares the best article ever written could easily be lost, without an impactful headline.

Ensuring you have included a tantalising hook in your title means the difference between active consumption or total article desolation. And whilst every working person you speak to nowadays claims they are too busy to do anything, it stands to reason that your articles have to jump out and intrigue someone enough to put aside a few minutes of their lunch break to read your post.

So how can you increase the chances of someone taking the time to read your article? What behavioural and emotional devices can we utilise to encourage (or manipulate) people to read your article?

Below are my top ten tips, drawing from the science of ‘clickable headlines’ from the team at Moz.com, Nathalie Nahai and Okdork.com:

  1. Aspiration – Headlines should offer a key to a more an aspirational life. Example ‘5 Easy Steps You Can Take To Achieve a Six-Pack in Six Weeks’.
  2. Trigger Words – Try using words like ‘secret’, ‘free’, ‘incredible’ and ‘unexpected’. Example ‘Secret Tip to Getting a Payrise that Your Boss Doesn’t Want You To Know’. These trigger words are hard to ignore as they appeal to the human trait of curiosity or offer some type of personal gain.
  3. Urgency – People need to feel like they can’t miss your article and read it today. Example ‘Be Amongst the First To See The New Apple iPhone’. This is not an article you would bookmark to read next month right?
  4. FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Playing on these negative emotions of peoples uncertainty can really motivate potential readers. Example ‘Ten Tips for Writing Catchy Headlines Successful Marketers Can’t Afford To Miss’. What happens if you miss this article, you could be ineffective, you might lose Clients, you could lose your job etc.
  5. Beg the Question – ‘Can You Increase Your Sites Traffic by 50% With This Clever Trick?’ It’s a sure fire thing that people are going to want to find out!
  6. Curiosity – Curiosity is one of the most effective weapons for impactful headline writing. Example ‘What Every Dieter Should Know About Sugary Foods That The Government Won’t Tell You’.’ Is it poison? Does it cause Cancer? Does it actually make you thinner?
  7. Be Emotional – Emotive headlines get read more. ‘NHS Nurses Victimise the Elderly To Save NHS Money’.
  8. Sensation/Controversy – Sensational headlines get read more. ‘Shocking Pictures of Prime Minister in Racist Taunt’.
  9. Scratch the Itch – Headlines that offer a solution or cure to an emotional problem are more effective too. Example ‘Struggling to Rank on Page One? Check Out Our SEO Cheat Sheet’.
  10. Customise – Customise the headline for your audience and platform. Think about your audience and think about your medium. It is vital to tailor your messages for the people you want to attract.

I hope these tips will prove useful when creating your articles and blogs. Please comment below and let me know how you get on!