How To Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines

By on October 7, 2016
How To Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines - Writer's

All freelance writers know that if there is one thing that is going to make a huge difference to your writing success, it’s getting it noticed by more people.

There is an enormous amount of content out there - online, in magazines and newspapers - almost everywhere you look. People are saturated by it; it overwhelms them. So how do they cope with this relentless flood of content flowing their way? Well, they just ignore most of it!

So to give your writing a fighting chance of being interesting enough for readers to pause and think ‘I’d like to know more about that’ you have to be able to write a headline that stands out.

But just how do you do that?

Well, the answer is simple. When writing headlines ask yourself these three questions, and each and every time your headline should be clear, intelligent and compelling enough that your target audience will want to know more.

Who wants to read this content?

Understanding what you are trying to say and the audience you are trying to reach is utterly imperative if you stand a chance of your content being picked up by the right kind of people. Say you are writing a piece on keeping your office clean, you need to figure out who will care. Once you know, you can craft a headline which appeals directly to that particular set of people. The headline should capture what your piece is about, use language that your target audience is familiar with, or will enjoy.

Shout out to your readers, make it unmistakably clear that your content is for them.

How does my content solve my reader's problems?

Your content needs to have value. It needs to solve problems. It needs to give something back. Empty content will leave your reader feeling cold, and worse still, rather cheated. Don’t promise the world in a headline if you can’t deliver. People will click through to your content because you told them you would give them something, something they need. Tell them how they will benefit in your headline. Will your piece teach them how to save time, how to be better at something, how to lose weight, to stand up for themselves, to craft or bake something? Be clear about what your piece offers and make sure your target audience knows.

3. What makes this content unique?

Unless you are writing something truly ground-breaking, you may well find that someone has already written about your topic before. So how do you make readers choose yours? You need to make sure that your headline promises something that others don’t. One writer might use the headline ’10 tips to clean your office.' So you can make your article stand out by choosing ’10 time-saving cleaning tips to make your office sparkle.’ Even better would be to directly call out to your target audience: ‘Office Mangers! Ten time-saving cleaning tips to make your office sparkle and your team more productive.’ Here you are shouting out to your target reader, and giving them three reasons to click on your content, it saves them time, it makes their office cleaner, and their teams work more productively.

If you were an office manager looking for ways to keep your office more organised, wouldn’t you click on that?

Once you understand the basics of writing attention-grabbing headlines you can experiment with them and get creative. Learning what works and what doesn’t is so important and will make all the difference when it comes to reaching a wider audience and getting your content seen.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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