Grab your followers' attention fast with these headline hacks

20 September 2017

Grab your followers' attention fast with these headline hacks

Your headline has literally seconds to convince the reader to read the rest of your story. And it has to grab attention without descending into the murky realms of clickbait.

Here are four tips for creating engaging and informative headlines which sell your story for you:

Pick up to three words that describe your story and use them as the basis for your headline

This is the first test of the clarity of your writing. If you’re struggling to think of a few obvious words to describe the full article, then it’s probably a good sign that there’s too many aspects to it. It doesn’t mean that your writing is necessarily bad, it just means that your article isn’t focused enough.

In this situation, you may be better off taking the extra content out of your article and perhaps using it as a basis for further spin-off articles.

Create at least five headlines for each article

This may seem counterintuitive since everyone, including the mighty Google, is urging content creators to focus on quality rather than quantity, but the fact of the matter is that you’re first try at anything is rarely your best.

Usually, if you want optimum results, you have to keep trying and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

When you have your five (or more) headlines, you may find you have a clear winner or you may see how you can take elements from different attempts and craft them into one killer headline.

Look to the professionals for tips

When you’re looking to develop your headline-writing skills, there are two great places to look for inspiration - publications/sites in the same niche and publications/sites in a completely different niche. The former will provide you with examples you can adapt to your own use and the latter will give you exposure to content you might never have looked at otherwise and provide you with fresh inspiration.

Try to engage as well as to inform

The basic question any headline needs to answer is “Why should I read this article?”. There are basically only three reasons why people look at any form of content - for education, for inspiration and/or for entertainment.

If you can score highly on any one of these, then you have, at the very least, a decent article on your hands. If you can score highly on two or more, then you are way ahead of the crowd.

Now, here’s the trick: by this point, pretty much everyone knows that the quality of information on the internet is variable as is the quality of the writing, but if you can create an emotionally-engaging headline, then you are in a better position to convince people to give your full article a try.