Let's face it. When it comes to copy, headlines are important. It doesn't matter what you've written if people get to the headline and then mosey on to something else because the words just didn't hold their interest. Conversely, what's written after the headline matters too. Nothing is more frustrating, in my opinion, than reading that cliff-hanger headline and then getting to the body of a post or article to find out I've been conned.
The headline is a promise to the reader that you'll deliver on something. This might be information that'll save time or something laughter-inducing to break up the day. Either way, keeping the integrity of the written work with the piece is paramount. That all said, I'm delivering on my promise. Here are five ways to hook your audience:
1. Show your readers you're offering them a benefit. How? Here are a few ways by example.
- How to Be More Productive and Have More Free Time
- How to Invest Like a Pro and Increase Your Net Worth
2. Make lists. This concept goes back to the idea of delivering a promise. A list spells out exactly what a reader can expect to get out of reading a post or article and why she (or he) should give you more than a few seconds of her time.
- Seven Items You Can Repurpose when You Redecorate
- Six Ways To Make Your Life Better Starting Now
3. Give readers an inside tidbit along with the benefit they'll receive.
- Learn the Insider Experts' Secrets to Getting the Best Deal on Airfare
- Facts Hiring Managers Don't Let On About Negotiating Better Salaries
4. Just like benefits, people tend to gravitate towards headlines that remedy an issue.
- Eliminate Drama from Your Life Completely
- Put an End to All Stress by Following our Easy Guide
5. Last but not least, a good headline can just directly spell out exactly what the reader can expect to get. These headline scenarios are more sales specific.
- Enjoy 50% Off Our Luxury Spa Package until December 1, 2015
- Join Now for an Additional Three Months on top of Your Annual Membership!
Brainstorming a headline = Summarizing words/ideas to follow
Refine. Tweak. Tweak some more. Test for delivery of promise. Done.