Believe it or not, successful content marketing hinges on your ability to write powerful headlines.
Want to hear something shocking?
“Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” — David Ogilvy
Sure, a headline jam-packed with keywords might get Google’s attention.
But, above all, you want your ideal audience to click that link, and read all your juicy content that will engage, teach, and inspire them. You’re itching to build those relationships.
Let’s face it.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is.
If you don’t have a catchy and clickable headline, your content is essentially worthless.
In short, your content marketing will likely fail if you’re not writing powerful headlines.
To show you what I mean, consider this:
Which headline will get more clicks and shares?
(a) Useful Cooking Advice
(b) Discover How to Improve Your Cooking Skills in 5 Days
Full points if you chose option ‘B’.
So if you want to improve your headlines today and finally get the traffic your content deserves, read on.
I’m going to show you how you can easily write powerful headlines – using proven headline formulas that are catchy AND clickable – in less time than it’ll take to finish your coffee.
Let’s get started.
‘How to’ headlines
This is one of the easiest and most popular headline formulas.
And the reason is simple: because it works.
In fact, the ‘How to’ headline has been working well with audiences in every industry since the dawn of marketing.
It’s effective because it focuses on the benefits to the reader. And people will always love information that shows them how to do something.
What’s more, you can add a promise at the end to make this type of headline even more punchy.
FORMULA: How to + [action] + [keyword] + [promise]
- How to Get Rid of Pimples Overnight
- How to Set Up Your Website Without Blowing the Budget
- How to Learn French in Less Than 2 Weeks
‘Here’s a quick way’ headlines
People are very interested in achievement. Not only that, but they love to solve their problems in quick and easy ways.
And everyone has a nagging problem they want to fix.
So why not tap into this?
Using this headline formula will draw on these desires and easily capture the attention of your ideal audience.
Just make sure you can deliver on your promise!
Bonus tip: add ‘easy’ into the formula to make it even more effective.
FORMULA: Here’s a quick way to + [solve a common problem]
- Here’s a Quick Way to Get Over the Winter Blues
- Here’s a Quick Way to Write Email Campaigns
- Here’s a Quick and Easy Way to Cut Pineapple
Numbers have been proven time and again to be effective when writing powerful headlines.
Probably because people are naturally attracted to lists and numbers.
And a number headline also suggests to a prospective reader that the content format will be simple to absorb.
For the best results, try to use an odd number, and make sure you structure the headline with the number at the beginning.
Pro tip: remember that using the digit form will almost always outperform words:
e.g. “3 Ways to” versus “Three Ways to”
FORMULA: [number] + [adjective] + [verb] + [keyword]
- 7 Simple Ways to Manage Difficult Staff
- 9 Easy Hacks to Create Fresh Content for Your Website
- 5 Great Reasons You Should Get a Flu Shot
‘Ask a question’ headlines
What happens in your brain when you see a question mark?
Yep, you guessed it.
We automatically try to answer the question in our minds. And if we don’t know the answer, then our instinctive reaction will be to find out.
Naturally, this’ll mean clicking on your headline.
Using question headlines, especially ones that tap into common problems, is the perfect way to grab the attention of your ideal audience.
You’ve sparked their curiosity, and they’ll turn to you for the answers.
FORMULA: [Are/Have/Do] you + [common problem / undesirable outcome]
- Do You Ever Make These Mistakes When Buying Jeans?
- Have You Ever Wondered How to Get Your Business on Page 1 of Google?
- Are You Worried About the Rising Cost of Living?
Now it’s your turn.
With these tips, you’ll be able to write powerful headlines in a snap. And your click-through rates will soar.
Use them for anything: your content, email subject lines, sub-heads, titles, search engine meta data, sales pages, and even social media posts.
Of course, learning these formulas are pointless unless you start trying them out for yourself.
So choose one and get writing.
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