How A Few Measly Words Can Dramatically Improve Your Article Headlines

A guest post by Sean D’Souza of Psychotactics

Put couple of tablespoons of petrol in your car’s tank today. And see what happens to the car.

I’ll tell you what. It’ll probably take you a few inches further.

And you’ll say to yourself: “What the heck? What difference will a few inches make?”
Just as you’d say: “What the heck? What difference will a word or two make to enhance the power of a headline?”

You’ll be amazed, how by simply adding a target + a specific, you’ll make your headline far more attractive in a matter of seconds.

Why don’t we find out for ourselves, eh?

And let’s start off by taking a random topic…

e.g. Let’s take an topic such as: ‘Why article writing is the key’

But the key to ‘what?’

Most writers leave out the core detail. They miss out telling you where the article is going in the first instance. And these writers don’t leave out the core detail on purpose.

They just don’t realise the importance of the core detail. And the core detail should usually contain what we’d loosely call a ‘target.’

A ‘target’ is simply ‘who or what are we speaking about?’

Let’s me demonstrate what I mean, by doing a little addition.

So instead of: Why article writing is the key…

We say: Why article writing is the key ‘to getting strategic alliances.’
We say: Why article writing is the key ‘to getting clients.’
We say: Why article writing is the key ‘to getting paid.’

Notice what happened when we put in that ‘target’?

First, it actually gave your article a solid direction. And hey, it did even more. It created curiosity. Your la-la topic, suddenly spruced up, brushed its hair, and put on a tuxedo.

And if you’re amazed at what adding a ‘target’ could do, let’s now add a ‘specific’ to that headline. I’m going to replace just one word/one phrase at a time. And you watch.

Watch how the article literally swings from one side to another.

Example 1:

Why article writing is the key.
Why article writing is the key to getting strategic alliances.
Why article writing is the key to getting ‘active’ strategic
alliances.

Example 2:
Why article writing is the key.
Why article writing is the key to getting clients.
Why article writing is the key to getting ‘higher-paying’ clients.

Example 3:
Why article writing is the key.
Why article writing is the key to getting paid.
Why article writing is the key to getting paid ‘in advance.’

So you see what we did?

We took the core topic.
We added a target.
We added one specific such as ‘active’ or ‘higher-paying’ or ‘in advance’.
And we instantly intensified the power of the headline.

Amazingly that change in the headline did a lot more. It made the article easier for you to write. Without the ‘target’ and the ‘specifics’, the headline was weak, and the resulting article would be a soggy waffle.

But as we put in the ‘target’ and the ‘specific’ it actually forced you to focus on that specific, thus resulting in a mucho superior article.

Instead of the article being general and vague, it’s now specific.

You’re either going to be writing about ‘article writing’ and ‘active strategic alliances.’ Or ‘article writing’ and ‘higher-paying clients.’ Or ‘article writing’ and ‘getting paid in advance.’

You’re most certainly not going to write about all three (not right today, at least!)

Because as you can plainly see, they’re three completely different articles, going in three completely different directions. But when you have a vague headline, it’s almost impossible to keep the content of the article focused.

When you have a specific headline, it’s darned impossible to go off track.

What’s more is that your audience is more focused too, because the rest of your article is delivering exactly what the headline promised.

The specificity of the headline is what drew the reader in, and it’s the specificity of the rest of the article that will keep the reader reading.

And if you don’t believe me, remove those measly words…

Remove the specifics. Chop off the target.
Then write your article.

The headline loses power. The article weaves, then stalls. What’s worse is that the entire article becomes so much harder to write.

And even if you were to actually complete and publish the article, your reader would not experience a sense of clarity.

And you get that clarity with just two measly words. The addition of just a measly word or two, and your article is vrroooming down the road.

And hey, in the right direction too!

To read more articles by Sean DSouza—and get a very useful report on “Why Headlines Fail”, go to PsychoTactics.com

About the author

Sean D'Souza

Sean D'Souza is a writer, marketing guru and expert on sales psychology. Read more by Sean on Psychotactics.com

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