One of the easiest ways to get people to read your articles or blog posts is to write irresistible headlines.
It’s not enough to just write headlines that sound clever.
They have to get clicks.
How do you write headlines that get clicks?
Well, you’re in the right place to find that out. Here are 11 ways to help you write headlines that get clicks.
What’s the Benefit?
After you’ve written that amazing article, make sure that your headline convinces readers that they need to read your post over someone else’s.
To convince them that your post is exactly what they’ve been looking for, describe how they will benefit from reading it.
For instance, will reading your post help them do something quicker? More efficiently? In easy-to-follow steps?
Here are some examples:
- How to Double Your Blog Traffic in 7 Easy Steps
- Top 10 Simple Blogging Techniques to Stand Out From the Crowd
- 5 Tips on Finding the Best Freelance Writer for Your Blog
Be specific when you describe benefits. Tell readers exactly how they will benefit from reading your post.
For instance, instead of writing Top 10 Writing Tips, specify what kind of writing tips they are and how they will help readers.
Are they actionable tips? Proven tips? Data-driven tips?
Does the “writing” refer to blog writing? Copywriting? Academic writing?
Will using the tips help improve general writing skills? Or online writing skills?
As you can see, it’s difficult to know exactly what you will learn from a post with a vague headline.
So, make your headlines more specific, because adding those extra few words can make a big difference.
Are You Aware of This Odd Tip?
As you well know, list posts are one of the most popular types of blog posts.
For that reason, you may think that they’ve been overdone, and that people are tired of seeing the same list posts over and over.
But, there’s a reason why bloggers are still using them: They still succeed in getting those clicks. And writing headlines for them are easy.
Here are some examples:
- 25 Best Tools for Promoting Your Content
- Top 10 Actionable Copywriting Tips
Think about how many points you want to include in your list, because the number you choose matters.
You’ve probably already heard that lists with odd numbers perform better than lists with even ones. But did you know that, according to research by RJMetrics, the number 25 performs the best in “best of” lists?
And according to research by BuzzSumo, the number 10 performs the best in general lists, as they attracted the most social shares.
The next best numbers were 23, 16, and 24.
May the Force be With You (and Your Headline)
Of course, you want to use the best words in your headline to draw readers in.
So, why not use power words?
Think about the kind of readers you’re targeting, and what words will resonate with them the most.
Then, use those strong, persuasive words to trigger specific emotions in readers to persuade them to click on your headline.
For example, if you want to make readers angry about a problem that you want to address, consider using power words that provoke anger in the headline.
Here are some more examples, targeting different emotions and desires:
- Fear: 10 Little-Known Blogging Mistakes: Are You Still Making Them?
- Simplicity: Easy-as-Pie Guide to Boosting Blog Traffic in No Time
- Urgency: 5 New SEO Strategies You Need to Know About Now
What About Controversial or Unconventional?
Tired of using the same “how to” and list post headlines? Mix it up with a few unexpected headlines every so often.
Not only can this help you get clicks, but it’s also fun.
You could use controversial statements in headlines to shock readers into clicking on your post to find out more. For example, could you resist clicking on 9 Stupid Mistakes You’re Still Making in Your Writing?
Or, you could be unconventional. Do something different to stand out from the crowd.
For example, instead of writing a “how to” post, you could write a “how not to” post instead, such as How Not to Write Compelling Headlines.
For some great examples of unconventional headlines, check out the post Do The Wrong Thing: The Benefits Of Writing Unconventional Headlines.
Are You Making This Mistake?
If you write your headline for search engines, you need to think again.
We all know that using keywords effectively can boost your SEO, but stuffing your headlines full of keywords just for search engines is not a good idea.
Remember that you’re writing for actual people, not search engines.
And those people don’t want a string of keywords for a headline. They want an interesting headline that ultimately tells them that, if they click on it, it will be worth it.
Knock’em Down, Then Lift’em Up
One way to get readers to click is to present a problem and offer a solution.
For example, if you’re writing a headline for a post about common mistakes people make when writing for the web, write 10 Mistakes You Make When Writing for the Web and How to Avoid Them.
Here’s another example:
25 Tips for Beginner Bloggers: How Not To Make the Same Mistakes I Made
Of course, you can also imply what the problem is without explicitly saying it in the headline. If you do include the problem though, remember to tell readers you have a solution as well.
They’ll be less likely to click on a post about problems that they encounter if it doesn’t tell them how to solve them.
Go to the Ultimate
Do you have an ultimate guide to something? Or a complete checklist to go through before doing something?
Use words like “ultimate”, “definitive”, “comprehensive”, and “best” in the headlines for your best resources.
Here are some examples:
- The Ultimate Guide to Call to Actions
- The Best Blog Post Checklist
- The Ultimate Copywriting Cheat Sheet
- A Comprehensive Collection of the Best Copywriting Formulas
Offer an Exclusive Invitation
Who doesn’t enjoy being part of an exclusive group?
Write headlines promising exclusivity that readers can’t resist clicking on.
You could appeal to a specific target audience who can relate to the post. For example, instead of writing 11 Common Writing Problems, you could write 11 Things Only Copywriters Will Understand.
You could also use power words that promise exclusivity, such as “secret”, “behind the scenes” and “exclusive”.
Here are some examples:
- Exclusive Interviews: 5 Copywriting Experts Reveal Their Secrets to Success
- 10 SEO Secrets from the Pros
- Be the First to Try These New Blogging Tools
Want to Have a Sneak Peek?
To intrigue the reader and compel them to click on your blog post, pick an interesting fact or statistic from the post to use in your headline.
You could also make an interesting, but vague, comment about something in the post, such as 9 Steps That Increased My Blog Traffic by 300% (You Won’t Believe Number 5!).
Or, you could use an ellipsis to trail off and leave the reader guessing…
Here’s an example:
Survey of 300 Bloggers: 85% Say Their #1 Tip is…
Just give readers enough information to grab their attention and make them want to find out more.
How to Test Your Headlines
This one is easy.
But it’s also an easy one to forget.
Even though these tips will help you write better headlines, they can’t guarantee anything.
So, make sure you test your headlines yourself before you publish them. Because a headline could work well on one blog, but not work as well on a different blog.
Experiment, and write multiple headlines for the same post that you can compare before deciding which one your readers will like the best.
So, writing headlines is as easy as that?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all perfect way to write headlines, so of course it will take some time and effort, but it’ll be worth it.
Just make sure to balance your headline with your content.
They both need to be amazing.
And you have to only promise in the headline what you deliver in the content, because what’s the point in getting clicks if readers don’t stay to read the actual content?
Know any other ways to craft irresistible headlines? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
About the Author:
Helen Nesterenko is the founder of Writtent.com that is all about finding amazing writers and creating great content.