One of the biggest challenges for online content creators is to ensure that their words reach the intended audience as effectively as possible. You can be the greatest writer of your generation, but without a surefire means of getting your words in front of human eyeballs, your talents will go to waste, and the message you’ve worked so hard to convey will be lost amidst the cacophony of an overcrowded internet.
The best way to hook your readers is by crafting powerful headlines. Here are four essential tips to help you create compelling headlines that act as irresistible reader magnets.
1. Make an impact
Dull, uninspiring prose is the literary equivalent of a weak, sweaty handshake: nobody wants to get to know the person behind it. Always make a strong impression, straight out of the starting gate. Consider the headline as an elevator pitch: imagine you’re in an elevator with the biggest mover and shaker in your industry, and you have just ten seconds to capture his attention. Go for maximum impact, and make every syllable count.
2. Ask intriguing questions
Why do people find questions so irresistible? Is there something in human psychology which makes us feel an almost insurmountable desire to rise to the challenge of an unsolved mystery? How can you use this to your advantage in crafting your next headline?
3. Specify the benefits
Let your reader know the value they’ll receive by reading the article. Time is precious, and busy browsers need to know that the minutes they’ll be investing in your article will be time well spent. For real world examples of this approach, take a look at some of the ways successful bloggers ensure reader engagement by telling their visitors upfront what benefits they will get from reading further.
4. Keep it short and punchy
The world’s greatest copywriters revere Ernest Hemingway above almost any other fiction writer. Hemingway’s secret was simple: eliminate unnecessary words. Keep the pace fast and furious, and your readers will reward you with their undivided attention.