Remember, when we were in school and needed to write assignments and projects? The one thing all of us would pay attention to, apart from the content, was the heading. We would make sure it was written in a good font that stood out from the rest of the material. We would make sure it was large but not too big. Sometimes we would even underline it, use colours and decorate it so that it would stand out and get the best grade for which we work so hard.
Many of us have always thought that the way the headline looked was more important than what it said. A headline gives readers insight into what the assignment or article is about, and it is the tipping point that makes people read your article. That is why writing the perfect headline for your blog, or a news article is extremely important.
Every writer is different, but every writer knows how important it is to have an attractive headline. Framing a headline can sometimes be hard. From a marketing perspective, a headline needs to grab the reader’s attention. A survey done by Copyblogger showed that 8 out of ten people read the headline, while only two might read the whole article.
Another aspect of framing a good blog headline includes the need for it to summarize the whole article succinctly. This can sometimes be a daunting task as you have to encompass the entire concept of your 750-word article into an 8-word title. Many writers use a linear method by starting with the headline, which acts as a basis for the entire article. On the other hand, some might write their headlines after writing the entire article, coming up with clever ways to convey their ideas in as few words as possible. Let’s take a look at some factors to keep in mind when writing blog headlines or news headlines.
Have a rough headline in mind
Words are never set in stone until they are published and with today’s technology, even that can be changed. So when coming up with a headline, don’t have your heart set on one particular title. As you write your article, you might come to realize that the headline you were leaning towards may not actually work.
When coming up with a headline, the trick is to be specific enough so that your readers have an idea of what your article focuses on. As you write it, and if you find yourself making changes, you can revise your headline accordingly. The best way to ensure that your blog headline summarizes your article perfectly is to start with a rough version. Put down everything that comes to your mind, even if it is a long-winded sentence and move forward from there.
Understand your reader’s needs
As readers, most times, we gravitate to blog posts or articles that interest and compel us. Whether on purpose or just to assuage our sense of curiosity, we read articles that provide us with the information we are looking for.
Hence the headline you choose must clearly indicate what the blog post is about. Phrases such as ‘how to’ and ‘here’s how’ gives readers the impression that the answers to their questions are in your article. Words like – ‘tips’, ‘best’, ‘answer’, ‘secrets’ etc. leads readers to understand that your article provides solutions to their enquiries.
Always keep it short and sweet
You know how people say to keep it short and sweet? There’s a reason behind this phrase, and it applies to headlines more than you can imagine. By making sure your headline is short, you ensure that your article title does not get cut off during search engine results. To make sure of this, keep your headlines at 70 characters or less.
Short headlines not only help with search engine optimization but also help with creativity. Short blog headlines and news headlines are gripping, direct, and they give the readers a sense of urgency. Having concise headlines makes you think in shorter sentences and hence makes certain that you write easy to read and more compelling content.
Trial and error
When it comes to marketing, it’s understood that there is no set method to follow that will ensure success. The best way to get to your desired goal is to make sure you understand your audience. There are many ways in which this can be achieved. Change up your title and make use of questions or declarative sentences. Get creative and use descriptive adjectives such as ‘incredible’ or ‘proven’. Although, while using this technique, make sure you don’t exaggerate and go overboard.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Let your creativity run wild but ensure that your headline is clear so that the article meets your reader’s expectations.
Keep these simple tips in mind the next time you find yourself stumped while coming up with a headline.