No king heading into battle would go at it without a strong army to back him up. Here’s a quick way for him to conquer the land: Come in with a strong, powerful army to intimidate the rivals, sending them running for their lives before the battle begins.
You? You’re the king. Social media? Your battle ground. Your headlines? Your soldiers. The more powerful your headlines, the stronger your army.
To put into perspective how much your headline matters, only 20 percent of people who see your headline will read past it. Furthermore, 90 percent of readers won’t engage on your blog, leaving few people who will actually share your content. So yeah, if you want to get more people reading and sharing your content, your headline matters.
Ready to conquer social media and send your blog posts spreading like a wildfire? Use these tips to help you write powerful headlines.
Hook Your Readers
Before readers click on your links and share your content, you have to intrigue them with something powerful.
Not sure where to start? Use one of these hooks to grip your readers.
- Pique their curiosity. 10 Reasons Why You Need to Improve Your Social Media Customer Service
- Ask a question. When is The Best Time to Post on Facebook?
- Make a list. 7 Reasons “Facebook Fraud” is Seriously Flawed
- Connect with the news. Facebook Turns 10! Ten Facts to Consider
- Call out your readers. 8 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Be Using Social Media
- Tell a true story. How to Handle Awkward Situations on Social Media: A Bank of America Story
- Solve a problem. Raise Your Content Marketing ROI With Effective Distribution
- Shock your readers. Social Media Saves Stranded Drivers in Atlanta
- Connect with an unrelated idea. Is Social Media Really a Teenage Mutant Ninja Hurdle?
- Imply time-sensitive information. New Survey Reveals Top Workplace Trends for 2014
Play With Emotions
It’s not enough to use one of the mentioned hooks without including an emotional element. For instance, you could ask the simple question, “Are You Using Social Media to Market?” but that doesn’t grip readers. Instead, you want to bring emotion into the content.
Some emotions you can play with include:
- Pleasure (for learning something new)
- Anger (for sparking controversy)
- Happiness (for seeing something funny)
- Empathy (for hearing a story)
- Shock (for learning something surprising)
- Guilt (for realizing they’re making mistakes)
Knowing this, you could turn your question headline from “Are You Using Social Media to Market?” to “Are You Making These 10 Social Media Marketing Mistakes?” to play off their guilt.
Promise Something of Value
If readers don’t think your post is going to offer value by teaching them something or making them laugh, they’re certainly not going to care to click on your links or share your blog posts. Make sure they know they’re getting something of value by promising it in the headline.
For instance, you could create list posts so they know they’re getting heaps of information, you might promise to reveal a secret, you could offer a solution in the title, or you could give offer tips, steps, or ways to do something so they know they’ll be learning something new.
Use Strong Verbs and Adjectives
To help create a more emotional headline, use strong verbs and adjectives to pull readers in. Avoid using words that have already been overused or don’t spark much interest such as awesome, great, cool, etc.
For instance, I could have easily titled this article “How to Write Great Headlines.” When I add the words “powerful” and “conquer,” readers like you felt more compelled to read what’s to come because the title is more engaging.
Examples of strong adjectives include:
If you can’t seem to write incredible headlines the first time, challenge yourself to write 10 headlines or more for each piece you write, and then choose the best one. Want more ideas on how to craft incredible headlines? Check out FreelanceWriting.com’s free eBook Headlines That Sell.
Alicia Rades is a freelance writer and blogger who loves giving tips about writing and blogging. When she’s not writing for clients, you can find her updating her blog at TheWritingRealm.com. She is also the author of the eBook The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Quality Online Content.