Blog posts need great headlines – just like sales letters, newspaper articles and any other medium where you’re competing for attention. Make no mistake: People reading your blog are always just a click away from reading something else.
In order to win new readership and keep old readership interested, you need to write headlines that draw people in. Here’s how to do it.
Make It about Them
This is one of the cardinal rules of copywriting, yet one of the most commonly violated rules by bloggers.
For example, posts like “What I did today” or “Updates from my vacation” are common enough posts by bloggers who think they have an interested audience.
The reality is, if your blog titles are about you, you’re losing audience rather than gaining it. Your blog titles should always be about your reader, what reading the article could do for them, about the powerful benefit they might receive by clicking on the full article.
Convey a Ton of Uniqueness
Uniqueness is critical in blog titles. In most industries, topics have been written about again and again, and people are just tired of the same stuff.
Even if you’re writing about a topic that others have written about in the past, make sure you imply that you have a unique spin. In fact, if you can make your blog title sound controversial or counterintuitive, you’re sure to get readership.
To be frank, you’re just not going to get readers if people think they already know what you’re saying. Your blog title needs to imply that whatever you’re writing about, it’s nothing they’ve ever heard before.
Echo Their Inner Conversation
Your average audience tends to have a very similar internal conversation. For example:
Internet marketing beginners: “I want to make money online, but I don’t really know how to start.”
Novice golf players: “I know there’s something wrong with my game, I just don’t know what.”
Intermediate photographers: “My photography skills are pretty decent, but I just don’t think I’ll be able to make money with my skills.”
And so on and so forth.
A very, very powerful principle in headline writing is to simply echo or address your reader’s internal dialogue. If you can show them that you understand what their frustrations are and that you can help, you will go a long, long way towards winning their trust.
Writing attention-catching headlines isn’t always easy. Sometimes you might even find yourself stuck on just the headline for hours. That’s okay – it’s just part of the process.
Some people find that they write the best headlines after they’ve written the actual post. Others find that writing the headline first helps them. Some people find they write the best headlines in the morning, while others write the best headlines after a couple beers.
Learn your own habits. It might take a while to really figure out what works best for you, but once you figure out your own best habits for writing headlines and also learn to get into your reader’s head, you’ll have an incredibly valuable skill for life.