When you spend time and effort to craft stellar blog posts, you want them to be read and shared as much as possible. Yet what many bloggers don’t realize is that you have to grab your readers’ attention with the headline or it’s not happening. It may be hard to believe that those 8 to 11 words are going to make such an impact, but according to “The Father of Advertising,” David Ogilvy, “On Average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” In fact, Ogilvy himself spent nearly half of his time writing better headlines as he would spend on the rest of the advertisement content.
With that in mind, the following five strategies should help you create the most compelling headlines possible and maximize your online marketing efforts.
1. Shorter headlines pop. Back in the day, it was recommended that headlines be 5 to 10 words. In present day, the standard is between 8 and 12 words. Keep your headlines short and succinct if you want to grab readers’ attention.
2. Use numbers. Research shows that the most successful headlines include a number. Readers assume that the number lets them know how long the post will be and lets them make the decision if they want commit or just skim the content.
3. Make lists. With the number rule in mind, lists make for ideal posts. List headlines make a specific promise and they’re more readable, easier to skim and scan, and most importantly, the reader knows what to expect.
4. Inspire curiosity. One of the best ways to capture readers’ attention is to ask a question that evokes an emotion and makes them feel like they have to get an answer. This technique utilizes the curiosity gap, making readers feel like there’s a void between what they know and what they want to know.
5. Use what’s trending in your industry. Look at what’s trending, what your clients are discussing and what the competition is doing and take note. Doing this will help inspire ideas to blog about and craft the most attention-grabbing headlines.
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