One of the single most powerful tools you have to carry out this task is your headline. Here are several techniques to creating a “compelling and selling” headline and a few tips to help you get the job done.
Tap into Your Prospects’ Emotions
According to psychologists our buying decisions are based first on our emotions. Use headlines which offer your readers a strong emotional benefit or reaction, make them feel compelled to read beyond the headline. Make them want the knowledge you are sharing.
The 20-Minute Technique that Will Make You a Business Genius taps into readers’ desires to feel smart, powerful even.
Other emotions you can tap into are the desire to feel:
7. A sense of belonging – you are not alone
8. In control of their own destiny
Make your headline active
To compel it’s important to use active language rather than passive language – language that shows movement and commands attention. Language that guides the reader, that shows them where to go.
For example, “Stop Your Sugar Cravings Today With This Simple Step,” is a good enough headline however it doesn’t command action nor does it tap into any emotions of any kind. A quick tweak and it becomes “Conquer Your Sugar Cravings With This Simple Step.” Conquer is an active and emotionally powerful word. Readers receive the benefit of feeling powerful and in control and it commands action.
Let Your Reader Know They’re Important
The word YOU is a very powerful word. It let’s your reader’s feel as if you’re talking to them specifically and interested in solving their problems, issues and helping them achieve their desires, which of course you are. Insincerity shows in your writing so you must believe in your product. If you don’t, get a new business.
Instead of using I, Me or We in your headlines, use You.
Using the headline example above compare these two options
- “Conquer Your Sugar Cravings With This Simple Step.
- “Conquer Sugar Cravings with Our System”
People want to know what’s in it for them and when they can assess that information in the headline, they’re going to want to continue reading your blog post and get to know you more. You don’t know where your prospect is in the sales cycle, so they could also be in a position to make a purchase.
Here are three more ideas for powerful headlines:
* Make a promise – Earn £1000 a day
* Make it newsworthy – New program guarantees you’ll earn £1000 a day.
* Ask a question – Do you want to ensure your financial future?
Remember, you will have to back up extravagant claims and if it looks hype-y and spammy to you, your reader will think the same. It’s not getting them into the right mindset to read more of your content.
Three Simple Steps to Write Headlines That Sell
You have some ideas about what types of headlines sell now how do you begin to write those powerful headlines?
- Get to know your audience intimately. What are their hopes, dreams, desires, and problems? Visualise them, name them, write specifically for them. Understanding your audience will help you create an emotional and powerful headline directed specifically at your ideal reader.
- Determine how your products or services are going to make your prospects’ lives better or solve their problems. For example if you sell fitness equipment and your audience struggles with feeling attractive then you can create a headline that highlights a specific benefit your fitness equipment offers to solve that problem.
- Write ten to twenty, even twenty, possible headlines. Not only will this give you practice writing compelling headlines, it’ll help you zero in on that one perfect headline.
And if you think you have a few winners you can always test them for conversion rates to find out which headline is more effective. Words like “secrets” often hook people in, but be careful not to over use it. Remember your blog’s front page looks like a magazine rack, lots of images and bold headlines screaming read me. The headline that makes you click, that makes you want to read more is the one that works.
Think back to your Twitter stream, again compare it to the magazine rack.
- What headlines jump out at you?
- What headlines grab you by the throat?
- What headlines make you feel slimy and give you the urge to go hose yourself down in the garden (that’s the yard for our American readers)?
- What makes you click?
Marketing and copywriting experts consider your headline to be the most import element of any effective marketing piece. That applies to blog posts too. A good headline is nothing in comparison to a great headline. Spend quality time on writing on your headlines, your blog will reap the benefits in terms of growing subscribers and visitors.
Share your headline writing tips in the comments.
Sarah Arrow is the author of the “Always Be Creating Ebook” for bloggers. This is not an extract of her ebook, it’s all original