Your business’s successful content marketing plan depends on catching your readers’ interest. But how can you guarantee that the content your business puts out will be something that readers want to check out? By loading your headlines with strategies that appeal to their natural human tendencies. This isn’t cheating—this is just using time-tested creative strategies to connect with your readers. Here’s how to craft that killer headline:
Make an emotional connection
Every reader of your website is a human being and human beings are guided by their emotions. Pick an emotion that you want your readers to feel and use that as the starting point for your headline. Some examples are: excitement, relief, anticipation, exclusivity or wonder.
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Soup up your vocab
Your first headline pass doesn’t have to be your last. Play with wording. Use a thesaurus to find replacement words that pack a stronger emotional punch. Alliteration and rhyming are also memorable ways to craft a headline. For example, “How to Save Money on This Year’s Taxes” could be revised as, “10 Tax Tips for Proud Penny Pinchers.”
Pose a question
Headlines that ask questions naturally imply that the answers will be found in the accompanying content, so posts with enquiring headlines should be found in any effective content marketing plan. Questions also naturally elicit mental responses so headlines that feature questions are already on their way to connecting more deeply with your readers.
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Use plain language
This is a tip we can’t stress enough. You’re writing a helpful article, not a doctoral thesis, so don’t be afraid to write your article headline like you would describe it verbally to a colleague. Readers want to easily digest your content, not sift through dense article titles.
Test your titles before pressing “publish”
This doesn’t have to be complicated A/B testing on your website. Instead, draft a few different article headlines and ask a colleague which article sounds most interesting. Their gut reaction as a cold reader should give you a sense of which article title will get the strongest reaction from the public.
Don’t ditch the negative
If you’re really stumped for an article title that doesn’t sound boring, try flipping it into a negative. It can sound more titillating and incite reader interest.
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Shorten the title
Whenever possible, brainstorm ways to cut down on headline word count before publishing your article. This forces you to get creative with your headline and can make it more impactful for the reader. The goal is for readers to want to engage with your article, not just glance at the headline and move on, so be sure not to give all the information away in the headline.
You might not be able to implement all of these strategies for each of your headlines but writing interesting headlines that get more clicks will get easier with practice.