1. Use Numbers
It may seem obvious given the title of this post, but numbers have been a great standard in grabbing people’s attention for a long time. 3 tips, 5 step guide, nutrition 101, they all help to bring people in.
2. Be Descriptive
What exactly are they going to get with reading more? What’s the big benefit or outcome they can hope to achieve? Instead of a headline like, “The best raw food tips”, maybe try adding, “to detox fast”, or “to sleep better” or whatever the result you want to achieve is.
Example: The Best Raw Food Tips To Detox Fast
3. Use Action Phrases
When you tell someone to DO something to get a result it can be a powerful intrigue tactic. Then they start thinking, I want that result, and I need to do what? Or the opposite, telling them to STOP and read before doing continuing.
Example: Take Your Workout To The Next Level With 3 Easy Stretches
Example: Stop And Do These 3 Stretches Before Your Next Workout Injury
4. Ask a Question
If you know your audience or clients all have the same question regularly which led to your writing, you might want to try starting with it. Be very specific and allow the curiosity or hunger for information guide your headline.
Example: Why Is Gluten So Bad For Your Thyroid?
5. Know Your Readers
This goes with any type of communications you write, headlines, articles, and content of any kind. The more you can incorporate specifics relating to your readers the more they will be able to identify with your message. This can be things like struggles, hobbies, language type, technical knowledge of topic, common misconceptions, and personal characteristics.
Example: How Your Kids Can Actually Help Alleviate Stress
6. Address Your Reader
The use of the word “you” can be very powerful. It makes them seem like you’re specifically talking to them alone, despite targeting mass amounts of people. You’ll notice in most of my examples above… They have the word “you” in them, and this whole article for that matter. Directing your words as you are speaking to one person can help to build a more intimate relationship while drawing more attention.
Example: You Can Sleep Better With This One Tip
7. Simplify When Possible
I always like to quote Albert Einstein’s, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler”. You need enough information so they know what’s going on, but make it short, punchy, and to the point. It also helps to use specific words that show you’ve made the content simple as well. People always want the quickest solution to their problems.
Example: The Easiest Way To Lose Your Back Pain
8. Be Unique
Try something far out of the box, be authentically you, and try to convey that personality and character in your content. Don’t be afraid to sound a little weird, weird is interesting!
Example: What Star Wars Taught Me About Weight Loss (not sure how you’d answer that, but it’s intriguing!)
9. Be Controversial
Don’t worry about having some people disagree with you. The only way to have people passionately follow you is to have even more people choose not to. Take a stance and viewpoint, stick to it, and be bold! It can be useful to think of the opposite that someone might expect in order to grab their attention.
Example: When Sleep Is Actually Bad For You
No one limps their way into someone’s busy schedule. You need to intrigue, wow, and interest, and one of the best ways is to act like your headline will save the world from ending!
Example: 3 Ways Meditation Could Save Your Life
11. Think Like Google
It’s also important to think about what your audience will be searching for. How would they phrase the question if they put it into Google? This is a good place to start with your wording even though it may be a little simpler than you want. You can always embellish with additions after you’ve decided on the core idea.
Example: How Do You Stretch Your Lower Back?
12. Forget Grammar
Sometimes the best headlines would make an English major squirm in their seat. It’s not necessary to use a full sentence. Think of headlines a little bit like poetry. Feel free to be creative and use words, phrases, and colloquialisms without restraint.
Example: Workout Enhancement: Stretching Yourself Thin
Write down a couple of different ideas before you pick one. A string of a few words can be said in MANY different ways, and often one word can be exchanged with a synonym to create an amazingly more powerful headline.
14. Don’t Mislead
This might not need to be said, but you can’t have a headline that grabs attention to a topic that you don’t even discuss in your blog. It will do more harm than good. Despite possibly getting more click throughs, the aggravation that will follow for your reader will turn them off reading anything of yours for good.