How to Create Awesome Headlines in 6 Simple Steps!
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Have you ever spent hours writing content, only to find that you get little to no engagement and wondered why?
Creating headlines which grab attention and make readers stop scrolling is one of the most important parts of content creation and copywriting. Without a powerful headline, readers are likely to just keep on scrolling and all your time and energy spent writing your content is wasted!
The goal for any piece of content is to keep the reader interested…. all the way until your all important call-to-action. This is even more important for the headline!
The “Father of Advertising” David Ogilvy once commented:
five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
That means a massive 80% of people only read the headline, with just 20% continuing to read the body.
Yep, headlines ARE that important!
So, I hear you saying, what makes an effective and interesting headline?
Well, here are 6 simple tips to create winning headlines! I hope you find them valuable and help you get more people to read your content in the future!
If you like these tips, hit the like button and give it a share to help others create winning headlines!
1. Keep it Short & Simple
As with all content, there is the temptation to use long words and jargon. In reality, this will simply confuse people and cause them to ignore your content.
Readers should be able to get the gist of your post in one quick glance
Aim for 8 words max
Avoid using words with more than 2 syllables.
2. Know Your Audience
You must consider who you are writing for, and where your copy and content is going to be published.
Should the headline be:
informative or intriguing
Formal or informal
Are your readers young or old? Are they cool and hip or professional?
Think about the difference between posting on Facebook or LinkedIn. Your objective may be the same but the headline you use will be slightly different.
Facebook has a mostly casual crowd, whereas LinkedIn would be considered more professional and as such the headlines you use should reflect that.
3. Emphasize Your Benefits
Features Tell. Benefits Sell.
Focusing on the benefits will interest customers more. They want to be educated and learn something new, and above all they want to know what’s in it for them.
I have a 5-step process in my blog article "How to Write Content About Benefits not Features" that you can use to ensure your content is benefit-focused. Doing so will create a stronger emotional connection between the buyer and product, thus increasing the chance of a sale.
4. Use a Powerful First Word
Ideas, secrets, discover, tips, tricks, how to, create - these are all powerful words to use.
Readers will feel they are going to get some new and educational information.
But a word of caution! Be careful not to overuse words like ‘amazing’ or ‘unbelievable’ as they can have the opposite effect!
5. Ask a Question
Questions interest people, and make us believe we are going to learn something new, or help us solve a problem that we have.
So, the question that you pose could be based on a problem that your readers face, or perhaps a common mistake they are making.
For example, if we're writing a headline for a blog post on energy gels that athletes use in races, a couple of examples could be:
Are you always running out of energy at the end of your race?
Would you like to finish your race as strong as your started?
6. Use numbers to grab attention
People love numbers.
Using numbers in headlines is a great way to catch interest and will subconsciously attract people to your article.
For example, instead of writing “ Big Savings”, use “ Save up to 50%”.
Don’t say “How to get fit” but say “3 Ways to Get Fit Today!”
Examples of Winning Headlines
Let’s look at some examples.
For each short news story I have written 1 informative and 1 intriguing headline!
Leave a comment below with an alternative headline that you would write!
McDonald's, Birmingham, is encouraging children to do their school homework by offering free meals to those who get all their assignments in on time for a whole term.
Informative headline: Get free McDonald’s for doing your homework
Intriguing headline: How can schoolchildren get free meals from McDonald’s?
A girl aged five is celebrating Christmas three months early, in Disneyland, because she has cancer and won't survive until December. Her name is Gracie Bragg, from Salford, Greater Manchester. Smithsons, a firm of Salford estate agents, is paying for the trip.
Informative headline: Young girl with cancer is celebrating Christmas early
Intriguing headline: Why is 5-year old Gracie Bragg celebrating Christmas early?
Scientists in Toronto, Canada, have discovered a new drug that can reverse the growth of breast cancer tumours.
Informative headline: New drug can help reverse breast cancer tumours
Intriguing headline: Canadian scientists discover new breast cancer drug
5 Headline Templates to Use
Need help writing headlines that grab attention and get your visitors to keep reading?
James G Media is a copywriting and content writing agency based in Bangkok, Thailand. It's our mission to support your business growth by turning your vision into the Words that Win through copywriting for sales and advertising, social media marketing, SEO content writing, and website design.