How to Craft Attention-Getting Headlines for Your Articles, Blog Posts, Emails and Sales Pages
This Free Blueprint Shows You How to Create Headlines That Get and Keep Your Visitors' Attention...with Plenty of Fill-in-the-Blanks Examples
This 5-Part Headline Blueprint Will Cover:
- Basic Headline Tips
- Article Titles
- Blog Post Titles
- Email Subject Lines
- Sales Copy Headlines
There's a lot to cover, so let's dig in...
Part 1: Basic Headline Tips
If you're new to effective headline writing, here are 8 tips to keep in mind. Use these and you'll be miles ahead of most of your competition.
- Capitalize: Generally speaking, Capitalize the first letter of all the words in your headline and make it nice and big and bold to ensure it gets immediate attention.
- Focus on Your Target Customer/Reader: Think about your target customer, what problems and desires they have and make that the focus of your headline. Forget about “We sell xyz” or “I know abc“ – your reader wants to know what’s in it for her/him.
- Make a Promise: Make an enticing promise to your reader that is fulfilled by reading the your content or sales page (and ultimately, following through on your call-to-action).
- Observe: Look at websites, brochures, blogs, articles and sales copy and see what grabs your attention. This is one of the best ways to improve your headline writing abilities.
- Be Specific: Tell your readers exactly what to expect by reading your articles, blog post or sales page. Adding numbers and other specific wording can make your headline much more powerful.
Ex. Being vague and saying things like “reduce eye puffiness” may grab some attention but telling them how easy it is; “a dab of cream once a day for 6 days”… that’s something people will say hey, I could do that.
Or in an article, what do you think gets more attention?: “Tips for Winning at Poker” or “8 Easy-to-Follow Strategies to Improve Your Poker Game in the Next 5 Minutes”. The second is more specific and much more interesting.
- Save it until Later: If you’re having trouble writing your headline, finish the rest of your copy first and then come back to it. Oftentimes, the headline becomes more clear after you know the full direction your copy is taking.
- Keep it Simple: There are some highly-skilled and popular writers that have written some amazing long headlines, but most of us just don’t have those skills. Keep your headlines focused on one idea and say it as concisely as you can.
- Use Subheadlines: Subheadlines are mini-headlines throughout your content. They break up your content and make it easy to read. If someone is scanning, it’s less likely that all the tiny print is going to make him stop and read, but if you have an attention-getting subheadline, it’s easy to get them to stop in their tracks and pay attention.
Part 2: Article Titles / Headlines
For articles that you publish on your website, distribute to article directories and other content sites, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Tip #1: This type of content usually requires more descriptive headlines and is often put together in conjunction with keyword research. This is the content that people usually find by entering keywords in a search engine, searching an article directory, etc. That said, don’t simply write your headlines for search engines, they need to be interesting to your human visitors.
Tip #2: If keywords are important to your project, you may want to reverse some subject lines and put the keywords at the beginning. Ex. “Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Cholesterol Level” becomes “Improve Your Cholesterol Level - Top 10 Ways for Faster Results”
Here are some article headline templates: Use these as guidelines only. Because you are looking for descriptive headlines, your article topics will often help you come up with the right headline/title for your article.
How to ______________
Top [insert number] Ways to ____________
Top [insert number] Reasons to ____________
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About _____________
_______________ - Things to Consider
_______________ - The [insert number] Must-Have Secrets to Make It Happen
[insert number] Crucial Steps to _____________
[insert number] Mistakes to Avoid When ____________
How to _____________ in [insert number] Easy Steps
How to ___________ Even if ______________ ________________ - Do It Right the First Time
[insert number] Things You Need to Know About ___________ Before You __________
How to Get Your __________ Back on Track
How to Get ___________ in Less Than [insert time period]
[insert number] Secrets to ______________
What ___________ Don’t Want You to Know About ________________
Making Sense of ________________________
[insert number] Important Reasons Why __________________
[insert number] Things Your ______________ Never Told You About ____________
What Most People Don’t Know About _______________
Part 3: Blog Post Titles / Headline
If you're writing blog posts for your own blog or guest posting on someone else's, you might take a slightly different approach than with more formal articles.
Tip #1: A blend of descriptive and curiosity piquing headlines do well with blogs. Because you have people coming to your blog from different sources, this blend works well. Descriptive headlines help you gain the favor of search engines and they allow your visitors to scan and search your site for what they are looking for. Creating a sense of curiosity works well for those who have signed up to your RSS feed. When they see the a headline that creates curiosity, but gives some clue about what the post is about, they are likely to click through.
Tip #2: Just like with articles, If keywords are important to your project, you may want to reverse some subject lines and put the keywords at the beginning. Ex. “The Easiest Way to Improve Your Golf Score” becomes “Improve Your Golf Score - Here‘s The Easiest Way”.
Here are some blog post templates:
Note, you can use any of the article templates in the previous section for your blog. The examples below are ones that combine the use of description and curiosity.
I’ve Been Asked This a Lot Lately (RE: ___________)
___________: Not What I Expected
The Easiest Way to ______________
Psssst…Here’s a Sneak Peek
My Mom Said This Was Crazy: _____________
Don’t Be Sorry: Avoid ____________ At All Costs
Part of the Problem Is ______________
But ___________ Is/Are Doing It!
A Big Dose of Reality
This is Exactly Why You Shouldn’t _____________
Part 4: Email Subject Lines / Headlines
Whether you're creating newsletters, email broadcasts, auto responder series messages, here are the things to think about.
Tip: The only job your email headline or subject line has is to get someone to open your email. It isn’t to sell them on a product or to give them insight into a topic. Curiosity is the key here. Unlike blog posts where you will likely more frequently combine description and curiosity, emails that are strictly about curiosity often produce the best results.
Curiosity is more likely to be used in promotional emails. When you’re delivering strictly content, you can be more descriptive.
NOTE: Where most headlines are generally capitalized (first letter of each word) the whole way through, creating a more natural email subject line (as a friend would write to a friend) often works wonders on open rates.
Here are some email headline templates (fill in the ___________ with your topic, etc.)
This is what I’ve been talking about…
Why they’re wrong about ____________
It’s just about that time
This is the reason why…
Frustrated by _________? Here’s an idea
A complete and unbiased review
I’ve had enough!
A sneak peek at __________
Why some people never ___________
What ________doesn’t tell you about ________
For ________ only [insert a particular audience: “women”, “those who want to improve their backhand”]
[NAME], did you see this?
Does this bother you too?
Are you ready for ___________?
What if I told you __________
There’s still time (but only if you do it now) 5 important ways to __________ Good news!
Do you have a few minutes?
Part 5: Sales Copy Headlines
Now, if it's time to sell your products, services or free newsletter subscriptions, it's time to step things up a bit. Here are some tips and templates for you.
Tip: A headline that you use at the top of your sales page will likely have a little more kick than for your strictly content pieces. You want maximum impact - so you make a big promise, reveal something important, issue a warning or really grab attention in some way.
Here are some sales copy headline templates:
_____ Ways to Avoid __________
_________ Steps to ___________
__________ Hidden Secrets about ___________ Revealed
__________ Little Known Ways
____________ - If You Only Expect the Best
Amazing _________ Breakthrough
Announcing the First ___________
Are You Embarrassed by ________?
Are You Fed up with __________?
Don’t Buy ________ until You ________
Don’t Take Another Chance with __________
Give Me _______ And I’ll _________
How ________ Made Me ________ and It Can Help You Too. How a Complete Beginner _________ How Do You Turn a ____ into a _____?
How to ________ in/by ___________
How to Improve ____________
Learn How to _________
The Best Kept Secret ___________
The Secrets to ____________
The Truth about ___________
Tired of ___________?
Top _______ Reasons Why _________
Unlock the Secrets of _____________
What You Need to Know about __________
Who Else Wants to ___________
Even though what you say in your headline - whether it be in an article, blog post, email or sales page - is crucially important, it’s not always the easiest thing to put together. The good thing is, once you use these templates to get things started, it becomes easier and easier to come up with headlines on the fly. You’ll be a headline whiz in no time!