A good headline can easily double or triple your response - a great one can do even better! Headlines are without doubt, the major factor as to whether or not your articles, sales copy,
ads or webpages are read. Creating attention grabbing headlines quickly puts you on your way to success.
If your headline is successful in making prople read on you have the opportunity to make a sale or succeed in whatever action you are trying to acheive. If you cannot pull in the reader to read more, you have no chance at all.
Think about reading a newspaper. The first thing you do is scan the headlines - and the first thing you read is the headline that you think is the most interesting. It catches your eye, piques your curosity, makes you want to find out what the article says.
That is exactly the response you want to create with your headline. You want to grab the reader and pull them in to read what you have to offer. You do this by putting together a few powerful words and place them ahead of your content.
So let's find out what you need to create these winning headlines...
To begin with your headline should:
1. Outline the benefits - Answer the question, "What's in it for me".
2. Provide an overview - What is your article (ad, sales letter, etc) about.
3. Raise Curiosity - Provide words of interest (success, profits, how to, secrets, etc.).
Here are a few tips and techniques that I use to write headlines:
There must be a match between the message and your targeted readers. It only takes 3 seconds for a reader to scan most headlines and decide whether to stop and read or to move on. In other words if your headline does not stop your reader in his/her tracks, you've lost them.
Your headline should present your strongest benefit. If your reader doesn't see any benefit to read on, they won't.
The first two to three words of your headline should contain your main keywords. These words should focus on the concept, topic and theme of your content.
Keep it short. Your headline should ideally be 3-6 words with 10 as a maximum. Both readers and the major search engines only give high relevance to the first few words in a headline or title.
KISS (Keep it short and simple). Use words that are short, familiar, and easy to read.
Headlines and titles should stand on their own and make sense. Imagine your article or sales letter without any supporting text. This is especially useful when headlines are in a listing such as in an article directory.
Make your headlines believable. If it sounds "too good to be true" it will be skipped over and ignored.
Do not use more than one main idea. This would be confusing and seem as though you don't know what your piece is about either. Expand your benefits or ideas in the first paragraph or two to get readers to continue on.
Headlines that evoke emotion such as excitement or curosity prompt action - and that is a good thing! Write in the first or second person using present tense verbs to make your headline urge an instant action.
People are attracted to specificity. Perk their interest by beginning your headline with numbers, such as "10 Ways To Better Sex"; or statistics, "How I Earned $10,000 Overnight - And You Can Too!".
Begin with "A" or "The" to signify uniqueness. As a rule of thumb I would tell you to leave articles and prepositions out of your headline, but to emphasize importance they work really well. For example, "The No-Fail Way To Motivate Your Children", or "A New Strategy That Will Instantly Increase Your Income".
I find it most helpful to use the first paragraph of the piece to find my headline. This is where the point of the article is explained, and should contain the words, ideas and keywords you need to make a winning headline. To keep repetition at bay, use your Thesaurus.
These points are not all-encompassing to writing a great headline, but are techniques that I have found to be the most useful when creating headlines and titles.
To Your Success!
Diane Thomas is the owner of eBook Crossroads and has been
providing resources for writers and publishers for 5 years. She
publishes a monthly newsletter "The Insider"
http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/newsletter.html/ and offers a free eCourse "Working With Private Label Rights Products". Learn what you can do with Private Label Rights by signing up today: http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/.