Hook ‘Em With a Headline

When written well, a headline will capture your reader’s attention and make them want to know more. A good headline will intrigue your reader and encourage them to read on.

Whether it’s online or in print, people scan written content. Your readers will decide right away if they want to read the information based on the headline alone. So even if the rest of the content is top-notch, it just doesn’t get read—unless the headline is a grabber. That means it’s crucial for you to craft a headline that will catch the reader’s eye right away.

Make it Intriguing

To use a fishing metaphor, a good headline should hook the reader and lure them in. This means crafting a headline that to elicit a response like, “Hmmn…I want to know more.”

Fun Formula

When you stop to examine the headlines of successful advertisements and articles, most of them use a similar formula. Many of these writers use tried-and-true wording like “Ten Tips for…” “The Secret of…” or “Little Known Ways to….” or “Insider’s Way to…” and “Eliminate xx Once and For All.”

The headline should address a question or a problem that your readers will want answered. The idea is to craft a headline around that issue. The bottom line is that readers will read more if they’re curious about what’s coming next. Especially in web copy, if the content isn’t “clickable” the visitor won’t continue. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Based on the headline you wrote, would you want to read more?

Use “You” Language

It’s human nature to think, “what’s in it for me?” The headline should speak directly to the reader. An easy way to start is to take a simple headline and turn it into “you” language. Instead of “For Sale,” take the word “you” and craft it into a something that’s going to catch their eye. The reader should come away with a feeling that you are speaking to them directly.

Know Your Audience

But before you put together, you’ve got to know your audience, and what they are looking for. Who are you writing for? Is it the first-time homebuyer or the empty nester? Are they looking for news about the housing market or do they want to know how to make their home more attractive? Tailor the headline to their needs directly.

Be An Expert

Your headline can answer a question that they may have or offer timely information that’s important to them. As you move into the content, you’re goal is to make your reader see you as an expert. This makes you relatable, trustworthy, and convincing. When it comes to headlines, once you convince your reader to know more, they will move onto the next sentence, and the next, and the next.

What’s to Come

A great headline will give readers a hint of what’s to come in the article. It gives framework to the overall content of the article and provides a way to lead into the story, and provide some background. Headlines paint a picture and give direction to your story. You can do this by crafting metaphors or similes to help to make your concept clearer.

Show Some Emotion

Make your message heard with language that’s a little bold. Stay away from false claims, of course, but spin the words around to a make them refreshing, insightful, or unexpected.

Make it Specific

Instead of writing general headline, find a way to hone in and make it a little more specific, but universally appealing. Create your headline around a theme or situation that your reader is experiencing. For example, instead of “how to save money,” your headline could be, “Ten Tips to Ways To Cut Back On Heating Bill During The Winter.”

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

There is just no excuse for bad grammar. Typos and grammatical errors reduce your credibility, and look unprofessional. If there is a typo, your reader will disregard your message.

Go On…

Once you hook the reader in, make sure to keep them engaged up until the very end. In writing a blog post, for example, don’t be afraid to break the rules a bit. You can do this by injecting humor, personality, and opinion. Your reader will find what’s interesting if you show them the way. Your headline can help you do just that.