You have only a few seconds to capture a reader’s attention. One of the single most powerful tools you have to accomplish this task is your headline.
This is something that you can improve on no matter how good you get at it. There are several keys to a compelling, and selling, headline and a few tips I picked up from my own studies to help you to it better.
How to Create Powerful Headlines
1. Tap into Your Reader’s Emotions
According to psychologists, our buying decisions are based first and foremost on our emotions. Move someone deeply or make them want something and they will find the money for it.
Use headlines which offer your readers a strong emotional benefit or reaction. Some possible emotional headlines are:
- Tips for Creating Powerful Headlines That Sell
- The 20-Minute Step that Will Make You a Business Genius
- 7 Ways to Organize and Take Control of Your Day
These tap into readers' desires to feel smart and powerful.
Other emotions you can tap into are a desire to feel:
- A sense of belonging
- In control of their own destiny
2. Use Active Language
For a headline to be compelling it must use active language – language that shows movement, action, and commands attention.
For example: Stop Your Sugar Cravings Today With This Simple Step
That is a fine headline however it doesn’t command action nor does it really tap into any emotions.
Look at this one: Conquer Your Sugar Cravings With This Simple Step.
Conquer is an active and emotionally powerful word. Readers receive the benefit of feeling powerful and in control and it commands action.
3. Let Your Reader Know They are Important
The word YOU is a very powerful word. It lets your readers feel as if you are talking to them specifically and interested in solving their problems, issues and helping them achieve their desires.
Instead of using I, Me or We in your headlines, use You. Using the headline example above compare the two options:
- 25 Easy Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Blog
- 25 Tweaks Bloggers Need to Make
People want to know what’s in it for them and when they can assess that information in the headline, they’re going to be compelled to continue reading your copy and making a purchase.
Here are three more ideas for powerful headlines:
- Make a promise: Earn $1000 a day
- Make it newsworthy: New program guarantees you will earn $1000 a day
- Ask a question: Do you want to ensure your financial future?
Three Simple Steps to Write Headlines That Sell
So now you have some ideas about what types of headlines sell, how do you begin to write those powerful headlines?
Step 1: Get to know your audience intimately
You need to know what your target market wants. What are their hopes, dreams, desires, and problems? Understanding your audience will help you create an emotional and powerful headline directed specifically at your audience.
Step 2: Determine how your products or services are going to make your readers’ lives better or solve their problems
For example, if you sell fitness equipment and your audience struggles with feeling attractive then you can create a headline that highlights a specific benefit your fitness equipment offers to solve that problem.
If you sell a parenting or homeschool course or a DIY class for refinishing furniture, then you can create a headline that highlights the specific need your readers have and how to solve their problem.
Step 3: Write ten to twenty (yes, 20) possible headlines
Not only will this give you practice writing compelling headlines, it will also help you hone in on your perfect headline. And if you think you have a few winners you can test them for conversion rates to find out which headline is more effective. Or write more posts on the same topic using the other headlines and link them all to each other.
Marketing and copywriting experts consider your headline to be the most import element of any effective blog post or marketing piece. Take the time to learn how to craft a compelling, and selling, headline and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
To download a free Headline Hacks idea sheet, click here.