Headline Writing: First Key to Success
One skill rises above all the others if you want to make money blogging.
It’s a skill that’s much like the game Connect Four: easy to understand, hard to master. Many earn thousands for using this skill over the course of an afternoon, and their patrons gladly pay those fees. What am I talking about? … Headline writing.
What’s the skill that makes the difference between a thriving blogging community and tumbleweeds.
When I wrote about how to write compelling articles last week, I feel that I didn’t emphasize the need for drop dead gorgeous headlines. When you want to make money blogging, this is absolutely crucial.
8 out of every 10 people read the headlines to your blog posts to make the decision on whether they want to read your work. Only 20% of people actually make a time investment and read your article beyond the first few paragraphs.
Of those, there’s an even smaller percentage of people who will make it to the end of the page where you’d traditionally put a call to action. Thus, headlines are crucial in grabbing the attention of a reader immediately.
Three Never Miss Headline Styles
The process of headline writing straddles the boundaries between art and science. Headline formulae exist, but the real proof about whether it works is determined by how many people click on the article that you’ve created. The simple measure is: the better the headline, the more views you get.
The more people who look at your blog posts, the more chances that you get to make money blogging. It’s that simple. Learning how to write headlines = MORE $$ in your pocket. There are no hard and fast rules about headline creation, but different audiences will respond to different varieties.
The Curiosity Based Headline
For instance, I love writing curiosity-driven celebrity headlines. The formula is simple: take two or three seemingly unrelated things and posit a link between them. Here are some examples from this blog:
The key to curiosity-based headlines is to make the titles of the articles so outlandish that your readers can’t help but click on them to see what you’ve come up with. Don’t you just wonder how you can make money blogging about Angelina’s breasts?
Other headlines might be:
Elliot Ness’ Guide to Dirty Money
A Secret Look at Marilyn Manson’s Prayer Book
Getting Filthy Stinking Rich with Saints
The List Style Headline
List headlines are still used because they are incredibly effective. Recently, there has been more emphasis on the longer-style list headline. When you go longer, you have more of a chance to really get your reader’s attention.
Here are some examples of list style articles that we’ve used here:
When you’re creating long list-style headlines, think about throwing the kitchen sink into the mix. What can you do in your headline which will not only make a promise to the reader but get them curious enough to click?
53 Proven Methods to Make Money Online. Is #35 even LEGAL?
19 Ways You Lose Money with Your Blog
38 Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line with Email Marketing
These may sound gimmicky, but they don’t have to be. Just say what you’re offering your reader with the headline and then deliver the promise with your content.
The last three article titles say that they will go out of their way to give you something more than just the average 5-10 item list.
1. With list headlines, people know what they’re getting in to
2. More items means more possibility of discovering something new
3. List-articles are easily skimmable, and readers know that
The How To Headline
I’m very fond of the how-to article headlines. The usual way of devising a how-to headline is to offer an exchange of the reader’s time for information. Your mission is to learn how to create the most compelling material possible.
How to articles say at the outset that they will demonstrate something to the readers. A few of the how-to articles on this blog are:
This style of headline writing fills the gap with the rest of the headline styles. There are blogs out there which use a simple, yet potent combination of all three of these headlines, never having to go to other headline styles. Your ultimate goal is to get people clicking on your content, staying on your page, and interacting with your vision.
Your readers, if they’re anything like mine, want diversity when you do headline writing. Just like you can’t eat the same thing every day for a month, your readers are going to get headline fatigue if you give them the same style of headline every time. In other words, you have to mix it up.
What are some of your favorite article headlines? What got your attention about them?