Writing a headline that people will keep an eye on for some time after reading it can be quite difficult. Whether you are a journalist who gets published in print or a digital blogger with a personalized audience, the rules of writing a groundbreaking headline are very similar.
While some people like to indulge in their own taste and write opinion pieces with custom headlines, these articles sometimes disappear as fast as they have appeared. So how can you write a headline that takes a hold of your audience and breaks new ground whenever it’s published?
- Simplicity over complexity
Depending on the complexity of your topic, you can easily create a simple yet strong headline that makes a lot of sense. For example, talking about a certain niche topic that only a few people are familiar with and using very unique terminology and slang won’t make your article pop.
Your audience will be confused by the majority of the words you used in your headline and as such, decide to skip out on reading the rest of it, leaving your article unread. The very few people who actually decide to read through the topic you have written about will also have a few suggestions to give when it comes to the overall complexity of your initial headline. Make sure that you use simple words that convey a universally accepted meaning about a certain topic. Once you pull the reader into your article, you can start using more complex wording.
- Smart use of numbers
It’s often easy to forget that writing headlines is much more complex than tackling the content itself. This is due to the fact that the majority of people who read the article will always remember that particular article based on the headline.
As such, people are much more prone to clicking on and reading articles that involve numbers in their headlines. Every expert writer will tell you that writing headlines is an exercise in human psychology. People like headlines that have numbers, meaning that the article has a bulleted list that they can scan through quickly and easily.
As a writer, your job is to cater to that need and use numbers any chance you get. A good idea is to take a look at BestWritingAdvisor and get some professional help until you can write your own headlines. For example, writing about a list of ten products that you deem worthy of attention can easily be turned into a top ten list instead and garner a much bigger audience.
- Keyword optimization
Believe it or not, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make a huge difference in how your article is perceived. The headline of your article is one of the most predominant elements that SEO scans when it conducts SERP, or Search Engine Result Page ranking.
This means that you will sometimes have to compromise on your creativity and expression in order to craft a headline that ranks well. The important thing to note is that SEO won’t take your entire headline and rank it just by those merits – every word in your headline, including the number of letters; capitalization and overall length play a factor.
Taking a look at Google AdWords will give you a good indication of which words are applicable to the article you are currently optimizing. You won’t be able to use every word you wanted to but you will be able to adapt to keywords that are trending in your niche and rank your article better as a result.
- Question your audience
Depending on the type of article or paper you are writing, you can sometimes resort to questioning your readers in order to lure them in. For example, writing a thesis and including words such as “what”, “when”, “who” or “which” is a good way to introduce someone to your subject matter straight out of the gate.
Your headline will always have to corroborate the content of the paper or article you have written afterwards, but even writing a dissertation can be easier if you include a semi-questioning headline. This can not only tickle the imagination of your reader but give you further incentive to research the topic as best as possible. Articles and papers that include a questioning headline are far more accessible than those with headlines that simply state the topic and ask you to read on.
- Make a statement
Speaking of statements, sometimes the best course of action is to be sure of yourself and your facts. That is why headlines with strong statements and unwavering directness have a huge impact on whatever reader comes their way. Ending your dissertation headline with an exclamation mark might not be the best idea, but the same rule doesn’t apply to journalism and blogging.
People who like fast turnaround news and constantly keep moving through the internet don’t have time for muddled article headlines that don’t know what they are doing. Having the resolve and skill to write a headline that directly strikes the core of your article and promises that more is on the way if the reader keeps reading is the secret to creating groundbreaking article titles.
The type of headline you craft for your paper or article will always depend on the topic and audience at hand. If you can skip the SEO rules of optimizing your headline, you will have more creative freedom but less new readers. This doesn’t matter if your readers are subscribed to you and are willing to spread word of mouth about what they have just read.
Regardless of what type of article you do write, it’s important to always stay true to your vision and write articles that you can be proud of personally. The headlines for these articles will be the first line of content that new readers experience, but they will also represent everything you are as a content creator.