The Perfect Headline
Of what worth is some great, interesting, and informative content when no one is seduced to even read it? Exactly, nothing. And how do you get people to read your article or blog post? Simple: by giving your article or blog an attractive and intriguing headline!
The headline of your article is what attracts people to read it. It appears not only on your blog though! Headlines often function as search engine headlines as well – unless you have different settings and specify a separate headline for Google & company. Furthermore, they are displayed in social media when you or someone else shares your blog entry. Thus, your headline really has to be an eye-catcher to attract potential readers!
In this article, we gathered some typical types of headlines and keywords that will surely call the attention of your potential and new readers!
Types Of Headlines
Titles and headlines used in search engine optimization or social media, as well as newspapers and blog entries can be divided into certain categories. We have gathered some of the most popular for your inspiration and guidance.
One of the most popular kinds of titles used in mainly blogs or magazines is the “How to” headline. People are eager to learn and try out new things. Tutorials, receipts, formulas, or simple steps to follow to reach a simple goal are often wrapped under an enticing “How To” headline.
This kind of headline does not only meet the wishes of your potential readers, but provides them with the solution already.
Furthermore, “How to ___” is a popular search term if you are looking for an explanation or way to do something, thus giving great results in search engines.
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Headlines that define certain goals are particularly common in magazines – and on their covers. Why? Because achieving goals and becoming more healthy, wealthy, attractive, successful, etc. is a wish everyone of us has. Thus, headlines describing these goals are very attractive for the respective target audience.
They are similar to the “How to” headlines. However, they do not immediately offer a step by step tutorial, or similar, right away.
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Everyone has secrets. And everyone is enticed by learning about new secrets. Advice, tips, and tutorials can easily be wrapped up under headlines that promise the reveal of a secret, may it be by an expert, VIP, or by you.
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Quasi the counterpart of the goals headline, headlines addressing problems aim to connect to the reader by stating a problem he or she may have encountered before. Stating a problem, fear, or worry connects with potential readers that experienced the same. If you take a look at your local newspaper, you will also see that fear tends to sell quite well. So why not use it for your own article!
Headlines stating problems often times advertise content that informs and, in the best case, offers a solution for the problem stated as well.
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One of the most popular headline types – whether you look at newspapers, magazines, blogs, or online articles – are titles that advertise news. Especially breaking news or a newsflash. On top of it’s popularity, this kind of headline is very versatile. It can be used to share gossip and rumor just as well as to promote new software developments or the launch of a new project.
Especially in online media, such news are very popular because they are “at the pulse of time”, and able to provide news much faster than the printed newspaper is able to. Since everyone wants to be the first to know and spread new insights and revelations, breaking news articles with according headlines get shared fast and quick.
However, this is rather a short-term success than a long-term one. Breaking news are outdated after only a couple of hours. Thus, such headlines are not recommended for so-called evergreen content or tutorials.
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Sure, one of the main purposes of articles and content is to inform, however the prone user oftentimes seeks only one thing: entertainment. Especially social media is build upon entertaining topics, may it be a funny video or photo set, a joke or pun, or a link to otherwise funny and diverting content.
Such entertaining headlines as well as the according content can serve as ice breakers to entice a new audience.
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Sparking interest in your article or link is important, of course, but what you really want is for your reader or user to take action! Using captivating and alluring keywords in your headlines creates an emotional reaction from your reader.
Following, we have collected some keywords you should keep in mind to draw your readers’ attention and make them want to take an action – even if it’s only a “like”, comment, or sharing the link to your content to a friend or over social media:
Make them laugh, cry, angry, indignant – just make them feel!
Fears, Worries, Scams, And Problems
As we have stated above when talking about the problems addressing headline: fear sells. Trigger clicks and action by using the fears and worries of your target audience – but don’t forget to provide them useful information or the solution for their problem in return!
Shock someone and take them by surprise. Be different and present your readers with something they have probably never read before and did certainly not expect!
Laughs and Cries
Tug at your audience’s heartstrings by either making them snicker or swallow tears. Sadness and happiness are strong emotions you can use for yourself – and to engage your audience. From jokes to tear-jerkers, create these strong emotions in your audience.
Anger and Rage
Rage and hatred are just as strong emotions as sadness and cheer. Talk show hosts and articles that try to purposely enrage you to inform you about an important topic show how you can use a reader’s anger to get your clicks.
Be attractive, sexy, cute, or sensual. We don’t have to explain how and why this works, do we?
Curiosity and Confusion
Bait readers with a riddle or puzzle. They will click and read on only to learn what you are even talking about. Get an idea stuck in their head with your title.
Compare and Contrast
X vs. Y or Which is the fastest/best/worst…
Challenge wisdom and contrast known with unknown concepts. Entice your audience by addressing stereotypes and assumptions.