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Why headlines are so important

  • On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.
  • The headline accounts for up to 50% of a blog post’s effectiveness.
  • Spend as much time on your headline as you do writing.
  • 90% of good headline-writing is obsessing over the perfect headline.

How to write effective headlines

  • Your headlines must (4-U approach):
    • Be USEFUL to the reader.
    • Provide him with a sense of URGENCY.
    • Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow UNIQUE; and,
    • Do all of the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way.
  • S.H.I.N.E. Acronym:
    • S – Specificity
    • H – Helpfulness
    • I – Immediacy
    • N – Newsworthiness
    • E – Entertainment value
    • Example: The Best Five Minutes (immediacy) You’ll Spend Today (entertainment): The Latest Tips (newsworthy) From Buffer (specificity) on Getting More Followers (helpfulness).
  • Content Marketing Institute found that including a hyphen (-) or colon (:) in the headline increased the click-through rate by 9% over headlines without either.
  • Write out 25 possible headlines, select the best one.

Headlines and SEO

  • Max headline is 65 characters before being cut from search engine.
  • Keywords matter (see SEO).

8 headline strategies that are backed by psychology:

  • Surprise – “This Is Not a Perfect Blog Post (But It Could’ve Been)”
  • Questions – “Do You Know How to Create the Perfect Blog Post?”
  • Curiosity gap – “10 Ingredients in a Perfect Blog Post. Number 9 Is Impossible!”
  • Negatives – “Never Write a Boring Blog Post Again”
  • How to – “How to Create a Perfect Blog Post”
  • Numbers – “10 Tips to Creating a Perfect Blog Post”
  • Audience referencing – “For People on the Verge of Writing the Perfect Blog Post”
  • Specificity – “The 6-Part Process to Getting Twice the Traffic to Your Blog Post”

Headlines: Required reading (Must read all)

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