The headline is the most important part of any text.
It will either keep people reading what you have to say, or send them away.
How many headlines do you read during a day? Twitter, Facebook, email, magazines, etc. Altogether 100? Maybe more?
And how many of those make you read more?
An average headline gets around 25% of people to read on. And even fewer read to the end. Even when reading and leaving are the only possibilities (landing pages, magazines, etc.).
What do you think happens to those percentages in Twitter where dozens of headlines fight for attention?
So, what can you do to beat the odds?
1. Using Formulas
Why would you use formulas when you can invent new ones?
- …because it takes too much time to create new ones.
- …because it’s almost impossible to create new ones.
- …because everybody else does it, and nobody cares.
Every copywriter uses the same old headlines again and again. Sure, some may seem new and unique, but most often they’re modified copies of the old great formulas.
A headline formula that worked yesterday works today, and it will work tomorrow. So, trying to create something no one’s done before is an unnecessary risk.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be creative. If you want to write attention capturing headlines, you need to learn how to modify the formulas.
When you understand why they work, you’ll write them intuitively and only use the formulas for inspiration.
2. Know what should come next
Getting readers to read the first paragraph is just half the battle; if you fail to meet their expectations, they’ll leave even if your content is great.
So, you need to understand two things:
- Which headline formula to use. They all create different expectations…
- How to write content that matches the expectations and keeps people reading to the end.
Obviously there isn’t just one “right” way to write content, but the expectations are pretty universal. When you know how to meet those expectations, your readers will read all the way to the end.
3. How to use sub-headlines
Even a great headline is weak compared to one backed up by a great subhead.
For example “Cost of Unmotivated Employees” is okay.
But when you add a sub-headline, it becomes a lot better: “Cost of Unmotivated Employees – How Much are You Willing to Pay?”.
Good sub-headlines add meaning, interest, and/or value to the headline.
You should use them whenever you can make the headline better with it. But remember that the function of sub-headlines is to make the headline better, not to replace a strong headline.
Learning how to write great headlines and back them up with sub-headlines is one of the key copywriting skills. Invest some time into learning it; it’s well worth it even if you don’t sell anything.
The “Ultimate” Swipe File
What’s in the swipe file?
- 101 Headline Formulas. If that’s not enough, then you’re not using them as well as you should.
- Examples of each formula (some heavily modified to give you more ideas).
- What expectations each create. In other words, what are the best ones for a particular article.
- What should come after each different type of a headline. Don’t lose readers before they reach the end.
- What makes a headline great. How to capture attention, create fascination, and create anticipation.
- How and when to use sub-headlines.
Get it FREE Now
- Get enough headline formulas to last a lifetime + examples.
- Learn when, where, and to whom you should use each different formula.
- Know how to meet the readers’ expectations and get them to read the entire article.
What’s your favorite headline?
Have you written one you’re especially proud of? Share it in the comments and feel free to leave a link to it 😉
Which one of the 101 formulas you like the most? And what would you add to the list?