When writing an article the importance of the headline is paramount. The reason for writing an article is potentially so that your precious resource box (or link) will be read and clicked on, thus sending links back to your site. If nobody clicks through your headline then nobody will even get to your resource box/link.
One of the all time kings of copy: David Ogilvy, said the headline is the “ticket on the meat” meaning its job is to attract your relevant audience and get their attention. Or get their click.
So how do you craft headlines that stand out from the long list in article directories and grab attention?
First start by analysing top rated articles
Understanding what is getting high readership rates will help you understand what works: you can use this knowledge to write articles on popular subjects and look for recurring themes in title structure. The following is a great little trick I picked up from Daniel McGonagle on his hubpage: open Google and type in this text:
site:ezinearticles.com “This article has been viewed” + “2000..10000 time(s).” + “Article Submitted On: January *, 2011” & intitle:“keywords”
change the variables in bold such as the month, year and keywords.
If you don’t get any search results try adjusting:
- Keyword: try a variation
- Month or year
- 2000: (as in times viewed) lower this figure but no too much
If you are still struggling to get a result returned then the keyword you are looking for maybe is not popular enough. Take out the & intitle:“keywords” code so you are just searching for what the top articles were in a specific month. This will return you the hottest articles on ezine for any specific point in time.
What’s in it for me?
To get a good click through rate you must really sell the benefits of what you are writing about. The best lesson you can learn when writing copy is this: readers are not interested in what you want to tell them, they are only interested in themselves. Consider what you are writing about and why that will appeal to a reader. Put yourself in the readers shoes and ask yourself the classic question ‘what’s in it for me’. If you can tell the reader why or how you can solve the problem that keeps them awake at night then you have their full attention.
Sell the benefits of the information in your article
Whatever you are writing about will have benefits to the reader; your next job is to find and highlight what these benefits are. Time is precious and nobody will waste what little they have by reading an article that doesn’t benefit their life in some way. Consider your topic, consider your reader and think how your article can positively impact on their life.
Use dynamic and emotive words
A fantastic book I use as a resouce is: Words that Sell by Richard Bayan. It lists tried and tested words that when used in headlines and copy will inject some oomph (that’s a technical oomph term!). There are certain emotive words and phrases that readers respond to more significantly according to extensive advertising research. Using these words and terms will get more attention to your headline. The all time classics in advertising were NEW or FREE. Today How To… articles are very popular as are anything that offer three: 3 ways to cure…, 3 secrets of… Many of these words may seem cliched but remember: cliches become so because they work.
Use a hook or promise to keep people reading…
Much easier to do this in a snippet or article introduction but it is possible in a headline as long as you don’t have a strict limit on words. If you can pique a readers interest by alluding to a secret, solution or cure who can resist to click through to find out what you are offering. Hook your reader with the promise of revealing information that can change their life. BTW if you want to know how to win a million pounds for FREE click here…