People judge books by their cover all the time, especially online.
If your headline doesn't catch the user's attention, they'll just keep scrolling right past your link.
Famed copywriter David Olgivy once said:
"On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy."
I'd say he's off by at least a multiple of 2. Have you looked at your clickthrough rates lately? Odds are less than 10% of people who see your headline will ever click through to visit your site.
With so many options, your headline needs to be better than everyone else's to win that click.
When you learn to write viral headlines, you'll get more clicks on Google search, boosting your clickthrough rate and your ranking.
A great headline is the secret sauce to getting content to go viral on social media. That's right, the headline matters more than the actual content!
Not only that, but your Facebook ad click-through rates will go through the roof, bringing your total ad cost down.
And as far as conversions on your sales page go, a magical headline can turn a random visitor into an intrigued potential customer.
I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but I can't stress just how important your headlines are.
So let's take the time to write irresistible headlines people can't help but click.
Write your headline last
While the headline is the first thing a reader sees, it should be the last thing you write.
Here is my entire process for writing a blog post:
1. Find an article idea
Come up with an idea for a blog post
2. Do keyword research
Before you write a thing, determine whether you have any chance of getting traffic from Google search first.
I use UberSuggest to check for keyword popularity and to see how difficult it would be to rank for that phrase.
3. Write an outline of the blog post
I find it helps to write out the key parts of your blog post first.
4. Write the first draft
Get your ideas out there and write as fast as you can. Mistakes don't matter here, speed does.
5. Write the final copy
Go back and expand on key topics and remove sections that don't fit.
6. Grammar check
Re-read and spell-check your article with Grammarly (free browser add-on).
7. Add images
Add images and/or videos to avoid big blocks of text.
8. Add internal links
Link to your previous blog posts in the content where relevant using the LinkWhisper plugin.
9. Optimize the post for SEO
Add your main keyword (and other related terms) throughout the content and add external links to relevant sources.
10. Write the headline
That's what this course will cover. Let's get started.
The key to writing a powerful headline
When people scan headlines, their brain is constantly asking this question:
Is it worth my time to click on this link?
Their brain is literally calculating the number of calories it has to burn and weighing that with the potential benefit.
With that said, that means your headline needs to give the impression that what's behind the click is easy, fast, and offers a big reward.
Here are some basic principles to help you write a powerful attention-grabbing headline:
- Address a specific audience (don't be ambiguous!)
- Highlight the benefit they'll get by clicking
- Hit a pain point they most want to avoid
- Make the benefit appear quick and simple to accomplish
- Add a sense of urgency to get them to click now
Find an idea to blog about
If you want a lot of traffic on your content, you need to write popular, trending, and viral content. You can find popular topics to write about using buzzsumo.com.
You can also get ideas from the featured or popular posts from other bloggers in your niche.
Keyword research your idea first
Once you have a general idea on what you want to write about, do keyword research to see if it's worth writing about.
You don't want to write about a topic with competition so fierce you'll never get to the first page of Google.
You also don't want to go overboard and write about something too narrow. If no one is searching for it, it's not worth writing about.
Start with working headline
A big mistake newbie bloggers make is they spend countless hours writing the perfect blog post, only to spend a few seconds writing a headline.
If you don't take the time to create a catchy title, your content will never get the kind of traffic your great content deserves.
Start with a rough-draft of your headline. Your first try won't be perfect - and that's perfectly fine.
We're going to refine it later by replacing adjectives and trying get the point across in as few characters as possible.
First things first, what is your blog post about? Write a sentence describing the topic you're writing about.
It's important to convey as much as you can in your title in as few words as possible.
At this stage, what matters is that your keyword phrase be in the title.
A decent working headline can be:
5 Household Cleaning Products to Buy
Avoid blatant clickbait at all costs
The point of writing a viral headline isn't to get the click and then piss off your readers. Don't mislead what's behind the click and don't be too ambiguous.
For example, you don't want this as your headline: Doing This One Task Every Day Changed My Life
I'm all for using curiosity to drive clicks, but only if your keyword is in the headline and you can deliver on the headline's promise.
We want targeted qualified traffic, not just random clicks.