I think most savvy web users are becoming familiar with effective headlines, even if that familiarity is occurring in your subconscious.
For bloggers, headlines are critical. They’re first impressions. They’re a means for search optimization. They summarize, intrigue and captivate.
If you have a sneaking suspicion that your headlines are shitty, there’s plenty you can do to ground yourself. Take a look at some of the tips below.
1. “How to” headlines are a-okay. Kind of an introspective reference there, yes? People love “how to” posts because they’re straightforward. They lead with the purpose (practical advice) and follow with the subject matter. There’s no question about what the content should present.
2. Ask a question. Questions leave an air of mystery to your post. If presented well, they evoke the desired response from the reader: they read on to learn more. Make sure that questions are provocative, accurate to the content and are answered by your post.
3. Tie in trends. You can draw in fresh hits when you keep content timely. Reflect posts that cover trending topics in your headlines. That’ll help your search presence, drawing in readers researching those news topics.
4. Kill the buzzword. Every time you write a buzzword, a copywriter has a seizure. Don’t be that guy. Stay away from buzzwords like “industry-leading,” “innovative,” etc. They can be big turn-offs.
5. Stay positive. When you’ve developed an audience, you can tie in a negative post headline every so often. Until then, try to stay positive. Believe it or not, people aren’t searching for more negativity to add to their lives. They can visit their Facebook news feeds for that.
For a crash-course in writing headlines, check out this post over at Copyblogger. And add that shit to your blog roll! They’re pretty neat.