Patricia Iyer

By Patricia Iyer

Can Your Headline Make Me Eager to Read Your Article?

Can Your Headline Make Me Eager to Read Your Article? 150 150 Patricia Iyer

You can write the best story ever told, but without a good headline, it might not get read. Whether you are doing the writing or one of your staff is, pay attention to headlines.

Experts estimate that 80 to 90 percent of people who read a headline won’t go on to read an article because the headline didn’t grab their attention. How disheartening when you are using company’s resources to create what you think are compelling articles!

That doesn’t mean that you can write a mediocre article and focus solely on a catchy headline. It means that your headline has to provide a compelling reason for the reader to go beyond it.

Here are some do’s and don’ts.

Don’t Use Clickbait

 In general, clickbait refers to content that deliberately misrepresents or over-promises something. It can be used to entice someone to click on a link that will take them to a web site.

When used in headline content, it attempts to induce someone to read the article.

Some examples could include:

  1. “Lose 20 pounds in 4 days ”
  2. “Seven Investments That Can Save You From the Coming Crash”
  3. “How to Keep Your Child From Turning Into a Drug Addict”

They all use exaggeration. The first headline about weight loss is probably not even safe. The next two incite fear and try to make you feel that if you don’t read further, your life is doomed.

Rarely do the articles connected to such headlines deliver on expectations.

Readers will remember a click baiting writer who uses a byline. They won’t click again.

Clickbait isn’t ethical and it doesn’t work.

Promise to Answer a Strong Need

  1.  “How to Make Your Doctor Listen to You”
  2. “7 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Pharmacist”
  3. “Exercise: the Low-Cost Lifesaver”

Follow-Through

Important as your headline is, your article must fulfill its implicit promise about your company’s products or services.

If you write about exercise, present a range of exercise practices so that people of different physical abilities and ages can benefit from them.

Put your own experience into the story. How did you make your company achieve success in solving a problem?

Also remember this: Click through is not the end of the story. Are people commenting on your articles? Do they sign up to receive your blog in their newsfeed? If you have a special offer, do they download it? Positive answers to these questions indicate growing success.

However, you need a compelling headline in order to have a chance at achieving those goals. Practice until you get them right.

Pat Iyer is one of the charter members of the C Suite Network Advisors. As a ghostwriter and editor, she helps her clients shine. Contact her through www.patiyer.com.

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