Writing Headlines: 3 Ways to Create Titles that Get Traffic and Draw the Attention

Tips About Writing HeadlinesYou’ve heard enough about writing headlines already.

You’ve probably read that listing a number of reasons, secrets, types, or ways, works the best. Someone probably already told you that headlines should be short…

Today, we’ll talk about three rules you don’t come across too often. To understand their importance, you first need to grasp the purpose of your headline!

The basic aim of any blog post title is nothing but to target those,who might be interested in your products or services, and to “force” them to read your copy.

So let’s start with the tips!

1. Optimize your headline for search engines

To get a click, first you must reach out to your audience. You can do so through several channels, yet search engines are the most rewarding source.

Your title is the first and foremost aspect search engines consider to assess what your write-up is all about. Make a mistake while optimizing your blog post title and you’re dead in the water.

Writing headlines that are search engine-friendly is simple: 

  1. Write 70 characters at most
  2. Use relevant keyword if and possible start the title with it
  3. Don’t stuff too many keywords
  4. Don’t write duplicate or irrelevant titles

2. Target your audience in the headline

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” ~ David Ogilvy

Why so many people don’t read your body copy, even if it has a highly magnetic headline?
Mostly, because they feel your content is not relevant.

When writing headlines, you need targeted audience, and the headline is how you do the targeting. Untargeted headlines are either too silly or too clever. In either case they’re of no use.

Target Your Audience in the HeadlineTake a look at the following clever headlines:
Go For The Gong – Your Face Will Be Red If You Don’t

What on earth is this headline selling? It’s neither a sex scandal story nor a TV game show, but a pitch for you to advertise in a suburban newspaper.

Here’s a better alternative:
Free Report – How To Reach Customers Spending 1.9 Billion Dollars With Effective Newspaper Advertising

Here’s another clever and confusing headline, trying to sell office furniture:
Just What A Slab Of Seasoned Wood Needs. A Little More Seasoning!

And here’s the alternative:
Every Piece Of Raymond’s Office Furniture Is Made From Salvaged Timber… And Is Guaranteed For Life!

See how clearly the alternate headlines point out their ideal readers?

3. Use successful templates (and power words)

Do you know almost all the writing greats copied someone else’s work?

Even the mighty Shakespeare used to steal plots from Roman and Greek dramas, Thomas Jefferson copied John Locke’s Declaration of Independence,and so did the others.

Guess what, the successful bloggers also do it – especially when writing their titles. They have swipe files containing nothing but successful headline templates.These templates are time-tested, and have always worked.

Yes, they’ll work for you today, tomorrow and every day after tomorrow.
To download such templates, Google the keyword “headline swipe file pdf”(pdf files are usually more trustworthy).

Ok now,what are the power words?
These are words that carry more ‘weight’ and act as attention grabbers. John Caples – the head of a famous advertising agency in the US – tells us the ten most used power words in one hundred most successful headlines:

  • You……………………..31
  • Your…………………….14
  • How…………………….12
  • New…………………….10
  • Who……………………..8
  • Money…………………..6
  • Now……………………..4
  • People…………………..4
  • Want…………………….4
  • Why……………………..4

Look at you – no, not you, the power word you – it was found in 31 of the 100 titles. That shows the importance of putting your audience in the headline.

Here are some other power words you can (and should) stuff in your headlines:

  • What If
  • Do You
  • Amazing
  • At Last
  • Little-Known Secrets
  • Life
  • The Truth About
  • Love
  • Facts
  • Discover
  • Inside-Secrets of
  • Announcing
  • How to
  • Free
  • Hot

Over to you

Keep in mind these simple tips when you write your next title, and see what happens. What rules do you follow when writing your blog headlines, let’s discuss in the comments!

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  1. Simple, widely known, yet powerful tips. I’m a big fan of power words. I used to think they were spammy but actually they really grab your attention. Using them on Twitter gets a lot of visits.

  2. #3 was an insightful point. Thanks!

  3. Thanks Daniel for the post! :)
    I like especially your summary on power words!
    Will definitely include some of these words in titles for my blog posts!

  4. Hi Daniel. My most successful title was something like No Non-cents Nanna Reveals Money Saving Secrets! I am re-publishing it for April fool’s day. Let me tell you that it was like people ran to learn my “money saving secrets”. It was the dumbest post ever. I am certain the money grubbers were disappointed and embarrassed. Of course I had a moral to the story.

  5. Hi Daniel – followed your tweet feed for a while and am fascinated by the quality and quantity of content you write. Needed some information about headline writing and remembered that you had some posts. This one was just what I needed to start me off. Going searching the site for some more! Love the David Ogilvy quote!

  6. yes, we know how important , it is to create a headline for article or blog post which attracts audiences and goes it viral . So this step should be taken care well with right in order to create TITLE. excellent job.

  7. Jeff Emmerson (@ADHD_Memoir) says:

    Awesome advice as always, Daniel! Thanks!