How important are headlines? Well, if you’re reading this, then the one up there did its job, didn’t it? Here’s a powerful statistic from Copyblogger.com. Though 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, only 2 of those 10 go on to read the rest of the copy, no matter how scintillating it might be. The bottom line is that you are losing a huge number of eyeballs if you settle for average headlines. If you believe that great headlines will increase your blog or podcast audience, keep reading for tips about how to improve that particular skill set.

Tip #1 – Write the Headline First
As a successful podcaster and blogger, Jason Hartman has always believed that it makes sense to write your headline first. Doing it this way is like reverse-engineering a project. The headline is the promise and the subsequent article/podcast the fulfillment of that promise. By coming up with a snappy headline first, it provides a clear road map of where you need to go in order to follow through with the promise.

Tip #2 – Where’s the Intrigue?
Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to learn how to create intrigue in the mind of your intended audience. If you provide genuine intrigue, they won’t be able to help but click. Where too many content writers go wrong is in trying to reach every person online. With very few exceptions (Wal-mart and Amazon are two examples of a VERY select group of companies with universal appeal) you should be targeting a niche. To write a great headline you have to understand what makes your niche tick. No intrigue, no click.

Tip #3 – What Are the Benefits?
Internalize this. If you don’t provide either a blatant or implied benefit in your headline, where’s the incentive to click? Consider the title of this article. While a great many people who see it might have little to no interest in how to write a great headline, to those whom writing good headlines matter, the benefit of learning how to write an irresistible headline should be, well, irresistible. No benefit, no click.

The reality of both offline and online marketing is that, no matter how great your content is, without a suitably excellent headline to set the hook, your carefully crafted words are all for naught. The lesson is simple – learn to write great headlines! (Top image: Flickr | gruntzooki)

The Speaking of Wealth Team

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