Let’s refine your blogging skills to help build your online community. The next topic in this series is writing a great headline. It’s not as easy as it looks. It takes some work. And patience. And frustration. Okay, maybe tears. But a great headline is worth it.
“It’s so easy to settle for good when writing headlines. But with some extra time and some good hard brainstorming, you can change good to great. And great can double your response rates.”Mark Morgan Ford
If you missed the last post on presales questions, read it and let us know how your blogging is improving your community.
What Makes a Great Headline?
A great headline captures attention, emotion, and causes a searcher to click. They may see your headline on Twitter, in your community, or during a Google Search. Along with your meta description, the headline is an important attention-grabbing tool.
What makes a good headline is a clear subject and promise. What makes a great headline is using the right amount of emotion, power, and keywords that are reinforced in your article. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. That’s clickbait.
“Your audience experiences pain, just as you experience pain when you try to write a headline. So you want that headline to draw your reader in.”Carol Stephen
Clickbait is a headline that deceives the reader. It’s tempting to use them to get attention, but ultimately they downgrade your brand.
Clickbait headlines are sensational. “PeepSo published this blog post and you’ll never believe what happened next.”
Clickbait can arouse curiosity with a National Enquirer type of headline or simply promise an answer the reader doesn’t get in the article (think sales pitch).
Stay away from clickbait. Don’t listen to bloggers who tell you to do it. Don’t promise a magic carpet ride when all you have is a bathroom rug and a skateboard.
How Long Should My Headline Be?
The headline should be long enough to get attention but not too long so that it wraps too much on a mobile device. Don’t forget that today’s audience is mostly mobile-based. And, tablets are considered mobile devices. Test. Always test. Under 70 characters seems to be the consensus.
“Do you want this post to rank really well in search? Focus on keeping the title under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.”Hubspot
Great (Free) Headline Tools
The Coschedule Headline Analyzer is a great tool to work with.
“Blogging Basics – Writing A Good Headline” got a score of 62 and was categorized as generic. “Blogging Basics How To Easily Write A Great Headline” got a score of 74.
Sharethough also has a headline tool. It’s a bit cleaner looking than Coschedule.
“Blogging Basics – Writing A Good Headline” got a score of 66 and was categorized as generic. “Blogging Basics How To Easily Write A Great Headline” got a score of 68. To increase the headline strength it suggested: “Blogging Basics — How To Easily Write A Great Headline”
“Learn To Easily Write A Great Headline to Get Blog Clicks” got a score of 71 and the suggestion was to “use more alert words.” The more I messed around with it, the lower the score went. So, while you should spend time on your headline, don’t go away from a series title or internal brand guidelines.
Engage Your Community
Writing headlines is easy. Writing great headlines is not. Great headlines bring people to your site – which helps build your community. With PeepSo, you can host a growing and thriving community. How will you engage your community?
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