A Skill You Need: Writing headlines

Admittedly, I dislike writing headlines. Whenever I’m asked to do a guest blog, the headline is always the one thing I do last, delay in doing, and invariably will tell the website owner “I’m not crazy about my headline suggestions so if you have a better idea…..”

But headlines are important. What do we typically skim when glancing through a newspaper? Or what gets us to pick up a magazine at the checkout counter? Or what draws us in to pause a minute at a website.

Yep: it’s headlines.

When approving copy to appear on a website, many business owners don’t consider the effectiveness of headlines. The assumption is that readers will continue to the rest of the copy regardless of what is at the top of the page. This assumption can be a very costly mistake.

Make sure your headline is an accurate representation of what your product is it’s main benefit or USP. Ideally, your headline will represent your product and move it at the same time, as headlines are rife with the potential to sell your product before readers even begin reading your copy’s body. Two ways to ensure that your headline sends out the right signals is to be specific and to include benefits in it.

Tips:

*Be specific: Add specific figures (price points, time investments, results), instead of generalizations.

*Benefits: Make sure you include (a) benefit(s) that will make your visitor want to read more.

*Look at other headlines: View other sites and headlines and see what grabs your attention.

IMPORTANT: It doesn’t matter what type of website you have…an online store, a content site or sales letter…you need a headline! You only have a few seconds to grab your visitor’s attention. Do it right away with a headline or it might be too late.

Category: Blogging, Content Management, Websites, Writing

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