In the social media age, we are all writers, whether we want to be or not. Those of us who are lucky may have staff to manage most of it for us. Maybe we hire a blogger to handle our posts or pass our newsletter content and email sales campaigns on to an in-house or contracted copywriter.
But what if you are a solopreneur, a one-man or -woman show? What if you have to do it all? If it falls on your shoulders to create all of your online content, on top of everything else, it can be overwhelming.
You can struggle if you don’t know what you are doing—or why.
In these lessons, you’ll get a crash course on the number one skill that determines whether people will even get through your blog post or newsletter article.
Taking the extra time to craft the perfect headline pays off in huge ways. It is the single most important thing you can do to get your posts read and shared more. And isn’t that why we write in the first place?
Unfortunately, it’s true. You only have a couple of seconds.
So why do professional writers spend so much time on their headlines? It is because they know they are the gateway to their content. A headline is like the first sentence of a story. Either your readers will open the gate and walk through, or they will slam it shut.
Picture your email inbox. Whether it’s a newsletter or a business email, the title in the subject box can be a deal breaker. Either it makes you curious enough to read the whole article or you decide to scroll right past it.
That’s a lot of power for just a few words.
A 500% variance in traffic, depending on your headline
Recent research shows that 2 million blog posts, 294 billion emails and 864,000 hours of video are created every day. Add to that 400 million daily tweets and you have boatloads of information.
As if you needed any more justification, according to Peter Koechley, co-founder of the viral media site Upworthy, tests show that traffic to the content on his site varies as much as 500% based on the headline.
The question you should ask yourself is this: How can I lure that attention-disordered reader into choosing my stuff over the bazillion other pieces of content out there?
You have probably read this statistic before. On average, 8 of 10 people will read headline copy. But only two out of 10 will read the rest.
Let’s face it. No one wakes up thinking they’d better hurry on over to your blog to read your latest post. We must compete for and win their attention.
We do that by writing catchy, memorable headlines.
In upcoming lessons, we’ll look more closely at what makes a headline ‘sticky’ and how we can create titles that make our audience have to read on.
Think of your headline as your promise.
That same Upworthy study proved that the more explicit the headline—the more it tells the reader what they are going to get out of reading the article—the better chance your content will be read.
In other words, make a promise in your headline (but be sure you keep that promise in the body of your post or article).
To read my full guide on headlines, make sure and visit this post.