6 Ways to Create a Punchy Headline

6 Ways to Create a Punchy Headline

Headlines are soooooo important, y’all! Well, you probably didn’t need us to tell you that but we just wanted to put it out there anyway because it’s true. Without a good headline – which is essentially your hook – your audience won’t be inclined to give your work a chance. If this is the case, your creation will widely be considered irrelevant. Yup, we’ve all been there but here are some ways to avoid it.

Get to the point

Unless you want your headline to be long-winded for a reason it should be as concise as possible. People are going to look at things that catch their eyes at a glance. On average, anything that doesn’t look interesting within the span of three to five seconds will be ignored. Once again, this is awful if you toiled away on the article, video, or book, so the faster you can grab people’s attentions, the better.

We find that making direct statements and using simple words are key components of writing a strong headline.

Use a popular keyword

Incorporating an often-searched-for keyword into your title is another great way to boost your work’s popularity. This optimizes your piece on search engines, which means that when someone types in said keyword, your article is more likely to appear than it otherwise would.

It’s uber important to make sure you use a relevant keyword, though. If people aren’t searching for it, it’s as good as not using the word at all.

Pose a unique question

If you choose to go the question route instead of making a statement it’s important to pose a particularly interesting inquiry. Question titles tend to flop more easily than their counterparts if they’re too generic. Do your best to avoid simple yes or no questions and present answers clearly in your body of work. Otherwise, your readers or viewers will feel cheated, yawn, and move on. This kind of non-fulfillment is the hallmark of clickbait.

Include numbers in your title

This tactic works particularly well if you’re writing a list or answering a question (or series of questions). Even more than that, though, numbered headlines work because they’re easy for the brain to process. As humans, we love predictability. By including numbers in your title people are more likely to be intrigued because they know what they’re getting into.

Create a sense of urgency…NOW!

This tip is ideal to follow in advertising because you want people to buy from you ASAP. It can be effectively done by reminding people about when an offer closes, how much they can save by buying from you, and by making your product or service seem limited.

If you aren’t selling something, or if whatever you’re posting isn’t time-sensitive, you can manufacture a sense of urgency by using those bold statement and question tactics described above. Make it so that people can’t help but read on and you should be good to go!

Don’t settle on the first idea you come up with

Even if you believe your first idea is golden – and it very well could be – it’s still good to brainstorm for a while before sticking to a headline. This is because new ideas can arise at any time and if you don’t stop to consider them, you could be missing out on potentially amazing titles.

If you’re working with a team, it might be a good idea for everyone to jot down their top five concepts and vote to see whose is the strongest.

Headlines can be short but that doesn’t mean they’re a slice of cake to come up with. However, with the right brainstorming tactics, creativity, and an understanding of your target audience, you can create winners on the regular.

Greg Plante
webmaster@imaginativeimaging.com
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