UA-101088689-1) How to Write Headlines That Work | Zoorka EV

How to Write Headlines That Work

By admin

Jun 06

Your headline is the first (and perhaps only) impression you make on a
prospective reader. Without a headline or post title that turns a skimmer into a
reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist.
But a headline can do more than simply grab attention. A great headline can
also communicate a full message to its intended audience, and it absolutely
must lure the reader into your body text.
At its essence, a compelling headline must promise some kind of benefit or
reward for the reader, in trade for the valuable time it takes to read more.
In The Copywriter’s Handbook, copywriter Bob Bly sets forth eight time-tested
headline categories that compel action and rake in sales:
• Direct Headlines go straight to the heart of the matter, without any
attempt at cleverness. Bly gives the example of Pure Silk Blouses – 30
Percent Off as a headline that states the selling proposition directly. A
direct blog post title might read Free SEO E-book.
• An Indirect Headline takes a more subtle approach. It uses curiosity to
raise a question in the reader’s mind, which the body copy answers.
Often a double meaning is utilized, which is useful online. An article
might have the headline Fresh Bait Works Best and yet have nothing
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to do with fishing, because it’s actually about writing timely content
that acts as link bait.
COPYWRITING 101 – HOW TO CRAFT COMPELLING COPY
• A News Headline is pretty self-explanatory, as long as the news itself
is actually, well … news. A product announcement, an improved
version, or even a content scoop can be the basis of a compelling news
headline. Think Introducing Flickr 2.0 or My Exclusive Interview
With Steve Jobs.
• The How-to Headline is everywhere, online and off, for one reason
only – it works like a charm. Bly says, “Many advertising writers claim
if you begin with the words how to, you can’t write a bad headline.” An
example would be, umm… oh yes… the title of this section of the book.
• A Question Headline must do more than simply ask a question, it must
be a question that, according to Bly, the reader can empathize with
or would like to see answered. He gives this example from Psychology
Today: Do You Close the Bathroom Door Even When You’re the Only
One Home? Another example used in Internet marketing guru-ville is
Who Else Wants to Get Rich Online?
• The Command Headline boldly tells the prospect what he needs to do,
such as Exxon’s old Put a Tiger in Your Tank campaign. Bly indicates
that the first word should be a strong verb demanding action, such as
Subscribe to Copyblogger Today!
• Another effective technique is called the Reason Why Headline. Your
body text consists of a numbered list of product features or tips, which
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you then incorporate into the headline, such as Two Hundred Reasons
Why Open Source Software Beats Microsoft. It’s not even necessary
to include the words “reasons why.” This technique is actually the
underlying strategy behind the ubiquitous blogger “list” posts, such as
8 Ways to Build Blog Traffic.
COPYWRITING 101 – HOW TO CRAFT COMPELLING COPY
• Finally, we have the Testimonial Headline, which is highly effective
because it presents outside proof that you offer great value. This entails
taking what someone else has said about you, your product or service,
and using their actual words in your headline. Quotation marks let the
reader know that they are reading a testimonial, which will continue in
the body copy. An example might be “I Read Copyblogger First Thing
Each Morning,” admits Angelina Jolie.
Hey, we can dream, can’t we?
Next, let’s take a look at why headlines are so important (with some surprising
statistics and stories) and get more tips on how to improve your headlinewriting
skills.

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