Three simple rules for writing blog headlines that attract more traffic to your blog.
For seven seconds you’re mine. But that’s all I get. Just seven seconds and you’re on to the next blog article.
With excessive amounts of content all competing for attention in a crowded media landscape, the average reader takes just seven seconds to decide if your blog article is worthy of their time.
Fail to prove your worth in seven seconds and you’ve lost them.
That’s why writing effective headlines is essential to your success as a blogger. It’s the first – and often only – opportunity you have to connect with a reader, so it’s critical to get it right.
But writing killer headlines isn’t black magic. Rather, it comes down to three simple rules…
RULE #1: Be direct
You’re not a comedian or a master of wit. Well, maybe you are, but the headline isn’t the place to flex your creative muscles.
Reserve wordplay, humour and metaphor for the body of your blog article. The headline is a riff-free zone that should be direct and to the point.
And what’s the point? Reader benefit.
Your headline should clearly express the direct benefit your article offers to the reader if they stick with you beyond the seven-second cliff face.
RULE #2: Know your keywords
While Google has certainly put the bad old keyword stuffing days firmly behind any blogger worth reading, keywords still count.
Conducting a little keyword research before writing a headline will help put you inside the minds of your audience and understand the language – and search terms – they’re likely to use when thinking about your topic.
Keyword research will also help you write blog headlines targeted to the high-value traffic that’s most relevant to your niche, rather than taking a far less effective scatter gun approach.
RULE #3: Don’t over promise
Let’s be honest. There’s a lot of terrible content out there. Whether it’s thinly veiled sales messages or just pathetically poor copy, blog readers are used to trawling through the garbage to find the gold.
That’s why it’s important not to over promise in your headline. Be realistic about the benefits your article offers the reader, or you’ll become just another blog article on the seven-second scrap heap.
It comes down to respecting the intelligence of your readers. Your mission as a blogger is to provide real value to your readers, not to pull the wool over their eyes by writing cheques you can’t cash.