How To Write Great Blog Headlines That Get Your Post Read – The H Word

How to Write A Great Headline

Not The Greatest Headline In The World But Quite Often Important News Can Be All That Is Required

As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your blog headline is your first impression and, if it doesn’t work, chances are people wont click through to read the rest of your blog post. Here are some ideas on how to write great blog headlines that get your post read.

The fact of the matter is that most people are time poor. They are bombarded with information from the moment they wake in the morning to the time when they switch the bedside light out. So when you write a headline you want to be direct and tell people what’s in it for them.

They need to know what they will get out of the next few minutes they will spend digesting your words. This is referred to as the intriguing or compelling promise by the Copyblogger website.

Part of this promise should involve the specific keywords that the person is looking for. This kind of makes sense, people interested in a BSA motorcycle aren’t going to read about a Yamaha bike (well less likely to anyway).

The more intriguing, compelling or both you can make it the better.

Intriguing, as the name suggests will surprise them. It’ll take their breath away – they’ll be dieing to find out something that they may not have known about a subject that is dear to their heart.

  • It could be as simple as “The Secret To Overhauling A BSA Transmission System in 10 minutes”. The intrigue is created by the word secret but you have to deliver on the power of the word in the article. If it’s something that even the most mechanically challenged wannabe biker knows, readers will probably quit half way through your post.


  • “Little Known Ways To Keep Your BSA Motorbike Upholstery Looking Brand New” is another example of an intriguing promise. Again, it’s the words little known which are similar to secret but not as hyped and over used.


  • “Here’s A Quick Way To Save On Your BSA Motorcycle Insurance” can also be intriguing but is also compelling. In other words the idea of quick or fast or simple is potentially intriguing but also compelling as everyone wants to be more efficient.


  • A spin on this headline that could be more intriguing with a understated compelling promise could be “The Lazy Way To Save Of BSA Motorcycle Insurance”. Most people will be fascinated about how a lazy person does something even if they don’t necessarily see themselves as a lazy person.

Compelling headlines are kind of sneaky. They utilize psychological tricks to make people want to read on.

  • For instance, “Who else wants to know how to get 10 miles per gallon more out of their BSA motorbike” is an  example of compelling but could also be intriguing. It’s compelling because it’s saying “other people know this stuff and you don’t !”

People want to fit in and this title is challenging their perception that they fit in.

  • “What Everybody Ought To Know About Cornering A BSA Motor Bike” is another instance of this  idea to fit in with the in crowd. It’s and example of peer pressure or social proof to compel people to do something.


  • “Get Rid Of Unwanted Oil Stains Under Your BSA Motorbike” is compelling in that it fastens onto a persons insecurities or desires to be better or even the best.


  • The idea of being the best could also be the compelling message behind “Ride your BSA Motorbike Like Casey Stoner With These 3 Tips”. People want to emulate superstars or people they think are the best in their field. That’s why sports stars are an advertisers dream. They often don’t even have to  promote things that they are famous for in many cases – look at David Beckham.

So the idea behind a great blog headline is to be specific about what the reader is going to get and try to dress the promise in an intriguing or compelling manner.

Most people can have a bash at this because most people are exposed to advertising everyday. But to really get good at it, to the extent that it comes naturally, you have to study headlines and keep a swipe files of good headlines.

Even professional copy writers keep swipe files and the build on them whenever they discover an original headline or template for a headline. You should do the same and become more aware of headline formulas.

Get books on copy writing but also be aware of great headlines that you read on a day to day basis. Try to break them down and see why and how they work. If they made you read on, then the chances are they make other people read on. They are doing something special – work it out. When you can think for yourself, half the battle is won to write great headlines.

You also have to become more aware of the psychological factors at play that influence behavior in people. There are tomes of books on influence and persuasion. Robert Cialdini’s  “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” and Dale Carnegies “How To Win Friends And Influence People” being two classic, must read books. Whilst these books don’t tell you how to write great headlines, they tell you what underpins the success of great headlines. They are the foundations to understanding how to write great headlines if you will.

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