Nothing is more important than writing a powerful headline. When it comes to getting your reader onto the page, then driving them all the way to the call to action at the bottom where you will get your reader to do what you need them to do, nothing is more important.
Between the headline and the call to action is all the copy in the middle, and sure, everything must work in tandem for you to maximize the conversions that will make your writing worthwhile. But it all starts with the headline.
If you can’t get your reader on the page, you’ve no hope of leading them to the bottom. That means they’re never going to like you on Facebook, re-tweet your content, subscribe to your feed, opt-in to your list, or buy your book.
Social media moves fast, and you have scant time to capture attention. You must reach out and grab your reader by their eyeballs without flinching.
That’s where most writers mess up.
A lot of writers realize that their headline is the hook, yet they miss the point entirely. Your headline is a promise, and if you don’t deliver on that promise, then you’ve accomplished nothing. The ideal headline is clever, intelligent, mysterious, incendiary, provocative, or all the above. But no matter what, it must make a promise.
Whatever promise you make in the headline must absolutely be kept by your copy.
Make sure your headline uses a BIG font with bold type. Make your headline clear – think FRONT PAGE of the newspaper — so as soon as your reader lands on the page, they are drawn right to the headline so they can accept its promise and are compelled to keep reading.
- Remember, when it comes to social media, you’re selling the click, not the copy. Curiosity is BIG, and you should capitalize on it when possible. You must sell the click, but you must also justify it once your reader lands on the page.
- Take the time to re-craft your headline. The headline you’re using on your page might be different from the one you’re using in social media. Each headline has a different purpose: one to get the reader on the page and the other to keep them there.
- Know your audience. Never let them down with a misleading headline. Keep your promise, not only with what you teased, but with the relationship you’ve built day by day. Going for fast social media success while neglecting your regular readers is the wrong thing to do.
The art of writing a great headline can’t be learned in a day. I’ve written thousands and still practice every day. Because of the ready, fire, aim mentality of social media, mastering this skill has never been more important. With all the attention being begged for online, the master of the headline can always command more than his share.
About the author: Sean Platt