By: Peter Rukavina - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

What’s the point of writing a kick ass blog post if no one bothers to read it?

Headlines are the gateway to your content. If your headlines aren’t eye-catching, you won’t attract a loyal following. Remember, you’re competing with thousands of other content creators, so your headlines need to be tantalizing enough to grab your audience’s attention and make them click on your link.

Don’t overcomplicate your headlines. Readers respond better to clean, straightforward language that speaks directly to them.

Here 6 more tips to help you craft effective headlines that will hook your readers:

1. Keep your headlines short and sweet

If you want people to click on your post, your headlines should be clear and to the point. Keep headlines under 70 characters so that the full title appears in SERPs.

Readers need to know exactly what the article is about before they click on it. Don’t try to impress readers with fancy language or technical jargon. Instead, create headlines that clearly convey what the article is about and what benefits it has for the reader.

Be obvious about the topic of your post and give your readers a hint of what they’re going to learn. What new information are you going to offer your reader, and how is it going to help them?

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Numbering your posts can help you simplify your headlines, and lists often attract large numbers of eyeballs because readers like concise, easily digestible information.

2. Intrigue your readers by delivering value

Readers won’t invest in your content unless they can capture some kind of benefit. Good headlines tap into readers’ desires and motivations. Audience love content that helps them either prevent some type of loss or add value to their lives, so headlines that signal these are enticing to your readers.

If your headline offers the promise of value, make sure your content backs it up. Readers will abandon your content if it fails to deliver a tangible benefit.

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This headline is effective because it taps into fears of making mistakes that will cost them time and money.

3. Show your readers that you understand their pains

Successful headlines must be relatable to the audience. Before you can appeal to your readers, you need to understand what they care about. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Who is your target audience? What types of problems do they face? How can you help solve these problems?

People desire content that improves their lives, so your headlines must highlight a specific pain point your readers can fix. If your posts can help readers do this, then you’ll keep them coming back again and again.

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During the headline writing process, try to work backwards from your end goal. What is the purpose of your article, and what are your readers hoping to achieve by reading it? Your headline should connect to the end benefit from reading your article.

4. Engage your readers with the “5 Ws”

Think of your headline as the beginning of a conversation with your audience. If your headline gives the impression of a one-sided conversation, readers won’t be interested.

Remember the 5 Ws: who, what. where, when and why. Headlines that ask open-ended questions usually engage readers on a deeper level and help establish an ongoing dialogue with your readers.

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Effective headlines get readers thinking. Readers respond to actionable information. Don’t just present them with a problem; offer them steps to solve it.

5. Create a personal connection by speaking directly to your readers

Readers want to feel a personal connection with your content. Addressing your readers in the 2nd person creates a greater sense of intimacy.

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Frame your headlines as giving personal advice rather than throwing generic information at your audience. Readers are more likely to read your content when you appeal to their best interest.

6. Spice up your headlines with intriguing adjectives

The only goal of a headline is to get your audience reading. If your headline is boring or long winded, readers will never get to the body of your post.

Effectively using adjectives can help jazz up headlines and draw readers in. Avoid simple adjectives like short, tall, bad and good. Instead, incorporate adjectives that evoke the senses, connecting to deep feelings and emotions. The right words will make your headline come to life and stand out from the rest of the pack.

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Adjectives make your sentences pop off the page and catch the eye. Writing “enchanting” headlines sounds much more enticing than writing “good” headlines. Your headlines should not only be information, but also fun.

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