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4 Ways to Write Powerful Headlines that Make People Click

The headline is the most important element for getting your business content read.

In a world of online noise and distraction, your article or post headline has the power to grab a reader’s attention and entice them into reading more about your business and your work.

With the ability for everyone to now post on LinkedIn, it’s more important than ever to know how to write a headline that makes people click. These readers could become your next customers so you need to create something that makes an unforgettable, irresistible promise to them.

With this in mind, here are 4 ways to write a headline that rocks.

1. Keep it short and snappy

No-one pays attention to long-winded, over-blown headlines. We don’t have the patience and we’ll lose interest. As a rule of thumb, never use more than 100 characters in a headline, tell your readers exactly what you have planned for them, and make the headline punchy, to-the-point and understandable.

Still, feel free to throw in an interesting adjective or two. Consider “unbelievable”, “incredible”, “essential” or even “free”.

2. Show how you can help but don’t be afraid of negativity

Appeal to your target audience by telling them how your article will solve their problem or fix a growing issue. Promise them something valuable or teach them a new skill that they’ve not known before. Try writing ‘How to…’ or ‘Get started by…’, which often draws the reader into wanting to know more.

Play around with the word order and be creative. Ask questions, demand answers and even employ a little negativity. You’d be surprised at how well ‘The Questions You Should Never Ask Your Mother-in-Law’ might do.

3. Appeal directly to the reader

One way of including the reader in your work is to show them that you understand their needs and that your expertise will assist them. Writing headlines using “you” and “we” appeals much more directly.

Example are, ‘What Would You Do if You Lost Your Job Tomorrow?’ or ‘How We Can All Avoid Making Huge Financial Mistakes’. Speaking in this way to the reader is a powerful tool – it can seem as if you’ve written the piece specifically for them or that you’re standing in solidarity with them.

4. List the benefits but try to be unique

Lists are effective because they tell the reader exactly what to expect from your article or post and can grab them from the start. For example, ‘7 Ideas That Will Change Your Life Forever’ or ‘3 Tips For Becoming a Brain Surgeon’.

If you’re going to write a list, don’t rely too heavily on the use of “Things”. Instead, look at using “Tricks”, “Ways”, “Ideas”, “Lessons” and “Facts” as possible alternatives.

Remember that a headline is your first point of contact with the reader. The type of headline depends on who you’re writing for and what you plan to write about.

By keeping a headline short, punchy, relevant and engaging, you’ll get extra attention, more clicks and hopefully lots of keen new customers.

What have I missed? What other ways are there to write a killer headline?

LinkedIn Profile Writing

Why should you care about business content anyway?

Without business content, you’re an organisation with nothing but a name.

Nobody knows what you do, why you do it and who you’ve done it for. Without business content, you’re a ship lost at sea – the words you put out anchor you to your customers, current and potential.

Content is communication. Whether it be a website, a blog post, newsletter or press release, I believe that content is the mouthpiece for your business message and it’s the key thing that brings people to your doors.

Whether it’s online or in traditional print, here’s why I think it matters most:

  1. Content builds and grows customer relationships. Business content is a means to connect with your current clients and reach out to those waiting in the wings. By reading your website or subscribing to your blog, the customer gets to know your product, learn more about you and hopefully come back for more.
  2. You become the trusted advisor. Well-written articles that inform, engage and inspire create a deeper connection with the reader and position you as an expert and advisor. As long as the messaging is authentic and relevant, not full of sales talk and propaganda, you will be known as the trusted, believable source of industry information.
  3. Content drives traffic to websites and blogs. If you write great content, they will follow. And by linking across social media, you’ll drive bigger numbers to your site, which may result in new leads and more sales. Don’t be fixated on numbers but do be sure to write well, share often, and interact with your readers. Often what they like is noticed by others and you should soon see the numbers start to grow.
  4. Your business will appear higher when people search online. Writing regularly and keeping a fresh stream of content flowing on your website and blog is key to beating your competitors in the search engine results page. Include keywords that represent your business and write original, high quality pieces every time.

Business content is arguably one of the most important facets of your business.

Regularly creating and updating the written words on your website and blog are crucial to communicating with your customers and helping you reach new clients and opportunities in the process.

Drafting and developing exciting email newsletters, brochure copy and social media posts tells the world that you’re a professional, committed, informative, interesting service provider.

Whoever said content is king wasn’t messing about. Creating content-based conversation is even better.

Vary-Your-Content

Variety is the Spice of Life! Are You Varying Your Content Enough?

At The International Writer, we’re fortunate to work on any number of diverse and interesting things that come across our desks each week.

It might be a press release or a website page, a social media post or an online article for a leading retailer.

Our latest job was to write a news story for Edelman and General Electric here on wind turbines and the development of a wind farm at Boco Rock in eastern Australia. It’s fascinating stuff being a content writer and no day is ever the same.

We’re creating an incredible mix of content for our clients which tells us one key thing: it’s more important than ever for a business to vary what it puts out – and where it puts it – in order to satisfy an increasingly content-hungry audience.

So what can you do about it?

Use all of the avenues at your disposal

The great thing about the Internet today is that you can be as creative as you like in getting your message out there via a number of recognised (and often free) ways.

First, figure out what works best for you.

Facebook is king for mainstream content sharing but is it the most appropriate venue for highlighting your latest specialised product or service? A LinkedIn company page might be better or consider the ability to reach mass audiences through Google+ and Twitter. And what about using a blog or news page on your website?

Then, once you decide on the methods for varying your content and getting your message across (and try to aim for at least three or four to ensure good variation), start to consistently use them on a regular basis.

Know what your customer likes and wants

Next, look at the type of information you’re sharing (or want to share) and make sure it has enough variety and relevance to ensure your reader remains interested and engaged.

Instead of posting weekly pieces on how to do this or why to do that, share news about your company or industry, let us know where you’ve been and what you’re working on.

Tell us a bit about your people and why they do what they do. Show and tell – we want to see pictures and graphics, not just text and a wooden tone. Incorporate infographics, audio and video, and include longer, more in-depth posts that your reader (and Google) will prefer.

But don’t just rely on the blog post because there are lots of other ways you can connect and engage with people. Think Google hangouts, Twitter chats, Instagram meet-ups and more.

Keep it fresh and original

Whatever platforms you use and the types of content you share, make sure you keep it all fresh, original and compelling.

You’ll need to revisit existing content regularly and update where you can – tidy up web pages and reinvigorate a blog that appears stagnant. Put out a new press release or review your post scheduling calendar.

And if you’re struggling for ideas or motivation, come back next week where we’ll show you how to fill up your writing well of inspiration.

But keep writing, creating, publishing and sharing. Focus on quality and variation, not quantity and low cost.

Follow some of these rules and you’ll be putting some varied content spice back into your business’s life.

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