For seven seconds you’re mine. But that’s all I get. Just seven seconds and you’re on to the next blog article.
The same applies when you write blog articles. 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 – perhaps forever.
That’s why writing effective headlines is essential to your success as a business blogger. Your headline is the first (and often only) opportunity you have to connect with a reader, so it’s critical to get it right.
Sure, your blog article may be packed full of expert insights and game-changing perspectives, but fail to nail the headline and your readership will likely never expand beyond your personal network.
But writing killer headlines isn’t black magic. Rather, it comes down to three simple blog headline tips.
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 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 must clearly articulate how your audience will benefit from reading your blog article (if they stick with you beyond the seven second cliff face).
RULE 2: Know your keywords
While Google has certainly put the bad old days of keyword stuffing firmly behind any blogger worth reading, keywords still count.
Conducting a little keyword research before writing a headline will help you understand the language and search terms your audience are 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 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 disengage your audience and 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, not to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.
When your headlines are direct, contain keywords and convey realistic benefits, your blog headline will grab people’s attention and entice them to read from start to finish.
What are your blog headline tips?