3 Tips For Writing Better Headlines

Written by Bruce Carlson

Copyright © 2005 by Bruce Carlson

The single most important element of your website's copy isrepparttar headline. Take away practically everything else and you can still manage a sale (ifrepparttar 142212 headline's good enough and you have a strong enough call to action). But take awayrepparttar 142213 headline and your chances for any success are about zero.

Why is this?

Simply put, your headline isrepparttar 142214 magnet for your copy. It'srepparttar 142215 “door” through which people enter your world of persuasion. Make it appealing enough and theyll step throughrepparttar 142216 door. Fail to make it appealing and they'll walk on by.

If you want to pull in customers, you need to be able to write good headlines. And in order to write good headlines, you need to understand a few fundamental principles ofrepparttar 142217 craft. Here are 3 quick tips for writing better headlines for your website. Take these to heart and you'll find writing headlines a lot less painful.

1. Understandrepparttar 142218 true purpose of a headline

First off, you need to have a clear understanding of what your headline is doing there. From allrepparttar 142219 confusion I see on websites, it's safe to say that many people don't understandrepparttar 142220 purpose of having a headline up there inrepparttar 142221 first place.

So what isrepparttar 142222 purpose of a headline?

Your headline's basic purpose is to getrepparttar 142223 reader interested enough to continue reading.

Not to makerepparttar 142224 sale. Not to be clever or artistic. Not to offer a riddle for them to solve.

It's just to get them into your copy so they'll readrepparttar 142225 next thing after your headline!

Think of your headline asrepparttar 142226 first step in a journey. Taking a journey is a pretty major thing. People don't do it lightly. They have to genuinely believe they'll get something worthwhile out of reading your copy before they'll takerepparttar 142227 plunge.

Readers come in all shapes and sizes, since they're people plain and simple, after all. But in general, readers of your copy have certain basic characteristics. A big one for your website copy's purposes isrepparttar 142228 “skimmer” mentality.

Most people are “skimmers”. I'm sure you skim a lot yourself. I know I do regularly. Very few of us are willing to sit down and read every word in every ad or newspaper story or magazine article just forrepparttar 142229 fun of it. So we glance atrepparttar 142230 headline quickly and decide in a split second whether or not we're going to continue reading. If it's compelling enough and clear enough, we'll read more.

Assume that every person who comes to your website will only skim your headline. Even if your reader isrepparttar 142231 most perfect prospect you could possibly find for your product or service, they'll most likely still skim read your headline.

So you need to work out specific strategies and tactics for getting these skimmers' attention.

2. Get their attention and target a strong emotion

There are three standard ways to get attention with your headline. These have been proven by copywriters for many decades now.

In their order of effectiveness they are:

1. Go after your prospect's self-interest 2. Offer your prospect news 3. Try to arouse your prospect's curiosity

Appealing to your prospect's self-interest isrepparttar 142232 most effective single method you can use to get their attention. Offerrepparttar 142233 reader something they want and can get from you -- a direct benefit. Here are two simple, generic examples of self-interest direct benefit headlines:

Article Writing: SEO, Expert Authors and the Dumbification of the Internet

Written by Dina Giolitto, Wordfeeder.com

Article authors who use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) keywords to attract attention and falsely position themselves as experts, are like impurities inrepparttar water, clogging uprepparttar 142174 pipes. This is indeed a sorry situation. Unlikerepparttar 142175 days whenrepparttar 142176 internet was young, if you want to find good information, you have to filter outrepparttar 142177 dirt first.

When you do web research using keywords, do you generally have to read anywhere from 4-7 articles on one particular topic before finding one written by an intelligent human being? SEO abuse is making it more and more difficult to locaterepparttar 142178 people with real expertise and valuable insights. It's a growing problem, to sayrepparttar 142179 least. But in terms of information-gathering, how do we pick throughrepparttar 142180 chaff and get torepparttar 142181 gold?

Use Specialized Terms in Your Keyword Search

When I'm in research mode, in addition to keywords, I use specific and/or specialized terms in my web searches. This helps me scope out authors with real knowledge as opposed torepparttar 142182 BS artist looking to make a quick buck. It works for me, and it can work for you as well.

For example, let's say you're a writer, and you want to learnrepparttar 142183 proper protocol for submitting a query letter. If you search usingrepparttar 142184 words 'query letter,' know what's going to come up? A million and one hits,repparttar 142185 majority of which will be ads, which serve no purpose if you're trying to learn something new. But if you type in 'query letter' and 'format' and 'cover page' all inrepparttar 142186 same search box, you may be able to find some really helpful information from publishing experts who know everything there is to know about query letters.

Make Sure Your Specialized Terms are Still Considered Special

It's worth noting that specialized terms often evolve into keywords as their meaning becomes widespread. Unfortunately, asrepparttar 142187 evolve in popularity, they devolve with respect to informational value.

Inrepparttar 142188 old days, if I wanted to find a good article about nutrition andrepparttar 142189 immune system, I might look up 'free radical fighters'. It was something that only real nutrition specialists knew about. In today's more health-conscious world,repparttar 142190 term 'free radical fighters' is wildly popular. Where it was once strictly textbook terminology, it's now a "buzz word," used to advertise things like shampoo. As such, it's become a 'dumbed down' term; a fancy word that's being thrown around, and as a result, you see it in lots of places where there's nothing 'specialized' at all! Consequently, if I do a web search using this keyword, it's going to take me several tries before finding detailed information that I can actually learn from.

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