10 Tips to a Winning Headline

from mila 

The best writing, whether it is a sales letter, an article, or a book, has a compelling headline. A simple sentence that practically begs you to read it. Here are ten tips to create a winning headline:

1. How to headlines are fairly simple to construct. “How to lose 30 pounds in 10 days.” “How to live tax free forever.” “How to grow prize winning tomatoes,” and so on. This type of format is a good type to fall back on when you’re struggling for a headline. It easily catches a benefit right in the headline and grabs interest.

2. Question headlines are fun and they’re generally emotionally grabbing. For example, “Do you make these common copywriting mistakes?” It grabs reader interest because they automatically think, “I don’t know? Do I make these mistakes? Let me read more to find out?”

3. Ask yourself, does my headline promise a benefit to my reader?

4. Re-read your headline and make sure it is relevant to your product. Quite often you’ll find headlines that are immediately interesting and eye catching but really don’t have anything to do with the product being sold. “Sensationalized” copy generally isn’t appreciated by potential customers.

5. Is your headline clear and direct? Can you shorten it to be more specific? A general rule of thumb is to keep your headline under 12-15 words. If you feel the desire to be more verbose, consider a sub-headline.

6. Read your copy and edit for negative words. For example, don’t and no are both negative words. Instead of saying “You’ve now entered a no hype zone.” You can say, “We’re hype free.”

7. Let go of SEO stress. In order to get a high page ranking, it is often important to include your keywords in your headline, right? If you’re struggling to place your keywords logically into your headline try this instead. Place your keywords in front of your headline with a hyphen and then write your headline.

For example if your keyword is “dog house training” your headline will look like this: “Dog House Training – How to Eliminate Accidents in 2 Days or Less.”

8. Make your headline specific. Instead of saying “Double your profits fast.” A more specific headline is “Double your profits in 30 days or less.”

9. Write the headline for your audience. If you’re writing for professional chefs you’re going to use different words than you will if you’re writing for a computer programmer. While getting heavy handed with jargon may cause confusion, a few terms that are specific to your industry are perfectly acceptable. It lets your reader know you are talking to them specifically.

10. Come up with at least half a dozen potential headlines for your major sales pages and web copy. Give yourself time to ruminate on them. Try them out to see which fits and feels better and when all else fails, do a split test to see which one generates better results.

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