In this fast paced time it’s more critical than ever to be able to grab your readers attention quickly.
You need to be able to convince them within a matter of seconds that your post is the one that they need to read!
Our readers have hundreds of choices of what to read and they need to know that what you have to offer them is worth their time. Everyone is short on time and we want to spend our time wisely.
So what can you do to not only grab your readers attention quickly but also to have them begging for more?
You need a killer headline.
The most important element of your headline is that it evokes emotion.
You can evoke any number of emotions but it must evoke some sort of emotion that calls the reader to act and click your link.
Some emotions that you may wish to evoke:
- Desire to learn more
- Fear of loss
Types of Headlines that grab attention
How to posts are popular because they are practical and they teach how something is done successfully. You clicked on this post so you can see it’s effectiveness!
These examples are three of my popular how to post titles:
List posts are very popular because the give ideas to the reader. It also gives the impression of a quick read which people often appreciate. Or if it’s a list with a really high number it promises high value and that anyone can find something they can apply.
These are three of my popular list post headlines:
You can take a combination of the above and you can add your own twists to them, such as a how not-to post. Add humor, create controversy, inspire, be creative!
There is no unique formula to follow with creating a captivating headline but if you follow these tips you are on your way to drawing in new people just with those alone. People will judge a post by it’s headline before they decide if it’s worth their time to give a visit.
Once at your post they are still not sold!
Congratulations, you’ve created killer headline and have gotten the click. The work isn’t over yet though. You still have more work to do to keep them reading so that they will comment, subscribe and eventually be a loyal fan.
There are a few things that you should do to draw the reader in once they have arrived at your post.
Include a compelling image
The image can be funny, serious, professional, light hearted, a little off topic or even a lot off topic. It should either create more curiosity for the reader to keep going or further induce the emotion that you were going for with your headline.
The image that I chose for this post is obviously not about dogs or cookies but the image conveys begging which is in the title. Be creative!
A word of caution on the use of images.
First, use images that you have the rights to use. I know of one blogger who takes all of her own photos. That solves the problem but many of us don’t have time for that.
There are many options online for using images properly. My personal favorite is to use photos through the Creative Commons license over at flickr. I highly suggest that you use this guide which explains the right ways to use creative commons photos.
Another benefit to including a great image is that when your post is shared on most social media sites the image will show up. A great picture will go a long way in drawing people in. People judge books by their covers and they judge blog posts by the images.
Choose something that will create curiosity or another strong emotion!
A well worded opening
Your first sentence needs to draw your reader in so that they want to read the next sentence and the next one. You’ve gone to all the work to create a great headline and put in a fantastic image make sure that what you write is great!
But if your great writing doesn’t start until paragraph three or five you’ve wasted all of your other efforts unless your readers already know and love you and expect that it will get better.
Nobody else will stick around and read three or five boring or poorly written paragraphs.
If you would like to learn more about how to open well I recently read a good book about beginning a novel. The author gives great advice about how to construct an opening sentence and following. It’s geared toward fiction writers but it is easily applicable to writing blog posts as well. Check out Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go.
Learning how to write a good beginning is a really important skill to have as a blogger. So often we get caught up in learning about SEO, stats, promotion, and that sort of thing that we forget to work on our writing.
It’s very important and reading books that are geared toward fiction writers is a great place to learn how to write better. Fiction writers need to be entertaining, engaging, and skilled. Those are all things that help to make for a great blog post as well.
Look at that book I mentioned above and also stay tuned for more posts about how to improve your writing from me. I know that it sounds completely boring to read about how to write so I promise to make them as fun as possible!
What are your thoughts? How do you create compelling headlines? Where do you get your exciting images? How do you keep your readers begging for more?
To Your Success,
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Image by GabrielaP93