Why aren’t you using these top six simple headline techniques?

Jersey cows (brown cows) produce white milk – not chocolate.

Copywriting doesn’t have to be hard but it can definitely seem hard at first.

By following some simple techniques it can get a lot easier.

Here are some of my favorite headline tips.

1. Should you write your headline first? No. Wait, yes.

What Do Cows Eat? by Brenda Hastings

That doesn’t make any sense. Now I know that this can be counter to what you might have been taught but your headline is the most important part of your writing.

If you don’t have a compelling headline, your post won’t be read. So spend some quality time crafting your headline and then knock out the body text.

If you want to gauge it with time, spend twice as much time on the headlines as you do on the content. Simple as that.

Here are some examples:

What are the top ten things a dairy farmer does that you didn’t know?

What do cows eat?

2. Who needs a keyword? The reader or the search engine?

Is My Milk Safe? by Ray Prock

Your headline needs to have the common keywords for your subject.

Now back in the day, this was all about SEO (search engine optimization) to manipulate the search engines and try to get your post found by users.

But now the keywords are actually the terms your searchers are using to find your information. You need to think about which words people would use to search for the topic and then test them in the search engine and see what comes up and then incorporate those keywords in your text.

Here are some examples:

Is my milk safe?

How do farmers take care of their dairy cows?

3. Who reads a list? Everyone. We love them.

Top Five Reasons Farms Are Getting Bigger By DairyCarrie

Buzzfeed is one of the most popular websites on the Internet. Why? Because list posts rock. Why do they rock? Because people don’t read on the Internet. They scan the internet very, very quickly.

So get your list-hat on and make some great lists about your farm, your job, your cows, whatever. You make it into a list and it will rock.

Here’s a couple of samples:

Why is cow’s milk so awesome? Here are the top five reasons.

Bet you didn’t know you could do these five things with cow manure.

4. Should I make my headline a question? Yep, yep. Double yep.

Chocolate milk from brown cows? by DairyMAX

Where do you want your headlines to show up? In search. What do people type into search engines? Questions they want answers to. Google matches the headlines and body copy (along with a lot of other factors) to pick out the best answers.

But there’s also another reason. People can ignore statements but they can’t ignore a question. Your brain will answer the question whether you want to or not. And that simple pull could get them to click through to your post.

Here are some examples:

Got milk? You don’t? Maybe that’s another reason you are having trouble losing weight.

Does chocolate milk come from brown cows? The answer might surprise you.

5. Why make a promise in your headline?

This must be a factory farm by Farmer Ryan Bright

Because people will read your answer – even if people are just skimming the content. Using the terms “why” and “how” can get users to engage and that’s the whole point, right?

But when you make a promise you better fulfill it. You don’t want to break the promise to the reader by not answering or by having a vague answer.

Get specific and to the point. People don’t dilly-daddy on one website when surfing the web.

Here are some examples:

What’s life really like on a dairy farm?

What are the biggest secrets that happen on the farm?

6. Simple is as simple reads.

Run, Forest, Run! via Forest Gump – Paramount Pictures

Write like you talk to a best friend – use simple language that is clear and everyone will enjoy.

When you use terms that are outside of the reader’s vocabulary you will break the flow.

It’s okay to use some industry jargon if you explain what it is but don’t get carried away.

Here are some examples:

Are dairy products healthy?

The top five reasons I drink the milk my cows produce.

You know the answers to these questions.

Try typing into Google and autocomplete will appear.

BONUS TIP: And if you need help, just use Google’s Autocomplete and start answering the questions that people ask Google.

What’s autocomplete? When you start typing into Google, it’s the text that appears on screen. It’s also the top searches that are going on around your keyword topic.

Someone is going to answer it and it might as well be the expert with the most experience (that’s you!).

BONUS BONUS TIP: Try for more keyword tips.  Great tool!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to hit me up in the comments, via email or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

What are your favorite headline writing techniques?


3 responses to “Why aren’t you using these top six simple headline techniques?”

  1. Ed Cohen Avatar
    Ed Cohen

    Right on, Don.

  2. […] Web Writing Web Writing 101 – How Do You Write for the Web? Web Writing 101 – Why aren’t you using these top six simple headline techniques? […]

  3. I appreciate this kind of write-up.
    barbie cooking games

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *