You could write the most useful article in the world regarding any given topic. But the fact of the matter is, no one will read it if you don't know how to write a good title. Follow these 11 simple steps to attract more readers by writing a better headline.
1- Keep it short, simple, and to-the point
Keep in mind that most people have a short attentions span; there is likely to be somany articles on the same topic that you are writing, you have a short amount of time to attract your readers' attention and convince him that your article is the one he/she needs to read. And that means you need to keep the title short, simple, and to the point.
2- State the big benefit
Potential readers whould be able to tell, just from reading your article, what he/she will get out of it. At the end of the day, the question on everyones' mind is, "What's in it for me?"
3- Announce the exciting news
People are attracted to any information that they perceive as "new." That's why we watch the news, and that's why Facebook has a news feed. It doesn't matter if the information is useful or not, whether it will make you a better person, or make your life easier in even the smallest way. The simple fact that a peice of information is new will attract people.
4- Bark a command
Tell them what to do. This is direct, engages the reader, and tells them what they need to do, all at the same time.
5- Pose a provocative question
Asking a question is the perfect way to engage your reader, because if the question is provocative enough, your reader will not be able to help but try to answer. At this point, you've already gotted his or her attention. Mission accomplished.
6- Offer exclusive information
Your goal is always to provide information, but you shouldn't just choose any information. The internet is flooded with information, why would anyone want to choose your article over the hundreds of other articles out there on the same exact topic? There needs to be some indication in your title that, despite all of the other information out there, you know some proven secrets that no one else knows. (Hint: there's a phrase in the previous sentence that could be used to make a great title.)
7- Relay an honest, enthusiastic testimonial
Personally, I don't like to use this one, but I'm listing it here because I couldn't give you a good reason why this wouldn't work. You use phrases like "This worked for me, it can work for you too" and other variations in your title. This builds confidence in the reader that he/she is about to read about something that actually works, as opposed to that other garbage out there.
8- Use numbers
Using numbers in your title is an indication that your article will be in list format. And people love lists. They allow them to skim through your article more effiently by reading the bolded parts of the article just to get the jist of it, and ignore all the details. That's how most people read these days, and that's something you'll have to learn to accept, as a writer. There's just so many other articles to read, people aren't able to spend too much time on one article. It's not that they have a short attention span; they just want multiple points of view on the topic in order to get a better overall picture. And if they're to do that, they need to skim through multiple articles in a short amount of time. That's why list-style articles are so important.
9- Use power words
Use words that aruse emotion in your target audience. Look at the title that you have now, and ask yourself if you can replace any of the words with stronger synonyms
10- Capitalize the first letter of each word
This makes yor title more readable and makes it easier for the reader to take in each word rather than skim over it. Of course, don't capitalize words like "for" "the," and "of" unless they happen to be the first word of the title.
11- The most important parts of the title should be in the beginning
Namely, the part of the title most likely to convince someone to read your writing should come first. This is because when your article comes up in a directory or search results, the reader is not taking his/her time to read each title carefully. In many cases, they may not even read the entire title if the first few words convince him that your article is not what he is looking for.
These 11 secrets are all you need to write the perfect title that will make people want to read your writing. But in case you're still stuck, it might be a good idea to check out some headline templates where you see some of these tips in action.