I was asked on Twitter the other day “What do you think of my first blog post?”. So I had a look .. had a read. It was funny, it was interesting but you know the headline didn’t get my attention. If I had seen that headline on Twitter I would not have wanted to click on the link to read the blog. So on Twitter getting people to want to take the next step means that you have to get the basics right and the most basic element is a “Compelling Headline” that just begs you to read it. I have even been known to hit the publish button on my Blog for a new article, announce the post on on Twitter and monitor my clicks with a great URL shortener called www.bit.ly ( I highly recommend it as a vital Twitter analytics tool/app) notice the hit rate isn’t good and then go and “modify” or “completely change my headline”. Here are some interesting facts and figures courtesy of copyblogger.
- The famous advertsing guru David Ogilvy, was known to have once to have rewritten a headline for an automible advertisement 104 times.
- Some of the best copywriters advocate spending 50% of the time writing the copy for an advertisement and 50% on the headline
- Master copywriter Gene Schwartz often spent an entire week on the first 50 words of a sales piece — the headline and the opening paragraph
- On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.
Note: Even Presidents appreciate a headline “I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what’s moving. I rarely read the stories, and I get briefed by people who probably read the news themselves.” George W. Bush
On Twitter you have 2 challenges amongst many to get people’s attention that make the headline even more vital.
- You only have 140 characters to get people to click on the link in your message
- It is streaming past you and within seconds its gone
So you have limited space and limited time to get people to “take action” to click on that Twitter embedded link that follows your “Micro Blog Headline”, to then go to read your blog post or website page.
The art of the headline has been re-invigorated due the shortened attention span engendered by the internet, TV, the RSS reader and the email inbox and Twitter has made it even worse, so, due to the nature of the environment the battle for attention has intensified.
So how do you write a headline that gets people’s attention in 140 charcaters and a few passing seconds? One of my favourite resources I use from time to time is at copyblogger.com …(there are many others) and another one is at Authority Blogger titled “102 Proven Headline Formulas” and also another good site at prevential.com ..”15 Proven Headline Templates That Improve Twitter Traffic”
There are some proven types and categories of headlines that have been developed over the last 50-60 years (hey.. not everything was invented yesterday) such as
- Get What You Want (In Health, Wealth, Relationships, Time and Lifestyle) eg.. The Secret To Getting More Money For Your Property !
- Crystal Ball and History eg.. 10 Predictions on the Future of Social Media
- Problems and Fears eg … Get Rid of Your Debt Once and For All
- Fact, Fiction, Truth and Lies example.. Little Known Ways To Make Money On The Stock Exchange
- How To, Tricks Of The Trade. such as.. How To Plan The Ultimate Holiday
- Best and Worst eg The 10 Worst Mistakes Made by Bloggers
Note: One headline I thought of using was “How To Get Twice The Traffic To Your Blog in Half The Time” .. what do you think …is that a better headline than the one I ended up using?
So what are the some of the best headlines you have used on your Twitter or Blog Post that have worked for you?