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The most important way to get someone to read what you wrote is through your title or headline. Having a boring title or headline is a sure fire way to get your article passed on before they even read the first word. So how do you write headlines that make a reader want to read more? What is it that peaks interest and entice someone to die in and read the whole thing?

Below are 12 secrets to writing an eye grabbing title and make your readers want more!

Write better headlines

1. Forget everything you know about writing headlines! Yes it sounds crazy but forget everything you have been taught about writing headlines. What once worked is no longer the path to follow. The tips below may be breaking rules…but they will get you read! Titles or headlines no longer have to follow the rules.

2. Peak a reader’s curiosity. Do not tell them so much in your headline that they do not have to read further on. Use adjectives that will peak interest. Examples might be Astonishing Examples Of…, Underrated Ideas About…, Ingenious Game Plans, or Superlative Strategies.

3. Use negatives in your headline. The best way to use negatives in your headline is to use the following formula: Never [do something wrong/bad] Again! You could fill in the brackets with things like: Never Take a Bad Picture Again! Never Lose A Sale Again! Never Lose a Reader Again! Never Gain Weight Again!

4. Be specific with what your article will do. Give the reader the exact process or number of steps to do something. A title for this category might look like the following: 5 Steps to Secure Your Next Client, Sure-fire Ingredients for a Profitable Business, or Best Practices in the Art Industry.

5. Write not only for your audience but for their friends. You want you title to be something that your audience would Tweet about to their tribe. The best place to go for ideas is your twitter page and see what gets retweeted! Use those tweetables and change them into an amazing headline.

6. Use “How-To.” Everyone loves a good “How-To” article. We are like kids that way. A three year old says “I can do it, let me.” Adults are no different and are easily seduced into reading articles that empowers them. This is a sure-fire method.

7. Use numbers in your headline. Tell your reader how many tips they are getting to use immediately. Or maybe you have 3 well know cures for the common cold. Numbers add to being specific and tempt the reader to read on. They get a definite number of items to solve a problem they are having or to change something they want to change.

8. Play with words. You have been told never to play with your food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play with your words. Take your common title or what you initially think of and try to change it to something snappy by changing the types of words you use. Use interesting or “buzz” words to capture your reader’s attention. You can also use well known slang words. Best places to find words like these is to Google them. Take this title: “Recycle Your Content and Add Flair” take it and change it to “Go Green on Your Content and Do It with Swagger”. You have taken something common and changed it into something using slang and peaking more curiosity or making it into something that is more desirable.

9. Be amazed in your headline. Force your reader to take action with your words. You might say “You Don’t Want to Miss [This]” or “You Have to See [This].” By adding amazement you will entice the reader to read on. You have directed them to read on by telling them something important or astonishing lies ahead.

10. Use emotions to trigger engagement. Use how someone will feel after they read your article as a way to bring readers in and engage them. You might write a title that says something like the following headlines: “If You Thought You Were A Bad Writer, Look at the Flops Of {Prominent Writer], See You Aren’t So Bad! Or “Pictures Of Celebrities On Bad Days To Make You Feel Better About Yourself.”

11. Tell a story in your headline. Remember at the beginning that number one said forget what you know? Well three lines for a headline is not uncommon anymore. Telling a story in a headline will entice your reader and take more than three lines to do it. It might look like this: “Dog Falls into a Well, And Is Saved by a Brave and Agile Fireman” this heading may be posted above a video that gives details of the story.

So here you have 11 tips on creating a stunning headline that will make readers read on! Use them well.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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