3 Tips For Writing Irresistible Headlines (That Your Harvard Professor Won’t Tell You)

iStock_000001175181SmallYou may know by now that press releases are one of my favorite ways to leverage the media…

They are such a powerful tool for establishing credibility and expertise, and probably the best way to drum up media attention

But how do you get reporters and journalists to read them?

Similarly, blog posts are HUGELY important for every company’s web presence (our research shows that for 97% of businesses with a strong blog presence, it’s the biggest source of traffic)….

And another great way to add value and establish expertise!

But again, how do you get people to read them?

…The answer’s the same for both press releases and blogs:

Seduce Your Reader With A
Persuasive Headline

So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to get you there:

1. Straight To The Point

Part of writing a good headline is knowing who it’s for…

And when you’ve got a message that just needs to get out – whether that’s to solve a problem, announce a huge breakthrough, expose huge problem, etc.

…Sometimes the best way to do it is just come out and say it!

One writer over at Copyblogger fell in love with this headline:

Here’s why Netflix streaming quality has nosedived over the past few months”

It hit home at just the right time, when he was already frustrated with his streaming service – and doesn’t beat around the bush about what a reader will find inside.

It grabs the immediate attention of the people poised to gain the most out of the information… It touches on a problem people want to know the solution to…

And above all else, it gets right at the heart of the issue – before the reader even gets to the first paragraph.

2. A Little Controversy

Whether it’s a blog post or a press release, you want to grab people’s attention, right?

And in the wide world of online content, there’s no shortage of competition for the wandering glances of your would-be readers…

So, why not stir things up a little bit?

Consider the title of this article…
Adding “That Your Harvard Professor Won’t Tell You” to the headline raises a brow to people who (shockingly) believe Harvard Professors know it all…

(Fortunately, we know better than to believe that…)

If you can incorporate a little bit of “shock factor” into your headlines, you can make them stand out in an ocean of competitors…

Whether it offends or entices, controversy definitely turns heads.

3. Magnetic Questions

Humans are curious creatures, and if we’re faced with the right questions… we just have to know the answer.

Imagine seeing a headline like this:

“Why Is Your IT Department Crippling Your Business From The Inside Out?”

or

How Much Money Are You Wasting Money On Pointless Advertising?”

…When you see headlines like that, the knee-jerk reaction is, “I sure hope not!” – immediately followed by, “I’d better find out!”

These kinds of “magnetic” questions have a way of raising an “unknown unknown” – something the reader was completely unaware that they didn’t know…

And faced with something like this… who wouldn’t want to find out the answer?
By exploring the content behind such an enticing headline, the reader is looking to find out if the problem (or question) applies to them… which is valuable by itself…

And if it does apply to them, they find out what they can do about it – making you (as the author) a bonafide expert!

Take a look at your headline right now – what can you do to magnetically attract the right customer to your business? Share it below…

In your corner,

Charlie