Not everything in life is simple enough that it can be summarized in a formula. If only there was a secret formula for happiness or success in life.
Thankfully there is a simple formula for writing headlines that create curiosity and get clicks. It is simply this: Relevance + Interesting = Clicks!
The headline formula takes the two key elements needed to entice a reader to click: relevance (Does it apply to me?) and curiosity (Tell me more!). Assuming that trust and authority are already established, all you need to do is fill in the blanks.
How to Write Headlines that Create Curiosity and Get Clicks
#1: Include Keywords – Well-chosen keywords are important because they help your audience determine relevance. If they are interested in chocolate, for example, using the keyword chocolate in your headline is important.
Keywords also play an important role in your searchability. For example, using SEO keywords in your headline helps boost your search engine optimization while including common hashtag words allows for social media searches.
#2: Promise Something Deliciously Desirable – What does the reader gain by clicking? It could be a winning formula to writing headlines. It could be the latest celebrity gossip.
The important part is that whatever the reader gains is deliciously desirable. Examples of common deliciously desirable promises include how to’s, top 10 lists, solutions to common problems, and mistakes to be avoided.
#3: Create Curiosity – Imagine you are whispering your headline to a co-conspirator. What would you say to perk their interest? “Psst…you will never guess what I just found out!”
Write a headline that tells your target audience how you are giving them the keys to the kingdom or letting them in on a must-know secret or behind the scenes strategy. People love to know what they don’t know or don’t normally have access to.
#4: Confirm Clarity – The headline must let your audience know the general subject, an important detail that many headline writers miss when trying to be too artful. Read it (and re-read it) to confirm clarity.
The rule of thumb when writing copy is not only to be clear so as to be understood, but to be so crystal clear that it’s impossible to be misunderstood. If you need to, enlist someone else to review your headlines.
#5: Show Relevance – Reference any relevant current events. Connecting your headline to current events is a simple, but effective strategy to tap into topics that are already creating a buzz.
That’s why when the Amazon e-Book controversy was the most talked (and tweeted) about subject, we wrote a post entitled “What Matters, Dear Amazon, is Protecting Our Kids – Let’s Turn Controversy into Public Awareness”.
Writing headlines is definitely an art that takes a little bit of practice. Follow the basic formula, and test and measure what your target audience responds to for topics and keywords. Use their response to create your own surefire headline formula!