Would you like to attract new readers to your blog?
The purpose of the headline or title is to draw your reader in. As Professor Snape said in Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling:
“I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses.”
Isn’t that what a great headline does for our readers? A great headline will enchant and captivate the attention of people everywhere. Today, we are going to discover how to write the perfect “how to” headline that will get results.
If you’ve been in the blogging world for even a short while, you know the power of a “how to” article. Everyone loves a “how to” article, but I think it is important to note that just because your reader is looking how to do something, it doesn’t mean that they cannot figure it out.
I love the way Brian Clark of Copyblogger put it:
The crazy thing about the popularity of “how to” content is the fact that people don’t really want to learn how to do anything else. They’ve got plenty to do already, thank you. But it’s exactly due to the crazy busy lives we lead that prompts us to seek out tips, tricks, and methods to make things better, easier, and ultimately happier for ourselves.
So, how can we write a “how to” article that doesn’t just become more noise?
Promoting What Your “How To” Can Offer
Google the phrase: how to hang a picture. Tons of results pop up. 8 Steps, videos, how to(s) and tips. If I want to know how to hang a picture, what is going to draw me into your article vs. the one above it or below it?
In order to see results, your headline needs to contain some kind of bonus or perk. A few ways to offer that is by using:
- Keywords like easy and quick. For example: How to Hang a Picture in 5 Easy Steps.
My guess that someone who is Googling how to hang a picture has some sort of idea on how, but needs a quick and easy way to get it done.
- How to …. That …
Brian Clark at Copyblogger has a great concept to offering readers perks in the headlines of our blogs he writes:
Often, you can simply take a normal “how to” title and make it better simply by using the transition word “that” immediately following the subject matter of the tutorial.
I’m taking a cue from Brian with the headline of this article. I am often results driven. I want to see that my time and effort are being used wisely and one way I know that is by the results. When I was writing the title, I added the That Gets Results.
It is my belief that by offering readers perks in your “how to” headline will give the little push to read the entire article. However, we cannot offer a perk without delivering on it. If the content of the article does not match up with the title you could risk losing the trust of your readers.
If you were talking with someone who was brand new to blogging, what advice would you give them about writing how to articles?