Have you struggled to write quality content? Have you wondered where to start?
Writing good content isn’t easy. It’s a skill requiring time to learn. It takes practice.
But who has the time? Especially if you’re an artist, you want to spend your time creating. Not writing content.
Think of content marketing as a necessity that drives traffic to your site, gets potential leads and eventually gains conversions and customers. That’s great and all except you draw or paint. You don’t write.
You want the conversions and the customers to buy your art. But how do you write content?
This post is the first in a series of posts for writing content for creatives (and really anyone else). Today, I’m going to give you five tips on how to write a killer headline for your content.
We all know attention spans in the modern age are short. Some put it at 8 seconds or less. With so much information and just stuff begging for our attention every minute, your content needs to stand out.
This is where your headline comes in. A good, powerful, honest headline catches the attention of your readers. I have to reference this well-known stat because it’s super important: According to Copyblogger, 80% of visitors will read your headline, but only 20% read your article.
Your goal is to hook your readers into reading your article. Even if it’s just for the pictures.
5 Headline Writing Tips
I’ve struggled so much with writing headlines and I continue to learn. It’s never an easy task but it’s a foundation for your content. There’s a ton of content out there already on writing headlines that I’m not going to revisit.
What I’m giving you here, is what’s worked for me. Each niche is unique and obviously, everyone has their own writing style.
So play with what works for you, but these basic tips always work for me.
- Pick a format that attracts. Start with “how.” Or start with “why.” You’ll notice that many of my posts start with either how or why. This fits my theme and works for a bunch of different topics. Not to mention, it gets the attention of the reader. There’s my hook.
- Pay attention to tone. Your overall piece will have a specific tone you want to convey to the reader. Whether it’s helpful advice, humor, or you’re describing a specific piece of art, my tone always starts from the title on down.
- Use powerful words but don’t go crazy. This is a common tip, but it’s super important. Notice in my headline above I used “killer.” Not awesome, not cool. Use words that will catch your reader’s attention but not be so common as to be boring. Need a jumpstart with power words? Check out my free short list here: 25 Words To Make Your Blog Post Titles Pop
- Use numbers. So you’re an artist not a finance professional. Numbers still matter especially when reading content. Numbers are quick, catchy, and tell the reader immediately what you’re intent is. Using numbers is especially powerful in headlines.
- Remember your premise. The title of your content reveals the premise of your content. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing about, the headline says it all.
Of Course, Let’s Get Some Examples
As I mentioned above, I love the how and why headlines. Simple, direct and powerful, you can’t go wrong with a how or why:
- How To Write a Killer Headline
- Why Lemon Water Is Good For You
- How to Draw a Mandala in 1 Hour
- Why Smiling Makes You Happier
- How to Write 1000 Words a Day
- Why Reading Is Good For Your Brain
Do you want to read those hypothetical articles? At the very least those headlines make you take a quick look and possibly click.
Now apply the same techniques to your headlines and you will see an increase in clicks and hopefully readers. That’s where your content quality comes in. Your headline makes the reader want to read. Now provide them with quality and value.
The Difference Between Clickbait and Quality
Merriam-Webster defines clickbait as the following:
something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest
Your content can’t lack value. Your content is original and informative. This is where you, as an artist have an advantage. If you’re talking about your art, no one else has done that before.
Your artwork is original and thus the theory goes, so is your content. Talk about your work and provide why it’s valuable and interesting. Start with your headline.
If you want more info on how to create good content, check out the Kissmetrics blog. Take into account the ingredients when brainstorming your headlines, (you’ll find that Copyblogger stat again too).
Yes, you want clicks and traffic. But if you’re just trying to page rank or just get visitors without adding value, stop. Don’t waste potential readers time with poor content. No matter how good your artwork is, if you’re not compelling with your content, you won’t gain readers.
When I blog about a piece I’ve created, I simply talk about why I made it. Why it’s important to me and how it can be important to you. I talk about the process and the time involved. I tell it’s story.
But it starts with the headline.
For an example, check out the link to my post about the piece above here.
Use Yoast To Help Your Headline
The Yoast plugin is available for self-hosted WordPress sites. Yoast will analyze the SEO quality of your title and show you how the slug will appear.
There are many other tools to help with your headline and I’ll save some of those for a later post. I have Yoast installed and it’s a valuable and useful tool. Get the plugin, it’s free!
A good, powerful, catchy headline is the foundation to gaining readers. You want people to read your content and see what you’re about.
The title of each piece looks simple because it’s short.
Writing a good headline requires work. Don’t skimp on your headline. Give it thought. Revise and revise some more. See where your content takes you and go back to your headline. Most importantly, keep practicing and keep writing even if you’re not a writer.
What tips and tricks do you use for your headlines? Please share in comments! Thanks for reading and if you like, sign up for more below:
Also published on Medium.