If you’re like me, you’re constantly searching for new tips and tricks to improve your copywriting skills. And perhaps the best place to start is by improving your headlines. Why? Although we’ve been taught not to judge a book by its cover, we do this every day with pieces of content and writing as soon as we see a headline. The headline is there to give us a taste of what we’re about to invest our time on; it’s meant to be judged. It lets you know whether or not the content is meant for you.
Since headlines are there to help your prospect know that this piece of content or copy is for them, we need to make sure we know how to make headlines addictive. It’s important that once the prospect reads the headline and the bullet points, they must feel inclined to click on it or read further into the piece of copy. Keep reading to learn more about how you can make your headlines even more addictive and enticing to your prospects.
The Purpose of Headlines
When it comes down to it, every headline has one purpose and one purpose only – to get someone to read more. If your headline can make someone stop what they are doing, or entice them to read further, then it has achieved its purpose. The headline alone does not sell or convert. It only tries to get someone invested.
However, with the advent of the internet, headlines have gotten a little more complex. When it comes to writing headlines for blogs and online articles intended to teach and provide value like evergreen content, copywriters need to make headlines that are not only enticing but keyword rich. Since SEO is a vital part to any copywriting strategy online, headlines need to incorporate these vital puzzle pieces. If the headline doesn’t include the target keyword, then it will likely rank lower and not meet the eyes of as many prospects as possible.
As the copywriter, you must strike a balance between sizzling hot and informative. Emotional and intellectual. Depending on the purpose of the copy, the headline must have staying power and induce a reactive impulse to click.
Find the Kernel of Power
When you begin to write your piece of copy, whether it’s a landing page, a blog post or a social media article intended to go viral, you must identify the Kernel of Power inherent within it. What I call the Kernel of Power is the hidden crux to the copy. It’s the thing that is irresistible to your prospective audience. It causes an itch that they can only scratch by clicking and reading more.
So as an aspiring copywriter, how do you identify this Kernel of Power? The first step is practice. You need to write a lot of copy and develop an intuitive sense to what the prospect finds engaging. A great way to practice writing copy is to get assignments where you are writing on lots of different product category listings on Amazon.com..
By developing a breadth of knowledge as a copywriter, you can practice creating headlines for many different target audiences. Once you begin to do this, always make sure to check your results and see how many views, clicks, and conversions your copy produced. Then learn from your experience and try again.
Identifying the Kernel of Power also comes from knowing what desire your target audience wants fulfilled most of all. I learned from Eugene M. Schwartz’s amazing book Breakthrough Advertising that you can discover their most potent desire from engaged research. Spend time getting to know the target audience. Discover what they need most and how the product, service, or content you are copywriting will help them fulfill this desire. Once you’ve identified the mass desire that is driving the prospective market, you can identify the Kernel of Power within your solution, that fulfills this desire best and express it in an addictive headline.
Make Every Word in Your Headline Matter
When you sit at your computer ready to craft your next headline, never rush through this vital step of the copywriting process. Since your headline can make or break the success of your blog post or marketing campaign piece, always invest adequate time to get it just right. As we discussed in the last point, you’ve already discovered the Kernel of Power that will move people to read more. Now it’s time to express it in words that encourages the prospect to take action.
Ideally, your headline will create an emotional reaction. One tool that I have found useful in enhancing headline copywriting skills and making my headlines more addictive is running headlines through a Headline Analyzer Tool. Although this device is inherently flawed as it’s an algorithm and not a human, it can help you identify words that will engage an audience better than other words. Never rely exclusively on this tool to craft your headlines, but as an aspiring copywriter definitely experiment with it to discover how to make more addictive headlines.
No formula exists for perfect copywriting. If you discover something that works very well for one target audience, there is no guarantee it will work for a different group of prospects. But despite this fact, there are some proven ways to make the words in your headline matter and make them more addictive. Take a look at this blog post where an interview with Ted Nicholas uncovers headline formats that have delivered proven results. Always make sure your headlines use words that speak specifically to your target audience and make each word matter.
The Addictive Headline Takeaway
As an aspiring copywriter, never be afraid to make mistakes. There are no mistakes in copywriting, even if they cost you a job. Every time you try something you are experiencing an opportunity to learn. As you keep exploring how to create headlines that are addictive, you’ll discover what works best for you.
Always be open to new ideas and practices and you’ll see your results improve over time. One of the greatest gifts about being a copywriter is that you are always learning and growing. No “perfect” copywriter can exist in a world that constantly evolves. Markets and prospects change, but if you can learn how to engage people, you’ve learned an invaluable skill. Although circumstances frequently change, people, on a mass scale, are often very slow to adapt.