Improve your blog headline: Get more readers
Do you know how many blogs there are posted today? 2.9 million and counting
According to statistics you have approximately 8 seconds to get your reader to read, Interest them enough to click on it and land on your page – so is it important to improve your blog headline? In a word YES.
With that number of posts per day it amazes me that the smaller ones survive.
How do you get noticed in all of that noise?
What do you do to get people to see that you have interesting information to give them?
You have to fight for your space.
You have to spark an interest that what you have written is interesting enough to be read – or at least the headline and the first paragraph.
So how do you go about that?
Well you could just write a headline that you think is good. Add the rest of the content and then post it.
Add it to your social media – see what happens. Go on to the next one.
Or you could use what has worked in the past. You could improve your blog headline. This technique was originally developed by Michael Masterson.
The 4 U’s formula.
This says that the headline should be Unique, Ultra-specific, Urgent and Useful. The powerful technique works really well for writing headlines, e-mail subject lines and sub-headings.
So let’s have a closer look at the four categories:
Urgent headlines convey to people that they need to act now rather than later. You can incorporate urgency into your headline by adding a time element. “ Make $150,000 working from home this year” has more urgency than “Make $150,000 working from home”. You can also use it with time limited offers and discounts.
The headline should say something new, or if it is saying something heard before it should be said in a new way. “Save 10% on luxury bath kits” could be turned into “Bathe in luxury for less”. When using this technique you can search in Google for the headline using the “ “ technique. Enter you headline within the “ “ and you will find if others have used that exact headline before.
Your potential readers have questions that need answers. Give them the answers and you will convert them into loyal readers. You need to tell your readers specifically what the post is about, otherwise when they click through and find out you are lying they will click away and probably not come back.”Click here to find out why” is very vague, but “Find out what headlines work best for converting” is very specific.
This is the most important part of the formula. If your headline doesn’t convey a benefit then why would the potential reader click on it? People want to know the benefit they will get from reading what you have written before they arrive.
If you write a clever headline you must ensure that the usefulness is not lost. If you fail to tell the readers the benefit you will lose them. “An invitation to ski and save” shows what you are going to do with a benefit of saving.
Using the training to improve your blog headline
So now we have run through all four parts of the formula how do we apply it?
When you have written your headline, review it and ask yourself how strong it is in each of the four U’s. Using a scale of 1-5 (1 being weak 5 being strong) rate your headline in each category.
You probably will not get a 5 in every category, but if your headline doesn’t rate a 3 to 5 in at least 3 categories then it may not be as strong as it could be. It could benefit from improving your blog headline.
Create a spreadsheet with your headlines in the first column. A second column labelled urgency, third column unique, fourth ultra-specific, fifth useful and a sixth column total.
Write the headline into the first column, word wrap it if necessay. Score the headline in the second to fifth column as described above. Sum the values to give you the total. Using the information above try to improve the headline. Save the spreadsheet so you can use it for all of your post titles and sub headings.
A common mistake is to defend a headline that attracted a lot of shares and interest. A better way to review it is to think how much more interest and shares it would have got if it rated higher on at least 3 out of the 4 categories.
So using the headline “free white paper” would rely on the reader being interested in white papers, free ones at that. With the reader knowing what your site is about may indicate whether it is worth clicking through.
If we analyse this with the four categories:
Urgency: there is no sense of urgency. On a scale of 1-5 this would score a 1
Uniqueness: there are an awful lot of white papers out there so I would score it a 1
Ultra-specific: the headline is so generic that it can only score a 1
Usefulness: if the reader knows your work, it may be useful but do they need another white paper to read? The headline itself scores a 1
So with this it is a very poor headline.
To increase the score we could use:
“ how to create headlines that convert: free white paper”
“download now: free white paper on cure for no blog traffic”
You should go through this exercise for every headline you create. With what you have learnt above you will be creating headlines that appeal more to your potential readers and convert them into loyal readers or even better customers. Try to increase the score in 2 or 3 categories by at least 1.
So at the end of the day
The 4 U technique of Uniquness, Ultra-specific, Urgency and Usefulness can be passed across to the sub headings as well, to allow skimmers to get the meanings of the post.
Using these techniques to improve your blog headline, you will see improvements in your click through rate for your blog posts. If you are not blogging at the moment then why not find out about the best training on the web, in my opinion, here at Wealthy Affiliate.
Thanks for reading