3. Including a metric / Use of language

Readers are lazy, that’s a fact. As readers, we want everything on a silver platter, and as writers, we need to cater to this.

By including metrics in our headlines, readers can gauge how long what we’re telling them will be before they have opened the article.

The audience needs to know how long it takes to achieve the finished product.

Master Headlines and Build a Larger Audience with these Five Easy steps.

This article has five easy steps, I said it in the headline, so before you opened this article, you knew there was a five-part list that includes easy steps to building a larger audience.

The headline could have been left ‘with these five steps’ but this leaves the headline open to misinterpretation by the reader, and this is something we should avoid. Leaving the headline open to interpretation allows the reader to assume things. Are the steps hard? Will I be able to do these steps? Are they complicated? Do you need advanced knowledge? We can stop all these concerns by just adding a simple adjective to the headline.

Instead, by adding the word ‘easy’ to the headline to make it ‘with these five easy steps’, the reader knows this will be simple to implement. That single word increases the overall hooking power of the headline.

4. The method

Leaving the reader in the dark is something we can’t afford, we need them to be informed before letting them choose whether they want to read the article or not.

Make sure to answer the following questions in your headlines:

  • What will they get out of this article?
  • How will they achieve that end?

Including this information in the headline gives the reader the chance to choose whether they want to read on or not.

Master Headlines and Build a Larger Audience with these Five Easy steps.

Before reading this article, you knew this article would be about using headlines, to grow a larger audience with five easy steps. Providing this information made it easier for you to gauge if the article was relevant to you.

What if the method wasn’t in the headline? And, instead, it was.

Build a Larger Audience with these Five Easy steps.

This headline could be used on its own but, it leaves the reader guessing too much. As a reader, you know you’re going to grow your audience in five easy steps, but you don’t know how.

This method does work in some cases by sparking your reader’s curiosity, but most often, readers will disregard your article due to the influx of headlines using this layout which usually falls under the ‘click bait’ tag.

We need to target a specific demand from the audience. We’re telling the audience if they want to grow their audience. They need to work on their headlines and of course, they won’t know what’s wrong with their headlines until they read the article.

We’re still playing on their curiosity and, we’re still enticing them to read the article while being more specific to their needs. Focusing their curiosity on a single point, in the end, makes them more curious about what our article contains.

5. Ensuring it’s relevant

How long does it take you to leave an article if the content doesn’t relate to the headline?

I’m betting not long.

Unfortunately, there’s an increasing amount of articles that are using headlines that don’t accurately describe the content of the article.

There are many reasons for this, but more commonly, it’s people who want to stand out.

Every day, people become writers and start producing content on websites such as Medium. Therefore, adding to the competition for existing writers who want people to read their content.

So, what do they do? They bend the truth.

They say they’ll grow your audience in the headline, but they fail to mention how, why, or, when in the article itself. How can we honestly expect to build an audience when we can’t even write accurate and truthful content?

I’m not saying everyone does this because, in reality, most people don’t. But there’s still a portion of writers who do, and that’s a problem.

We can start fixing this problem by ensuring our work is as accurate and comprehensive as our headlines say it will.

If we want to grow an audience, we have to make sure the articles we produce are relevant to the headlines we give them.

Conclusion

Hopefully, these five steps will allow you to master headlines. However, mastering headlines is a small part of building a reliable and sustainable audience, there are other areas of our writing we need to address to.

It’s more than just pulling in an audience; we need to entertain them and keep them going forward. This is where the body of our work comes in, the words, subtitles, images, links and more.

Keeping the audience is often harder than obtaining the audience.

This is what I will be discussing in the next few articles over the coming weeks.

Make sure to follow me on MediumTwitter and on my blog to ensure you don’t miss out on the next article in the series.

Finally, if you think you know any steps or tips that you think will help people regarding headlines then be sure to share them with me either below or on Twitter.


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