Why do newspapers leave out articles in headings

How to write headlines that make you read

But the people are real stupid!You write a great text and nobody clicks. Nobody reads.

Do you know that feeling? I used to have it a lot. What is it very often? At the heading! Unfortunately, the headline is so difficult to write. Is it so difficult for you too?

A good headline needs to generate attention and interest. It has to make you so curious that you can't help but click and read. And she has to do all of this very quickly, because most readers only give you a fraction of a second in which the headline has to work.

The secret to good headlines

There are people who do nothing but write headlines all day long. Large magazines and newspapers in particular do not trust that the individual editors will find a good headline. Too much depends on the heading. It is decisive for the first success - or failure - of a publication.

You probably won't be able to afford a headline pro like that, will you? That's why I'm going to show you now how you can easily write good headlines yourself!

1. Just write!

Headings must be able to appeal to the subconscious. Only then do they work within a very short time. To do this, however, a heading has to be written very simply. Especially in political texts - but also in many other places - I see headings that are very complicated. For many readers, they are simply incomprehensible. This also means that you no foreign or technical terms should use! Certain technical terms can only be suitable as a signal word if you have an absolute specialist audience as your target group.

2. Keep it short!

The shorter your headline, the better. Short messages just work faster. So try not to make your headings longer than absolutely necessary. 10 - 12 words should be the sound limit. Even shorter headings work better.

3. Write what it is about!

Very important:Your readers want to know what your text is about! A headline that is literarily sophisticated and profound but leaves the reader puzzling will not work. Do you hope that this ambiguity will make people curious enough to click? When was the last time you clicked on such a heading yourself? Correct. I once wrote for a short time many years ago for a student newspaper. It was then fashionable to write in as clauses as possible. I advise you: rather write very specifically what your text is about. People like clarity. An example: “From austerity measures, leaky roofs and broken school toilets”.You get a vague idea in which subject area the text could be. But nothing more. Not good! How about: "These are the consequences of the austerity measures on our school".

4. Use the most important keyword in the front third!

A keyword is a catchphrase that describes the topic as precisely as possible. These keywords are particularly important for search engine optimization. The further up the relevant keyword in the headline, the better it is. For this blog post here, of course, it's the wordheadlines, which I use in the first third of the heading.

5. Don't reveal everything!

Write what is it about? Yes. Reveal everything? No! If I can already see the result of the text from a heading, I no longer need to read the text. I already have my answer. Your readers should know exactly why they should read your text and what the text is about - but the end of the story must then of course be in the text itself. "Additional income: School gets new computers and toilets are refurbished" - we actually already know all the essentials. But how about: "Additional income: This is how we are changing our school now"? I want to know more and that's why I'm much more likely to click!

6. Create a need!

A good headline writer always thinks from the reader. It is not important what you want to say yourself - but what needs your readers have. Expressed differently: Raise a conscious or unconscious problem and try in your readers to stimulate the feeling of wanting to solve the problem. There are several tools for this, some of which I will introduce to you below. The headline of this post also addresses a problem in many people: Many always have the vague feeling that their headings don't work. A headline that is tempting to read? Wow. I want that, too. I already have one more reader - at this moment: you!

I'll stick with my example above. Obviously, the school mentioned seems to have a lot of problems. The headline “This is how our school is changing now”, in combination with the word “additional income”, certainly arouses a lot of needs. In this case, there is probably a very powerful need: greed. So a click would be very likely here.

[clickToTweet tweet = ”The secret to good headlines? Arouse a need and promise redemption! " quote = ”The secret of good headlines? Arouse a need and promise redemption! ”]

7. Make a promise!

People love promises. For the school above, I made the promise in the last heading that something would change. In the headline of the article you are reading right now, I made a promise that afterwards you would know how to write seductive headlines. A promise, the best one Benefit promise is very effective. Whenever you can add one to your headlines, do it! But then you have to adhere to it. A party can become one "New Years Reception with Hannelore Kraft" invite. Or it can promise something: “New Year's Reception: Get to know Hannelore Kraft personally”. It's these little things that ultimately make for success!

There are three different promises in particular: One Utility to get one Knowledge advantage or entertainment.

8. Ask questions!

If you manage to ask the exact question in the headline that is preoccupying a potential reader, you will definitely win. I'll take our above example with the school again - which headline appeals to you more? "City does not renovate school despite additional income ”or "Additional framework: why don't we renovate the school now?"

You can apply this to many other examples:"Tax law: New rules for the self-employed from 2017"or "Tax law 2017: What do I now have to consider as a self-employed person?" or even "Totally confused? Understand the new tax rules for the self-employed now ”

Questions pick up the reader exactly where he is. Therefore, they work particularly well.

9. Get the readers involved!

The questioning technique can be strengthened by specifically involves the reader. As soon as he has the feeling that he can decide something for himself or that his opinion is important, his interest also increases. So it would be conceivable that a "What would you do?" use. In our example:"Additional income: what would you spend the money on?"

It is always important, however, that the requirements set out in the heading are also met in the following text!

10. Use opposites!

Opposites stimulate, they invite reflection and arouse great interest.“Little money, big school? This works out!"

11. Write actively and vividly!

Many texts have the major weakness that they are written in a very passive style. But people do not think in passive sentence constructions, but always very actively. Let's pick them up right there! Above I had the following example:“Additional income: this is how we are now changing our school”.This heading is actively formulated. The passive variant, on the other hand, would be much less effective:“Additional income: This is how the school is now being changed”.

12. Make a claim!

Sometimes it's good to make a statement directly with the heading. In any case, if you can arouse so much interest through a claim alone that you get readers - or if you especially want this claim to get stuck in the end and be disseminated. So how about: "City cannot pay for school renovation!

13. Surprise!

A surprise is a strong feeling. You can't help but immediately think about what has just surprised you. You probably know that. An example: "It's good that our school roof is leaking! What do we do nowcan"

14. Use the W questions!

Now we come to one of the most powerful tools in heading building. The W questions: How, why, who, what, why, where, etc. Take a look at professionally written headings. You will stumble across these very words over and over again. These words have several functions. The most important thing is that you are signaling a promise - see point 6. My headline for this post promises that you will learn herehow You can write seductive headlines. Every W question promises something different. The why question, for example, promises you a knowledge advantage. You learn,Why something is what it is. The how-question makes a clear value proposition, etc.

A few examples, only briefly outlined: What you have to do now ...Who should pay attention now ..., Where you should definitely go ..., etc.

15. Address the readers directly!

You have probably already noticed! In many of my headlines I address you as a reader very directly. So not "How to write headings ..." rather "How to write headings ...“So the headline is much more direct and therefore much more effective. Try it once! You don't always have to use your Duke, although it is of course shorter, crisper and more personal in such a headline.

16. Use numbers, make a list!

Last, but not least, the enumeration not missing. Even the W questions work according to the principle: awaken a need and make the promise of redemption. In the case of a headline in which a numbered list is touted, you even say, how strong the redemption will be. I could have used the following heading for this article: "15 points on how to write headlines that seduce you to read". Or "15 tips for the perfect headline". The size of the number is particularly important. I decided against it on 15 points. If I had written an article with three tips for the perfect headline, I would definitely have used this number in the headline. It just sounds great to only have three things to consider, doesn't it? Unfortunately, the reality is different in this case! In contrast, my blog post, in which I wrote down 60 ideas for blog articles, lives from this high number.

Conclusion: A good headline doesn't write itself

You see, good headlines have less to do with creativity than mere craft. But that's also the good news, because a craft is much easier to learn than creativity. Now you should practice writing good headlines on a regular basis. Just take old texts and think of new headings for them. Then you will learn very specifically what to look out for in your subject area. The next new text will have a much better heading!