You spend valuable time on your blog posts, and you don’t want them to go unnoticed. So how are you attracting people to what you are writing?
How you introduce your posts is critical. An effective attention-grabbing post always includes two main ingredients: a catchy headline and a strong first sentence, or lead. And don’t forget how you tease your article on social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter. If these items don’t capture your audience’s attention from the start, there is a good chance they may not continue reading your post.
It can be difficult to summarize your article and entice your readers in a limited number of words, so here are ten tips to improve your headlines and leads and head your writing in the right direction.
Improving Your Lead
- Simplify your first sentence. Your lead should be 30 words or less – don’t give away the whole post in one sentence! Choose your words carefully and make each one count.
- Target your audience by asking a question. Your audience will often want to continue reading your post to find out the answer.
- Address the 5 W’s. If you can answer the 5W’s – the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why” of your article, you can let your reader quickly know what your article is about and why it is important.
Enhancing Your Headline
- Address a common problem or concern to involve your audience. For example, “Quick Relief for Tired Eyes” gives a solution to a common problem.
- Headlines that speak to your users on an emotional level will inspire and capture them.
- Creativity is key. Original headlines and leads will draw your reader in because your posts will seem dissimilar to every other post.
- If your article is about a list of helpful tips, “five ways to prevent the flu,” for example, make this the title of the article. Numbered titles are specific and practical for the reader.
Teasing Your Post
- A short list works well for article teasers on Facebook and Twitter posts because they keep it simple but point out the importance of what you are introducing.
- Stay informed about your audience. What you write should relate directly to your readers, which shows that you care about and understand them.
- Use a call-to-action to encourage your users to view your post.
You will successfully engage your audience if you keep this list in mind when writing your headlines and leads, as well as promoting your posts on other social media channels. For more ideas and information, check out this infographic and copywriting guide.