7 Headlines that Attract Readers
The headline you write for your blog or article is the first thing a prospective reader sees. If your headline doesn’t turn a browser into a reader, the time you spent writing your words is wasted. A great headline must do more than attract attention, it should promise some kind of benefit for readers to lure them to read the body of the message.
- News Headlines: a news headline is self-explanatory. Darin Day wrote an article for the recent Master Lawyers Section's newsletter about the unbundling of legal services. He titled it New Limited Scope Rules Benefit Underemployed Attorneys and Overburdened Courts. It is effective, it tells the reader what the story is about, and promises benefits for lawyers and the courts.
- How To Headlines: Who doesn’t want to know how to comply with the ADA or read an article on how to select a guardian? They offer readers a way to solve their problem and will attract attention.
- Question Headlines: A question headline must not only ask a question, it must ask a question that readers want answered. For example, "Why do you need a will?" Or, "What is a pre-nup?" Questions will grab someone's attention. They want the answer and will find it by reading your article.
- Command Headlines: A command headline tells the reader what needs to be done. The first word should be a strong verb demanding action such as "Protect Your Family," or "Write Your Will."
- Number Headlines: A number in a headline is better than a word. Odd numbers are more effective than even numbers, and smaller numbers are easier to absorb. Ideally, using the numeral rather than the word draws more readers. So, instead of writing “Seven Steps to Start a Home Business,” try using “7 Steps to Start a Home Business.”
While the headlines listed are considered the most effective, there are others such as Direct Headlines or Testimonial Headlines. A Direct Headline goes straight to point such as "Wills Protect Families." A Testimonial Headline presents proof that your service has value. This means taking what someone has said about you and using it in your headline.
You’ve spent a lot of time and thought creating an article or blog post. Take some time to craft a headline that will encourage readers to read your content. You’ll be pleased with the results.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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