Headlines are tricky business. They’re the difference between getting clicks on your article, or sending them scrolling on by.
They are the gateway to getting people onto your website. So why do so many businesses throw headlines together as an afterthought… And then wonder why they’re getting zero visitors!?
Headlines are a big deal, my friend.
But if you struggle to muster great headline ideas for your blog posts, luckily there are many proven formulas we can swipe and adapt for our own businesses. These are headline formulas that just work, no matter who your audience is or what industry you operate in.
And today I want to share with you three headlines that will always rock your reader’s socks off, no matter how overused they are.
How to posts
‘How to’ posts always do remarkably well because they provide a very specific solution to a particular problem. It often reveals a way to make your reader’s lives better.
‘How to’ posts are usually instructional posts that guide the reader step-by-step to achieve an outcome. The headline makes a promise, and the blog post delivers on that promise. Well, it should do anyway, or your reader will leave feeling peeved and cheated!
If you’re using Pinterest to market your business, (which in my opinion all online pet businesses should be!) ‘how to make’ posts tend to do incredibly well. These posts teach your reader how to make something specific and are dynamite on Pinterest.
‘How to make a destruction box’ on my dog blog has received thousands of shares on Pinterest. And another post ‘How to stop your dog from scavenging on walks’ is one of my most visited articles from the search engines.
Don’t underestimate the power of a solid ‘how to’ post. Use them where you can.
People love a good list. They’re always popular with readers because, again, the promise of what to expect is clear cut in the title. You’re looking at a list post right now, all be it a small one, but three can still be considered a list of sorts.
List posts almost always start with a number. So for example, you could write a post about ‘10 ways to exercise with your dog’, or ‘15 DIY Halloween costumes for dogs.’
Lists also break the post down into easily digestible chunks. Not everyone likes to consume large blocks of text. Listing an x number of ways to achieve something specific, gives your reader an opportunity to skim and find what they’re looking for quickly.
I use lists quite heavily on GoneDogMad. My post ‘15 signs your dog is stressed and what to do about it’ did rather well with a few hundred shares and continues to attract traffic on my blog.
Why posts answer a particular question your reader has. They should cover, in some detail, a surprising fact and provide an explanation to their burning question.
Humans are curious creatures. Google has made it DANGEROUSLY easy to search for answers to our questions online. We all need a stark reminder sometimes that Google is no substitute for a doctor or a vet!
But people actively search for answers to their pet queries because we’re a nation of animal lovers and we want to understand our furry friends that little bit better. Good news for pet professionals – you can capitalise on this fact by writing posts to satisfy your reader’s curiosities.
Take this post from GoneDogMad as an example: ‘Why do dogs eat grass and should you worry?’ has attracted an easy few hundred shares so far and continues to bring in steady traffic every week.
You should always spend time thinking about your headlines, and test them out to see what does and doesn’t work. A simple tweak can make all the difference to whether your posts are seen or not.
Most of the traffic and social shares I attract come from Pinterest. If you’d like to learn how to leverage the power of Pinterest, grab your free ‘Double your traffic with Pinterest checklist’ here.