Most, if not all, of the content you create for your blog, is based on your writing. You are not limited to the format of a traditional written blog post, though, because even things like audio and video will often need some writing beforehand. This is why effective writing should be practiced at all times. So how do you do that?
Writing is a great way to communicate ideas, but compared with in-person verbal communication, it comes with a certain handicap. Body language accounts for a significant portion of human interaction. Things such as facial expressions, posture, gestures, and eye contact can either support or negate the words that are being said. Body language is often used unconsciously to connect with people, gauge character, understand how someone is feeling, and many more. The meaning of what you say is based on how you say it. But when it comes to writing, many of those qualities are lost. Body language and tone of voice are not present in the published content. You are reliant on the words themselves, which makes effective writing much more important.
The Importance of Effective Writing
Effective writing gets you to build trust, share ideas, educate, and persuade people, all without the use of body language. Beyond that, remember that the nature of the world we live in today is ever-changing. At any given moment, thousands upon thousands of people and companies compete for your audience’s attention. Think about this: why should someone spend their precious time reading your content when they can do absolutely anything else?
The world of web content is more crowded than ever, and it’s only getting more competitive by the day. Some see that as a bad thing, as the surplus of content is driving down the value of the content itself. But the reality is, as the volume of content increases, so too do the rewards for those who create valuable, high-quality content. Valuable content is what you are going for. You want your content to be the diamond among the ordinary rocks, and effective writing can help you achieve that.
Writing Irresistible Headlines
An effective and irresistible headline is one of the most important parts of a good blog post, because this is where you deliver and nail the first impression. When people come across your content while scrolling on social media or the Google results page, there are only two things they’ll do. People are either going to click through your link or they are going to ignore it. A good headline is crucial because it’s the only information people are going to have at this stage.
When you are working on a piece of content, start it by having a working title. The title doesn’t have to be final, it just has to be something simple to identify what you’re working on and guide the general idea of the write-up. Once you’re finished, that’s when you come back to the headline and refine it. There will be times that you’ll end up writing a slightly different approach than you originally intended, so it’s usually a smart thing to write the final headline once you’re done with the main content. Take your final headline seriously. Don’t just type out the first thing that comes to your mind. Give it a thought before hitting the publish button. The headline is your one chance to grab the people’s attention so make sure that you spend enough time on it.
One thing you can do is to come up with a list of potential headlines, maybe five or so titles. Then narrow them down until you have the perfect one.
With that process in mind, these are the certain elements that you need to have in a perfect title:
- Be unique. If your headline looks the same with all of the other related content on your topic, your potential audience might not want to click it. With a lackluster and common headline, what reason does your audience have to think that you have any unique value to offer them?
- Show a little personality and don’t be afraid to be different. A good example of this is the viral video that put Dollar Shave Club on the map. dollarshaveclub.com – our blades are f***ing great! It’s edgy and they took a risk putting the f-bomb in an official ad, but here’s the thing, it worked. The ad got people’s attention and it showed the people that the brand wasn’t just another razor brand like Bic or Gillette. I’m not telling you to be intentionally edgy and swear in your headlines. All I’m suggesting is that you allow your blog to have a personality and a unique, authentic style.
- A good headline is specific. Be extremely clear about what you have to offer. Don’t stick to the common and general titles that don’t offer much insight at first glance. Be as precise as you can. If you are writing a post about how to grow a business with content marketing, a bad example of a headline would be “Content Marketing” or even “How to Grow your Business”. A good title for this would be “How I Increased My Company’s Sales by 50% Using Content Marketing”. This will make the readers know what to expect, and if they’re interested in what you have to offer, they will surely click through your link.
- Your headlines should be useful, and it should convey a clear benefit to the reader. Just like the example given above, the title “How I Increased My Company’s Sales by 50% Using Content Marketing” is extremely clear about what the reader is going to learn from the article.
In summary, when writing headlines, make sure to always offer something unique, specific, and useful. Come up with a list of potential titles for your posts and narrow down the list to find the best one. If you’re stuck, you can run it by your friends to get fresh perspectives. In any case, always remember that your headline is your chance to make or break the first impression. So be sure to give it the attention it deserves.