How To Avoid Your Horrible Headlines.

I was on Twitter at 3:24 am and noticed a tweet about B2B content marketer who did not use actual content marketing. Sounds weird but this individual did more Marketing Operations, they used machine learning and data visualization to show off the metrics of campaigns currently running and forecasting future campaigns while incorporating expense data to find the net results. They were worried about blogging, not the actual structure and what goes into the blog but what should the headline be for the blog. There is a famous marketing/journalism quote out there that many people know and it’s

Only 80% Will Read Your Headline And 20% Will Read Your Post.

This is the most truthful quote I have ever received from my Economics professor and when working in Marketing, my god… is this true. I struggled and through trial and error wrote down what I thought to be the top tips for grabbing the readers' attention to read your post.

Negative Words and Numbers Are Leading Generators

When you apply and start writing your headline it’s very important to apply either a negative connotation or use quantitative facts. You must understand that you need to build a bridge for your readers and as we all know especially in the West, reality TV and drama are the key eye-catchers for many readers. We also know that if you quantify your abilities or actions, they sound 10x more fancy

For instance, You can see in my blog headline I used “How to Fix Your Horrible Headlines” the first three words do not matter but the ending four are what catch your eyes right now and future readers. Many people are wondering what are horrible headlines and what am I applying to my work? is this why I haven’t had good search visibility? Why is this article that has such good advice not tracking attention?

Negative words and numbers lead to creating an ecosystem of endless thinking. What I mean is when you critique so openly about horrible headlines or even write an article saying “How I Used Python to Increase Sales By 32%” You open a door for discussion between you and the reader for them to determine the existence of their own work.

Keeping Your headline under a 60 character limit to ensure search visibility.

In this image below that, I screenshotted you will see prime examples of the benefits of keeping your headline under 60 characters. When diving deep into this picture I Googled “How to code in Python” and got a bunch of unique search items. However, as we see here we start to see the limitation one brings once their headline is above the 60–65 character limit for search visibility.

This then leads to the reader like you and me very at sea. We will begin to read “Pythonic Code: Best Practices To Make Your Python More……” More what? We don’t want to click on this because why waste our time loading a page when we can simply scroll two down and find “How to Learn Python (Step-by-Step) in 2021 — Dataquest”. Now even though you are the first line inside the search engine, many people will not click because they can not read the first headline, and many people in this modern world do not have time to waste or have the attention span to dig deep into what headline is saying.

In the end, you have to make sure to never have a headline that has suspense ending like it’s a seasonal TV show. This won’t capture who you leading towards; Actually headlines that hugely benefit your competition and develops more leads for them.

Create a Content Marketing Committee

One of the weirdest, advice that I would have to give but it’s effective if you can make it work. If you have worked in Finance or Consulting specifically, they will have these Committees that steer how the process and programs work in certain business units. In Marketing, this is not very common but working in content marketing before I always gathered a team of clients or individuals outside of work that I had a true connection with to help me better understand their mindset and what caught their eye.

For example, imagine we had a retail client asking us to help with Instagram, TikTok, and Medium content to expand their users and we don’t know what to do because we never really touched retail. This is where you would gather your network and find individuals who have lead or worked in retail work environments and ask them questions to understand their mindset. This allows you to understand who you are writing to; Thus, expanding your knowledge to write not just an effective headline but more concise content that retains to retail workers.

If you do not find this to be a more comfortable spot to reach out, always finding at least 1 or 2 other content marketers and giving them a list of what headlines or content you are writing leaving with open criticism leads to a great path towards your journey to becoming a master content marketer.

Conclusion: Learn To Be Open

It’s best to always put extra extra thought in your headline. Your headline is the first thing people see! However, I never write my headlines first. I would refrain from people doing so. A good method if you are stuck on a headline is to create the article first. Once you are comfortable with your content piece, go back to the headline and brainstorm ideas you think would make it pop.

I hope these helpful tips that I learned in my past of content marketing reaches the people out there who struggled like I did. As we all know, writing is a process where what your idea becomes will take a different turn on paper and that’s okay. Just remember as long as it’s simple, consistent, and informative. I believe you will have no issue reaching the top.

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