Why did you click on this article? What exactly caught your eye here?
Is it the number “5”?
Is it the term “Compelling Headlines”?
Is it the “Top 10%”?
You see, something in the headline made you click, and that’s what I want to talk to you about.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”,…but can you not?
They say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But it’s almost inevitable to judge.
For articles, the book cover is the headline.
It is the first touchpoint with the reader. It’s what gives the reader the first impression of your writing. It sets their expectations.
In fact, statistics say that 80% of readers never make it past the headline.
Think about it.
Only 2 out of every 10 people would click on your headline to read the rest of your content.
Finding the right headline that can attract the reader’s attention and stimulate them to read more is one of the crucial aspects of writing online content.
If your headline is not compelling enough, the reader might not bother clicking on it to read your article.
If it is too compelling but not representative of the content, it would likely annoy the reader after they’ve clicked through. This is what we call a clickbait headline, and it is critical to avoid that.
So, your challenge is to create a gripping headline that either describes your article, represents it, and/or initiates it.
For instance, look at the headline of this article. Can you see why I chose the words and numbers I put there?
In fact, if you’ve read to this point, that means I’ve already initiated the article properly.
I’ve led you through an introduction that is both relevant and, I’d bet, interesting. What is left for me to do is to explain my topic.
The top authors know this. They utilise various headline types to increase the chances of people reading their work. And they make sure the content backs the headline up.
The primary goal is to trigger the reader’s curiosity enough for them to click and want to read your article.
I’ve done a bit of research on this and found an interesting pattern in headlines of articles written by top authors on Medium and elsewhere.
So, I’ve put them all into a list and found some really interesting ways of devising headlines that seem to attract a lot of interest and interaction from readers.
Here are the Top 5 headline types + 5 honourable mentions at the end.