The Complete Beginners Guide for Effective Blogging | Part 2

The Complete Beginners Guide for Effective Blogging | Part 2

As promised in this blogging guide for beginners I will be covering the topic of headlines. You won’t believe how important they are.

The objective of a headline is to get people to click on your article. Turning prospects (potential audience) into readers.

To do this the headline has a very important job to do.

The headline must clearly offer value.

Which brings us to the topic of what value is. Value can take many forms and it can be debated as to wether the value offered is true or not, but regardless the potential reader must believe value is on offer.

Blogging Headlines

Value can be offered in many ways through a headline. For example:

  • Offering help
  • Providing a direct answer
  • Acting as a resource/guide
  • To entertain
  • Provide the shock factor
  • To inform, excite, inspire, and so on

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you the general idea.

A headline must not be too long, as you have about 2 seconds to convince a potential reader to click on your article. Therefore the value really needs to be delivered in a second or two.

Yoast SEO is an excellent plugin for bloggers, which will guide you in headline length as well as other features. We’ll cover Yoast SEO in a future lesson as part of the overall guide.

Clickbait – click me, click me, click me

Today we see an abundance of what is known as clickbait when it comes to headlines.

This is a trap we can fall into as bloggers. It’s the idea that you give people a misleading headline just to get them to click, while not backing it up with a credible article.

People who specialize in clickbait are excellent at it and want people to click on their content with the aim to then get you to click on an ad for which they get money.

This is a huge business on the internet and people have become quite wealthy from it. Many would argue that this is a problem on the internet today.

Examples of clickbait are:

  • This Cream will Turn You into a Sex Machine
  • Learn How to Win the Lottery Multiple Times
  • The Only Tip You’ll Need to Get Any Girl You want

You have the basic format – ridiculous promise for a common problem.

You’re perhaps reading them thinking, what idiot would click on that. The answer is millions of people all over the world will click on them.

They play on people’s desperate need for a solution, as well as overall curiosity.

These headlines are tested out over and over again by content and analysis experts until they mathematically uncover which headlines get them the most clicks and therefore the most money.

It’s a business, it works, I cast no judgement.

These are headlines created by people who understand the importance of headlines and they dedicate themselves to perfecting the art.

Observing the Power of Headlines

I know first hand what a powerful difference a headline makes.

It doesn’t make a slight difference, it makes an enormous difference. It can be the difference between 50 people clicking on your article and 5,000 people clicking on your article.

I learned this by publishing 1,000’s of articles and witnessing the impact first hand.

Headlines are so important that if you spend on average 2 hours writing the blog post at least 45minutes to one hour should be spent thinking about the headline.

If your headline does not work, it really doesn’t matter what you type in the article because nobody will read it.

A newbie blogger might compose a blog post about positive living habits.

In their naivety, they might just call the article Positive Living Habits.

This would be a mistake – while the author understands the value on offer, probably everyone else will ignore it.

Variations of this could be:

  • 10 Positive Mental Health Practices For Better Business
  • The Best Positive Living Habits You’ll Read Today
  • Increase Your Wealth With These Positive Living Habits
  • Bill Gates Follows These Positive Living Habits You Should Too
  • Positive Living Habits You Must Adopt Right Now
  • Positive Living Habits Gained in the Year of the Coronavirus

These are off the top of my head, but you can see how I offer value within a blogging headline.

I am not just saying what the title is about, I am also saying why you should read it. The reader now has a clear reason to click.

The first one – 10 Positive Mental Health Practices For Better Business is the most popular article on my website and has performed better than all my other social media posts on Facebook and Pinterest.

Online Resources For Powerful Blogging Headlines

There are a lot of online resources you can find to help you learn about headlines. It’s a whole world of information and expertise that I won’t be covering in this part of the series.

What I want you to understand is the importance of blogging headlines and know that if you are to be a successful blogger you must pursue the path of learning the art of headlines.

You can start your journey here – The Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Powerful Headlines.

This article is from Neil Patel. Neil is perhaps one of the best and most credible online digital marketers you’ll ever come across.

You can even find free headline generators online. I don’t recommend them and they are more of a gimmick then anything else. They can be a bit of fun though and they will give you some idea of where you need to be when it comes to generating headlines for your blog posts.

Not understanding how to create your headlines is doing a massive disservice to yourself.

It’s very likely you have a lot of value to offer but if you cannot produce quality, clickable headlines, then a lot of what you write will go unnoticed.

Don’t be a sucker, learn to play the game and get the results your content deserves.

Here’s the Summary:

  • Not understanding effective headline creation is doing a disservice to your own writing.
  • A large portion of the overall time you spend composing an article should be spent on the headline creation.
  • Begin at once understanding and applying the techniques of effective headline creation.

If you missed Part 1 of the guide where we discussed perceived credibility, here it is: The Complete Beginners Guide for Effective Blogging | Part 1

In part 3 we will discuss the use of images in your blog posts.

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