Writing effective headlines
You can write the most epic blog content that could set off a bunch of life changing insights for your readership but without a tantalising headline, few people will bother to click through and read it.
Ensure you have a compelling heading for each blog post. Make sure it’s a bit of a tease and that people will want to click on it and read more. Include why someone absolutely must read this post; explain why it will change their life/business/mind etc. The headline must be about the reader and how it can benefit them. For example, How garlic will make you lose weight.
‘With [blog post] titles, it's best to under promise and over deliver. So if you're choosing between uber-compelling and accurate, choose accuracy every time,’ Corey Eridon, Hubspot Marketing Blog.
Here are some things to add that will create punch for an effective headline:
An effective headline should make a reader curious and want more. Here are some types of headlines that have proven themselves to work time and time again:
'Most people will share content based on the headline alone.'
How many words should your headline be?
There's been many different discoveries when it comes to the ultimate headline length for maximum readers. The platform you are sharing on does make a difference but to summarise, Outbrain has found that seven words is an ideal length.
Coschedule similarly suggests that 60-100 characters is ideal.
Do you want to know whether your headline hits the mark? This is my favourite tool when deciding between headlines to use. Try this headline analyser.
Here's how I decided on the headline for this post:
You may also like... How to write great subject lines
Non fiction book writing
You’re ready to write a non fiction book but you’re hesitant to start for any number of reasons; perhaps you are swimming in self doubt, overwhelmed or just not sure where to you start. You’ve identified a non fiction topic to write about and you may have even picked a title and can picture the cover in your mind’s eye. You just haven’t written a single word of the draft manuscript. That is okay! You’re actually probably way more ahead than you realise.
I wrote both my books,Promote Your Spiritual Business and Thirty Days to Conscious Success in less than a year each because I genuinely enjoyed the process and was very committed to getting it done. And even though I write for a living, I STILL understand the pain of starting some written work – at times, it can be ghastly!
But an idea is just an idea, it’s not a book! Until it’s written, it’s just thoughts. So you actually need to start. Every single successful project in the history of time was started at some point.
If you’re having trouble starting, pick one of the following action steps today:
Do some research
Set a timer for thirty minutes and do some serious, hard core internet research on your predetermined topic. Cut and paste as many relevant sections, paragraphs, links, stats and quotes as appeals to you and put in a Word document. You’ll come back to this document at the right time to expand on relevant sections or use the research to back up your opinions in the book.
Unearth what you already know
Open your Word document and type the heading ‘What I know about TOPIC (this is the topic you will be writing about)’. You can also apply the same action step to keywords that will be in your book. This is your chance to write down dot points of what you already know. I guarantee that you will shock yourself with how much you know about this topic. We often don’t even know how much we know… Donald Rumsfeld proclaims that we no longer know what we know and what we don’t.
Most adults have a finite capacity of storing and collecting information, so it’s not implausible that there is at the very, very least one book’s worth of information readily available in your brain. I’m confident there is enough information there to write as many books as you can be bothered!
‘…if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.’ Scientific American.
Set up an interview
Interview yourself! Write out a list of questions that you would ask someone else about the topic or that you want to know, then set about asking yourself. You may even like to prerecord yourself, or rope in a friend to ask you these questions. Just having a different voice can be a really effective process in unearthing your knowledge.
Get really quiet. You may already be familiar with a little thing taken the world by a peaceful storm, called mindfulness. If you’re a mindfulness junkie, there’s an opportunity to commence that right now. But if you’re unfamiliar with it, just get really quiet and really still. Distractions have no place here! It doesn’t even have to be long – five to fifteen minutes are ideal.
Empty the mind of all your thoughts and when it feels as empty as possible (this is no small feat, by the way) invite thoughts about your topic in. Keep a notepad handy nearby and jot down every single thing that comes to mind, even if it is “purple monkey dishwasher”. You will get something useful out of it – even if it is one keyword that will spur you to undertake step one, two or three.
Find your notes from a workshop you have attended in the last year or so on your chosen area (or closely linked) and gather up your notes. From these notes you will type them up (even if they have been previously typed) and highlight keywords or topics that you will expand on by doing step one or two.
Have you attended a workshop that is on a different topic? Grab your notes from that find the similarities between your topics. You may even find some beautiful metaphors or ways to cross pollinate knowledge here. Like I did with this.
Didn’t take any notes? Tsk tsk. But not all is lost! Your action step is to enrol in a couple of workshops, seminars, webinars, ecourses or similar on your topic and when you attend, take so many notes that you are left with a hand cramp at the end! Don’t aim for creativity when note taking, just get as much data down as you can. When you type them up later, you’ll be able to interpret in your own writing style, with your own take and research to make them meld seamlessly into your book. Pay particular attention to the extra resources, such as books, podcasts, links, key people that the lecturer, teacher or course provider recommends as this is where you will extend your knowledge and get those extra nuggets of information that make your book juicy with information. Once you've written it, it's time to engage a copyeditor.
There are no excuses left to not starting your non fiction book and being well on your way to a bestselling non fiction author! All you have to do is pick one of the action steps above and do it. You may like to pick an action step for each day and dedicate yourself to completing it. At the end of the week, you’ll be so energised and motivated by what you’ve achieved that it’s likely you’ll want to continue writing your non fiction book until it’s finished!
Keep getting stuck? Book writing coaching services.
Facebook is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the world – that is undeniable. Due to the immediacy of the platform, people can mistakenly lack thought and attention to the writing they put out there on their Facebook business page, forgetting that it represents the quality and credibility of their business and service.
An easy assumption to make is that you can write with reckless abandon on Facebook and that not every post counts. Just because the content isn’t static and is forever moving, does not mean that you do not apply the same copywriting techniques that you would for any other marketing activity.
Putting time and effort into writing every Facebook post will reward you over time.
Here are some tips on writing great Facebook statuses for your business:
So what words should you use? Well, aside from keeping your tone, language and style in alignment with your brand and business, here are some words to include and words to avoid.
Words that have a positive effect on your audience:
These are all great eye catching words that people automatically associate with relevant articles, posts and written content that will improve our lives as readers and will get people clicking through to your blog posts or website (which is what we want them to do for SEO and to get them to buy from you!). Using one of these words in your social media posts will help boost interaction. Give it a go today!
Words to avoid when running a social media competition:
Instead use winner, win, winning, lucky, events, free, bonus… you get the idea. People don’t want to know the process - they just want to know the end result for them, or at least the possible end result.
Did you know? Manners cost nothing but double everything! Including the word please in your call-to-action can increase your engagement by almost double, according to The Most Effective Calls to Action for Facebook Posts, by Ayaz Nanji, 18 June 2014.
Do you want me to review your Facebook post?
If you link your Facebook post where you’ve incorporated these copywriting techniques below in the comments section, I’ll head on over and review it for you and let you know what’s working and where you can improve!
SEO writing tips
You know when you type in a Google search term up pops literally hundreds of thousands of pages? How many pages do you actually scroll through to find what you are looking for? Most people only take notice of the first three links; maybe if you have the time, you’ll scroll through two or three pages. So if you want people to find your business, products or services through a standard Google search, you need to be as high up on that search list as possible.
The better you have optimised your website, the more likely it will show up higher (closer to the top of the list) in the search rankings and the more discoverable you are in the world wide web. That’s what SEO means: search engine optimisation.
How does Google decide who gets to go at the top? It has an algorithm that it uses to rank pages, which contains a plethora of factors to ascertain where your site should fall and how interested people will be in reading it.
This week, Mumbrella has summed up the three things are that are vital to get in those vied after top three spots. Those three things can be summed up as:
Here are some really basic and practical guidelines that you can start to implement straight away:
Use other social media platforms to send people to your website. The more people that look at your website; the more that search engines recognise that it’s a well trafficked site and thus rank you higher.
'B2C [business to customer] companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month,' (HubSpot, 2015).
Search Engine Journal