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5 Must Read Reasons Why Headlines Are Worth Spending Time On

Headlines are important - Christian Bloggers

Today we kick off our new series looking at everything to do with headlines for bloggers. I hope you already know the incredible value of headlines but today I want to briefly look at the incredible benefits good headlines can bring to your blog.

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1. Headlines Focus Your Writing

One of the less talked about benefits of Headlines is that they can help you focus your writing. I used to go off on a million tangents in my blog posts and followed a winding path. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with this but If a reader wants a post about “how to do X” and it ends up talking about how it’s all gone wrong with your football team this year, they’ll be disappointed. Not just that but if you want to talk about an issue…talk about it! Don’t talk about everything around it, you can do that on another occasion.

2. Headlines Catch Attention

This is a pretty big deal for two reasons, which we’ll go into in a second, but the basic gist of it is that if you can catch someone’s attention (in a good way) then they are more likely to check out your blog.

Headlines Bring People From Social Media

If you see an attractive headline on a social media site then you are much more likely to click on it then one that isn’t as good. What makes a good headline is definitely something for another occasion but the primary thing to consider is “does this make someone want to find out more?” if it is no then it’s not good.

Headline Bring People From Google

Likewise when people see a list of search results, they are very likely to click on the first one, but after that the major differences are going to come down to the headline. If they see a confusing headline or one that isn’t very appealing they are less likely to click on it.

3. Headlines Are Good For SEO

Linked in with the point above, one of the primary factors in helping a search engine to rank your site is the quality of the headline. If you have a poor headline then you are going to end up lower on the rankings of Google and other search engines.

When you combine this with a catchy attention grabbing headline then you are on to a winner.

4. Headlines Focus The Readers Attention

This one is vital and I don’t see it talked about enough. Just like the cover of a book, a headline gives people an impression as to what they are going to get in the blog post. This will help them focus on your core points and main theme. A poor headline will mean they have to spend time and effort searching for the meaning (and here’s a tip. People are lazy and don’t like thinking. Take away the thinking for them)

On the opposite end of this, if your headline makes your readers expect something and you then go on a complete tangent they will feel lied to and abused. This is called link bating and it sucks. It’s a cheap way to try and get more page views but really it is just deceiving your readers. Your readers shouldn’t feel disappointed when they read your blog, they should feel delighted from reading your blog. [Take the link bate quiz to see how bad it can get]

5. Your Headline Is Your Book Cover

In many ways, your headline is your book cover. Although we are moving towards a more image centric web, text is still the primary factor. The fact of the matter is that your headline is the first point of call that people see and if it is bad, it will be the only thing they see. However, if you write an eye catching and appealing headline then you at least have a chance to get people to read your article.

If you have a great post but a rubbish headline then many people will never know. Yeah, Headlines are kind of a big deal.

How much time do you spend on your headlines?

A final thought for today’s post to get you ready for the next posts. I want you to think about how long you usually spend on writing a headline? Think about it in both terms of actual time and relative time to everything else you do on your blog. If you are willing, leave your answer below.

About Chris Wilson

I'm a 27 English as a foreign language Teacher based in Badajoz in Spain. I also run the Christian Bloggers community and enjoy writing in my free time.

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4 Replies

  1. New to blogging- I initially never gave the headline anymore weight (probably less) than the rest of the blog. It didn’t take me long to realize how important the headline is (thanks to articles as this). I now frequently spend as much time ruminating over the headline as I do over the body and flow of the message.
    I considered the headline -like slapping a stamp on the envelope with a letter that you just wrote when actually it is as important as the message and address to whom it is sent. Thanks Chris for the article.

    1. I was the same Steve. I used to think of one or two words to use for a headline that was vague and ambiguous but now I usually try and think of a few variations and choose the best. Part of me really dislikes how much time we have to spend on headlines compared with the body but it is the nature of the game and there can be some real value to our writing with it helping to focus the article. I hope you’ll find the series useful.

  2. Chris,
    With the overwhelming volume of email and the advent of Goggle’s email sorting–Primary, Social, Promotions, etc.–it’s even more important to have quality headlines for your blog subscribers. If you have 100s of emails and a few seconds to glance at anything beyond “Primary,” those headlines have got to count. People may only scan the subjects, i.e., your headline and that’s it–unless it really catches their eye.

    Good points. Thanks.

    1. That’s a really good point which I didn’t mention Tom. The importance of Headlines for Email, though I feel email headlines are best when slightly different to standard headlines (and I have some evidence to back it up). I guess that is a topic for another post but I really agree.

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