Developing a quality post takes time. Not just time, but a whole lot of work and some money, too.
Now imagine if just a handful of people read that quality post and it vanishes in the content war.
Your dream of reaching millions of people, inspiring them, and changing their life will suffocate to death in front of your eyes. And it'll be painful.
You never want this.
But if your post is of high-quality, then why wouldn't people read that?
The only possible reason is you fail to get their attention.
The Battle Of Attention
More than 2 million blog posts are published every day. More than 60 million in a month.
What is your chance of getting clicked?
On top of that, what if your headline is ordinary, boring, and unmoving?
Your chance of getting clicked goes down to zero.
The truth is it's happening with thousands of posts every day. They’re born and die. Unread.
And the reason is they have bland titles.
That's why you hear experts yelling, "Make your headlines more compelling."
Of course, merely a headline won’t make your post popular. There are many other elements and factors that play together to make a post go viral. But a post without a catchy headline can never make it.
So the question is how to captivate a reader’s attention.
To do this, you just need to appeal to the reader’s emotions. Following three emotions are the strongest in human beings, and you can write hypnotic headlines if you learn how to inject these emotions in your titles.
Let's dig more into them.
Curiosity - The Element Of Evolution
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.” - Bernard Baruch
Have you ever noticed how children see and feel for things around them?
Nature, people, gadgets, and everything else seems so beautiful and strange to them. They ask too many questions because they're curious and want to know everything.
Though the intensity of this curiosity weakens with time in human beings, it never goes away completely.
If you somehow touch and activate that urge, your chance of getting clicked will increase a thousand times.
Before we see how to do it, let's see some examples.
- How to Decide Which Content to Sell and What to Give Away for Free (read here)
- Where Should You Spend Your Marketing Budget? (Even If It’s Not Much) (read here)
- How to Guest Blog: Do You Really Need to Build Relationships With Editors Before Pitching Them? (read here)
- How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World (read here)
As you can see, all the above headlines make you curious. They are hypnotic because they promise to answer the most burning or desired questions of the industry.
To bring this intense curiosity to your headlines, look at your idea (or post) and see what problem it's going to solve. Or what desire it's going to fulfill. Once you hit there, you'll get your hypnotic headline.
Though the problem is, what if your idea is ordinary? What if your post is talking about things that have been discussed a thousand times before?
In that case, you need to tweak your idea a bit and go specific.
Let me show you an example.
Suppose you want to write on the topic "boost website traffic." Your ordinary headline would be:
- X Ways to Boost Your Website Traffic
It's broad and mundane. Let's make it specific:
- X Unique Ways to Boost Your Website Traffic Without Spending a Dime
It sounds more promising and magnetic. Of course, your topic may shrink (or expand) by doing so, but it’s worth.
Fear - The Element Of Control
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Probably the most dominant emotion in human beings. A man in fear can do anything - or nothing sometimes.
For being a prolific writer, you must understand your audience. What are their fears? What things they love and afraid to lose? What keeps them awake at night?
If you truly know your audience inside out, creating fear from your headline isn't far anymore.
Let's see some examples:
- Five Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb (read here)
- How Do Online Reviews Affect Your Search Engine Rankings (read here)
- 14 Phrases That’ll Instantly Sabotage Your Negotiation (read here)
- How to Protect Your Site From Google Penalties (read here)
As you can see, all the above headlines are scaring you, warning you to be careful.
For writing these type of fearful headlines, you must look at your idea (or post) and see what fear it’s going to kill. Does your post have something that your readers should be serious about and need to take action fast?
Answering these types of questions will help you find that fear factor for your headline.
So, how to turn an ordinary headline into a fearful headline. For this, you can visualize the conclusion.
For example, suppose you want to write on the topic "testimonials without proof." Your headline could be:
- Are Testimonials Without Proof Okay?
This title is straight and lifeless. We all know testimonials without proof aren’t okay. What's the need of clicking this title then?
Let's rewrite this headline with adding a conclusion:
- Warning: Testimonials Without Proof Can Land You In Jail
Now, this is something scary. I gave readers a reason to click and see, just by adding a fearful conclusion.
Greed - The Element Of Accumulation
“Greed is not a financial issue. It’s a heart issue.” - Andy Stanley
For most people, the word "greed" is related to selfishness. Greed means cheating, immorality, and inhumanity. But I think, this is just an exaggeration.
Isn't earning more than you need a sign of greed? Isn't craving for the power you actually don't need a sign of greed?
But we all want this. And it's okay.
It's okay until it's reasonable, controlled, and good for the people around you.
Show your readers how to get more money, expand their ideas and business, and get more powerful, and you'll get the hit.
Let's see some examples:
- The Step-By-Step Guide to Making Money from Instagram (read here)
- Exactly how I self-published my book, sold 180,000 copies, and nearly doubled my revenue (read here)
- This Company Literally Bets You Can Lose Weight (and Will Pay You Too) (read here)
- How I Came Up With a Million-Dollar Ecommerce Idea in 20 minutes (read here)
All the above headlines are greedy. They are telling you either how to make more money or how to save time (yes, time isn't less than a currency today).
To bring this element into your headlines, you must connect your idea with the benefits. What benefit they will get from the post must be clearly visible.
Suppose you want to write on the topic "finding tax advisor." Your headline could be:
- X Tips for Finding the Tax Advisor
Again, it's plain and has no reason to click. It sounds dull. Let's add a benefit:
- X Tips for Finding the Tax Advisor Who Will Save You Millions
I just added a benefit to the headline, and it looks much compelling now.
Do you remember what I said about content war and attention?
Your sweet, newborn baby (your post) is fighting against millions to get that attention. Because only that attention can keep him alive.
You’ve to develop the skills of writing hypnotic headlines. You have to learn the art of making your readers curious, furious, or full of greed.