Beyond the Headlines: Using Connection and Research to Back-up Catchy Titles

by | Feb 23, 2017 | Promotion, Writing Skills

There you are scrolling through social media and you see a headline that catches your eye “5 things in your home that will probably kill you tonight”. Immediately you click through because you need to know how to protect yourself against these 5 things that are clearly a threat. And they got ya! Catchy headlines are just that, catchy! Totally designed to capture your clicks!

I’ll admit that even I fall prey to this tactic, especially when it comes to catchy titles related to food and nutrition. When I see a headline with a title “5 secret foods that will…keep you looking 20 forever, help you lose 20 pounds by this weekend, make you a genius today, etc….” I generally click through, especially if it is a topic I am interested in personally. Maybe someone else has discovered a secret about diet and nutrition I have never heard about? Maybe?

But, many times once I click through, I am sorely disappointed in what I find. Many of these articles just “fluff” pieces. I usually skim the headers and quickly realize there is no big “secret” to be revealed.

This may be fine for some sites, where the main goal is page views and clicks. And they are accomplishing their goal with these headlines, hey they got my click! But, what if you want real engagement instead? What if you want people who click through to stay? And read more articles on your site? And maybe even buy something? I think that’s where you have to go beyond the headlines, beyond the click bait, to provide more in-depth information and make a personal connection with the reader.

First, you have to grab the reader’s attention, which is a challenge in a world of increasingly shorter attention spans. A great way to start is with a personal story or anecdote. Make your article matter to the reader, addressing their personal pain point. Through this, you create a connection, making them feel like you understand what they need and want.

From there, keep the information succinct and to the to the point, but routed in real research and evidence. Bullet points or headers help people quickly consume information. Summarize research studies in a way that is easy to understand and provide links if they want to look deeper.

Lastly, engage them. Always include a call to action or allow them to ask questions via the comments section.

The key to successful writing that sells or engages the audience is really rooted in providing quality information in addition to a making personal connection with the reader. So, although catchy headlines might be sexy and get clicks, it is evidence-based, quality information and authenticity that makes them stay and creates true customer connection.

Want to learn more about creating engaging content for your health, nutrition, or wellness site or blog? Contact us!


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