How your blog could bring down your business

Jen HerbertSMEs, Startups

…and other ways a headline can grab your readers’ attention.

Successful bloggers know that their readers are looking for certain things from blog posts. It is these expectations that have rapidly come to shape and define what is, after all, a very young genre.

The best blog headlines work on the assumption that their audience is looking for tangible value, whether that’s information or entertainment. People want to feel that, in exchange for their precious attention and time, they will gain something worth having. There is a lot of competition. So consider what your audience cares about, and how your blog headline can get to the heart of what your article offers in response. For example:

  • Numbers promise your readers a fixed return on their time investment: “Six tips for making better tea”; “The seven signs you need to change your toothpaste” etc.
  • Articulating the problem your article addresses is another effective way of drawing readers in. “How to stop your garden getting out of control” is more compelling than “A guide to regular garden maintenance.”
  • Your blog headline should focus on what’s important to your reader. “New product packaging launched” might seem a fair title for a post about an operational change that has taken you months to implement. However, something like “How we’ve cut delivery times with our new packaging” brings it into the world of your customers.
  • Alluding to a potential danger or opportunity that your readers are missing will provoke an emotional response and make your post a must-read. “The new legislation that could mean big fines for your business.”
  • Addressing your reader directly and asking questions can be far more engaging than simply stating what your article is about: “How businesses can develop new revenue streams” is easier to pass over than “Are you missing out on potential revenue streams?”
  • You can help make your post priority reading by making your blog headline urgent or time-sensitive. “July’s biggest networking events”; “The design trends set to dominate in 2017”; “Are you ready for summer?”

Of course, these ideas need to be adapted to suit your business’s house style and the kind of reader you are targeting, but they are all based on this key principle: readers are looking for value.

About the Author
Jen Herbert

Jen Herbert

Since arriving in the North East as a student more than a decade ago, Jen has acquired a BA and an MA in English Literature from Durham University, a professional qualification in magazine journalism, and several years' experience in business publishing as a writer, researcher and editor. In her spare time she likes to get outside as much as possible with her husband and their two small (but highly energetic) boys.