The Secret of Cutting Through the Noise and Getting More People to Click on Your Links

HeadlinesThis is a guest post by James Tayo of Entrepreneur Blog’r.

One day I was shopping for groceries and as I walked through the magazine section, I was stopped in my tracks. A title on one of the magazines had caught my eye and it read “One Wedding secret Prince Charles must take to his grave”. I just had to stop to pick it up to find out what they were on about. If you live in the UK, you always are interested in some crazy thing the royal family does. This moment reminded me of how powerful a great headline can be.

The Power of a Headline.

In a previous post, Pat explained why an incomplete headline will help you get more traffic to your blog and this post is a follow up to expand on that idea. In the age of social media and millions of other blogs competing for your audiences attention, it has become a noisy world out there. Today it is not who shouts the loudest that gets the most attention but who shouts the smartest. Especially if you are a new blogger, you could write all the great content you want, but to get that content read, you need to have a great headline that pulls people in from the RSS readers, Twitter or wherever you may be promoting it.

How to Learn to Write Great Headlines

Writing great headlines is not hard at all, you just need to know what works, the psychology behind why it works and put that into practice.

In this post, I am going to share a great resource with you. It’s from the marketing guru, Jay Abraham and it is called, The 100 Greatest Headlines ever written. I will choose 3 of those headlines to analyse and show why those headline work so that you can be able to craft your own super headlines. I will also give you alternative headlines I could have used for this post.

The Secret of Making People  Like You

This is first one one the list. This headline clearly wants to convey how you can achieve a specific result, in this case, getting people to like you. Highlighting a benefit a reader will get from reading your content is an effective way of getting that person to click over. The other component that makes this headline even more powerful is “The Secret”. We all want to know what our competition doesn’t, so that we can have an edge over them. In this case people want to click over and find out what it is that isn’t common knowledge and will make people like them.

Let’s see how I could have swiped this concept to create an alternative headline for this post. A good title for this post could have been, The secret of cutting through the noise and getting more people to click on your links on Twitter.

A Little Mistake That Cost a Farmer $3,000 a year

As Jay Abraham noted under that title, “People will fight much harder to avoid losing something they already own than to gain something of greater value that they do not own”. This title will draw you in because you would like to know what mistake the farmer made so you don’t end up making the same. Also, the word “little” is trying to convey the message that the mistake was avoidable but it still cost the farmer $3,000. This title like all the other titles in this post plays on the curiosity angle. You only want to give away so much information in the title to arouse that curiosity so the person reading it will want to find out more.

Swiping from this title, I could have titled this post. A Little Mistake that cost a Blogger half of his Subscribers.

Why some People Almost Always Make Money in the Stock Market

This title is best used when you address a problem that most people have but only a small section of the community seem to be able to have a solution for. In this case, it is making money
on the stock market. It is widely known that only about 10% of investors gain from the stock market and the other 90% are the ones funding these gains. The element of credibility also comes into play with the words “some” and “almost”. It acknowledges that not everyone will be able to find the solution they are seeking but when they do find it, their chances of success are greatly increased because it “almost always” works.

A good title for this post could have been, Why some Probloggers always get tons of traffic from Twitter.

I’m sure you now recognize the power of a headline and how these headlines work behind the scenes to make you take action. Your headlines are the entry points to your content, most people coming over to your blog will see your headline first, the more people you can convert into coming over to your site, the more you will convert later into subscribers, clients, customers or whatever you want them to be later on.

I have a challenge for you, can you think of a headline for this post that is better than the 3 I have illustrated here? Please leave a comment and let me know.

James Tayo shares tips on how you can become a successful entrepreneur at Entrepreneur Blog’r. On his blog you can find out how you can kick start a profitable business online by building an email list of prospects and turn them into raving fans.

  • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

    Hey Pat.. Thanks for the featuring my post!. Looking forward to answering any comments your readers have..

    • Pat

      Hey James – no problem dude, it’s a fantastic read and a great reminder about how important our headlines and subject lines are. Excellent content will not be read unless people are intrigued!

      Cheers!

  • http://www.hectorjcuevas.com/ Hector Cuevas

    James.. this post was very informative and you used great examples.. Headlines are key to getting the attention of the market..

    I think you hit it out the park with that headline –
    thanks for sharing
    Hector

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Thanks Hector, yes. Headlines are key to getting the attention of people especially in a loud and saturated market.

  • Jon Rezin

    Here is an alternate title: “3 simple ways to cut through the noise and capture a community that could make you millions.”

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Jon.. Great headline, you went all out and gave a benefit that is higher up in the chain… the reason you want people to click on your links is to be able to convert them into customers later and then make millions (if that is your goal). I like that

  • http://www.smartlanguagelearning.com/ Samuel

    Very good post indeed James.
    I get reminded more and more about how powerful good headlines can be.
    Funny to see that Tim Ferris also posted about headlines on his blog.

    Samuel

  • http://www.lickshunmewah.com Michael

    Nice post James. I would have gone with something along the lines of: “How to turn tyre-kickers into customers” or “How I lost readers so you won’t.”

    Thanks for sharing.

    Michael

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      I like the second one “How I lost readers so you won’t”… since people would rather avoid pain than gain something of value. Thanks Micheal..

  • http://www.siteflippar.com Karl Hadwen

    Hey James,

    Great post. I find now on my niche websites that I’ve started using more headlines, and it seems to be drawing attention.

    Thanks for sharing.

    -Karl

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Glad to see it working for you, Karl.. Great headlines really do draw attention

  • TrafficColeman

    Yo James,

    Headlines are the rulers of all evil, our world bleed headlines when it comes to magazines, newspapers, Google Adwords ads and so on.

    I master the headline writing years ago, and have seen a spike in traffic since then. I will say if you’re looking for stand out click, show headlines that will make someone say.. Hey let me read this..

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Good point.. Not sure if you can say it is the rulers of all evil but they are definitely important and taking the time to study the psychology behind what works is a good investment of your time.

  • http://www.activebodi.com Wade McMaster

    This is definitely one facet I never even considered thinking about besides just a quick ‘what to expect’, but this article really makes you think…

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      I am glad I made you consider it Wade, To stand out in your niche, (which is really competitive), you need to be able to cut through the noise. it is easier said than done though,… but hey, what’s life without the challenge

  • http://tekkbuzz.com Deborah Richmond

    The point about headlines is a great tip. I like to try new types of headlines and check my Aweber to see which ones get the most opens. Right now, anything that starts with a number is pretty popular; 4 Ways to Use Social Media to Market, 5 Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Blog, etc.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Yeah Deborah.. headlines are not just for blog posts but works well for email subject lines as well.. anywhere you need to grab the readers attention.

      • http://www.selfhelpfaq.com Barb Dorsett

        I’m glad you mentioned email. I get a few emails from bloggers that only say “the latest from,” and I’m not very motivated to open those. They need to let me know what’s hot right in the email subject line!–Barb

        • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

          Right on point Barb.. our email inboxes are as noisy as twitter or RSS readers. grabbing their attention is key to making people open your email

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    Really great post James,

    Having a great headline is really very important, I just ebgan to realize the power of a headline and since doing this I have began to get more traffic and retweets on my blog.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Hey Oni.. it is kind of fundamental and it helps you cut through the noise. As long as you can follow up with good content, you are a winner. Glad you liked it.

  • http://www.robertstrongmarketing.org Robert David Strong

    The Headline is like the gateway into the article – if the gateway looks great and compelling then you have the chance to get a reader. On the other hand you need to continue to follow up with great content and a call to action at the end.

    Thank you for the great post!

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Sure, Robert .. The headline is just the entry point, great content has to be on the other end or else you lose credibility …

  • http://www.sweetsfoods.com/ Gera

    Just for start, your headlines caught me! Totally with you about the power of headlines, there are certain models that go wonderful for improve the reading.
    Apart from that, good headlines can improve dramatically the social presence of the article even, making it viral.
    I’m still in the process to energize more my headlines ;-)

    Very good work James and Pat, keep coming!

    All the best,

    Gera

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Gera, good to know the headline brought you in. Hope the post gave you some ideas on how to energize your headlines!

  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    Great article. I agree. Headlines aren’t only important for bloggers, but everyone who wants to craft quality content and attract attention.

    I like the last headline example – “Why some Probloggers always get tons of traffic from Twitter” A lot of people try to get tons of readers from Twitter, but few succeed. This would be my second headline alternative.

    Terrific read, and thanks for the reminder: Headlines should NOT be overlooked!

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      You are welcome, Christina.. Glad to be of help. I checked out your blog and it looks like you are doing pretty well with the headlines, they look catchy and enticing. Keep it up

  • Kurtis

    I like short, simple headlines like “Why Great Headlines Get More Clicks”
    That would draw me in.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      I also love shorter headlines, the problem is sometimes you need more words to pass the message along and arouse curiosity. If you can do it with less words, all the better

  • Erik R

    James…great post about one of my favorite topics. Headlines are super important. Before I post an article or send out an important email I write dozens of headlines. Then pick the best ones from there. The others get saved for possible future headlines.

    Here’s are a few possible headline for your post…

    -Why No One Clicks On Your Links And What To Do About It!

    - Are Your Links Broken Or Are You?

    - Did You Ever Wonder Why No One Clicks on Your Links?

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Did You Ever Wonder Why No One Clicks on Your Links? That is a good one right there. It arouses curiosity and shows empathy. Good stuff, Eric.

  • Michael 537717

    Great post James. But I think i got the best one here:

    Who ever heard of a man just got laid off a years ago, but now living off of passive income made online?

    Cheer ^_^

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Sounds like Pat Flynn? :-) The headline is kind of long though.

  • http://www.learnkraft.com/blog Learn Kraft

    The enterpreneur Blogr definitely has some great insights about selling online. Thanks for introducing him to all of us.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Thanks a lot. I’m happy you find the content on my blog useful. It is my pleasure to be introduced to you all here.

  • http://findmyblogway.com Lye Kuek Hin

    Hi James,

    I can’t think of anything that is better. That’s why i think this post really pointed out my weakness. i need to be more creative on the headlines.Thanks for pointing that out.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Yor last headline . “14 ways for me to leave your blog” is really catchy. I think you are on the right path, Lye. practice makes perfect

  • http://www.acnenomoreinfo.com Juan

    I like the most these 2 phrases:
    1. Today it is not who shouts the loudest but who shouts the smartest.
    2. People will fight much harder to avoid losing something they already own than to gain something of greater value that they do not own.
    I have already heard the second one from shoemoney.
    People hate much more losing money than they love making it.

    ~~Juan~~

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Yes that is an old marketing discovery. Personally, I think it is not a good way to lead your life, because if you are always scared of losing stuff, you will never be courageous enough to try new things that wil take you to the next level

      • http://www.acnenomoreinfo.com Juan

        I agree with you James.
        Thanks for the remark.

        ~~Juan~~

  • http://www.htmlcrazy.com Mandeep

    Headlines are a great way to get people to read your article. It’s the first thing people see before reading your article’s content. Great post!

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Thanks Mandeep, Glad you liked it

  • http://www.wordpresshostinghq.com Wordpress Hosting l Jake

    Great posts and great tips – Thanks for the guest blog.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      My pleasure

  • Cody

    Great Points James.

    Let’s not also forget about what your headline says thru the choice of font you use. Never underestimate the power of a font, it’s what is said without being said directly. Your font has a powerful subconscious affect on the reader.

    There was this great little flash plug-in that allowed you to change the limited fonts on the web to whatever you choose. If the reader didn’t have flash (smart phones) then the flash was disabled and the usual text was shown instead. Does anyone know of this plug-in?

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      I haven’t heard of a plugin like that, maybe someone else can shed a light. But Cufon fonts can do what you suggest, (modify fonts on the fly). No flash required

  • Dustin Sanchez

    Pat I implemented this line of thinking on my last couple of blog titles and it seems to be driving more traffic to me. Thanks for the info.

  • http://learnersreference.com aroopam

    This is absolutely true..heading plays a major role in catching people as well as heading keywords are best SEO agents…

  • http://www.nomoredollarsforhours.com Paul

    James,
    Thanks for potentially saving me a lot of wasted time. I’m considering how to market a new product and I’ve been trying to articulate how GAINING it will benefit them. The quote from Jay Abraham about people wanting to hang on to what they got really made me step back and consider how I can emphasize what they will hold onto instead.

    I’ve got a lot of thinking to do now. Thanks for the link to all 100 headlines. I’ve copied all of them and I’m going to study each and every one of them.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Good to know that, Paul.. You don’t need to study all 100 though. You just need a few to get started, or else you might get overwhelmed

  • http://www.iflirt4u.com Tim

    Hey James & Pat,
    Thanks for the great post. I really like how you highlight the effect of certain trigger words, like ‘secret’ and ‘mistake’, in creating a great headline. These words often have a visceral impact on people and I think their use is a great way of pulling people in – thanks!
    Tim

  • http://www.superstarsoftrading.com Curtis Stark

    Nice Pat. I sometimes struggle with attractive headings because my blog is about stock trading, and the content can become repititive over time. Gave me some good ideas though.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Curtis, you can get some inspiration from sites in your niche. Try out Fool.com.. these guys always catch me with their headlines. an example I got from their ite today is… 4 Easy-to-Own Dividend Kings. I’m sure you will agree that is a good one.

  • http://www.gotmydegreeonline.com C.S. Everett

    Secrets Finally Revealed For Home Run Hitting Headlines For Links That Score The MOST Customer Clicks!

    Implies the customer will learn something only a few people know and afterwards will do better than anybody else for having invested the time to gain this knowledge.

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  • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

    I’ll give it a shot playing off #63. NEW CAKE-IMPROVER GETS YOU COMPLIMENTS GALORE!

    My headline: New WordPress Plugin Gets You Comments Galore!

    Not much of a diversion but I personally would be interested to at least know what plugin even if I didn’t implement it.

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Good stuff, Murlu. you actually took one off the Jay Abraham list. The headline does make someone want to click.

  • http://www.freeathomejobs.net Bryan @ Free At Home Jobs

    Already bookmarked Jay’s resource you provided. Headlines can definitely make a difference. I need to use more variation in headlines, as I tend to make mine more keyword heavy for SERP’s, but it shows that the strongest, eye catching headlines usually get the most attention.

    Love this blog man – You’ve got a lot of killer content in every post!

  • Paul Haughney

    I’ve also found that asking a question and not finishing the headline also creates a sense of intrigue as to what the answer might be, so more people will click to see the rest of the headline.

    For example “Do you know the secret ‘word’ that gets people clicking your links faster when you include….”

    • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

      Yep, right on point. Paul. Pat also had a post titled “You can make people take action if…” arouses curiosity on a massive level.

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  • http://www.kangaroobee.wordpress.com Catherine Johnson

    Increase your click-through rate now

    Great post. I’m about to link to it on my blog, thanks.
    Catherine