Your headline is the most important part of your post.
Why? It is not only the first thing viewers read, it is often the ONLY thing they read.
As disappointing as that sounds, the majority of people only read the headlines in any given publication, print or online. They quickly scan down the page or screen, and only when they see something that makes them think "Hmm. I'd like to know more," will they actually bother to read further.
So if you want your post to be read, your headline should do 2 things:
1. Tell the reader what your article is about.
If it's too cryptic or cute, and it fails to answer the most basic question - i.e. what is this about? - then you haven't given readers the ability to evaluate if it's a topic of interest to them.
No context = no clicks.
2. Make them think "I'd like to know more."
This is somewhat nuanced. Your headline should say enough so that readers know what the article is about, but it should also provide incentive to read on. And it should provide a clue as to the tone and emotion of the article itself.
Your headline can tease concepts like exciting, fun, quirky, timely, controversial, insider info, helpful, valuable, unusual - all the ideas that drive human emotion and curiosity.
Having said that, these kinds of tactics should be used with a light hand. Over-selling an idea can have a negative effect if the payoff doesn't justify the headline. And sometimes the information is inherently valuable and doesn't need to be teased.
Events are a good example. People need to know the basic information in a timely way. Your headline should at least tell them what and when. They can read further if they need to know more.
HINT: Number one is #1 for a reason. It's the most important of the two. Get it right before you attempt #2.
In our media-rich world, we are all overwhelmed with media and messages in multiple formats and on many devices each and every day. Human beings have limited bandwidth, so we have learned to quickly filter out any data that doesn't immediately appeal to us. Everything else becomes part of the background white noise of information in our lives.
We now live in the age of the Attention Economy, wherein the most precious commodity is your readers' attention.
lokol Cleveland allows you to write your own news and information, promote events, advertise jobs, sell products and services - all for FREE. And we give you 160 characters to sell your post, to get readers to click through. Take the time to get it right and you will be rewarded with more traffic.
Remember: be relevant and be interesting!
PRO TIP: People love videos simply because watching is easier than reading. To get more traffic, embed a Youtube video AND include [VIDEO] in the headline.