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The Art of Writing Profitable Blog Headlines

According to Nathan Safran, Contributor at YouMOZ, "80 percent of readers never make it past the headlines." Sure, they may see may see the headlines, but they're not clicking-thru to read the body text. And if they're not reading, how can they be educated or informed of the value your business offers?

Well, 'crafting' content headlines that'll tap into those 80 percent of consumers may not be as hard as you may think. In fact, I can assure you, it'll be a lot easier than you think. I'd like to show you how to do it.

Leveraging your background for growth

I've worked in retail, graduated chef school, wrote grants for nonprofits, and worked throughout the science and medical-tech industry. Over the span of my career, I've been exposed to various customer types: the pissed off customer, the lost customer, the customer just looking, the customer looking for their kids, the customer pissed off about over-charges, and the customer whose dog eats out of the salad bar (it happens). 

Having so many customer interactions, across different industries helps me understand what people want—or don't want. I use this knowledge to inform my writing and content strategies (especially my headlines). Simply put, when leveraged correctly, our prior life-experiences can put us in the shoes of consumers. That's called empathy-based-marketing

An understanding of empathy-based-marketing can have an enormous impact on your content strategy and your bottom-line. I'd like to give you an example of what empathy-based-marketing looks like in action. To do that, I'd like you to play the role of a café owner, and you want to promote your business through an article or blog post.

As you read this article, keep in mind that everything you read can be applied to any business. Whether you own a flower boutique, a mobile app company, or a poop scooping business, it can apply to you.

Now that you've decided promote your business through a blog post, what are you going to write about? 

I've presented to this question to several business owners in the past, across a range of industries. For the most part, I've gotten the same answers. Typically, business owners or marketers side of writing about their products. Which is understandable when you think about it. After all, you're in business to sell stuff so why not let people know what you're selling... right?  

Though that may seem to be the best path to take, I'd advise against it. I'll tell you why.

Use your headlines to poke at your customers' pain-points

Whether you're a new business or a small business that has been around for years, you'll need to be a bit more creative when it comes to selling your products. 
In the case of a café, you can find muffins and coffee on nearly every corner nowadays. So writing marketing or promotional material about your products or services won't put you above the noise of your competitors. Keep in mind, your goal is stick out from the crowd. 

To do that, I advise you to start with the first point of contact for your business and your target-audience... it's your content headlines. In the case of a blog, you'd want to include a consumer benefit in your headlines—not what you're selling. 

Continuing with the café example, if you're the owner, you could write a headline that highlights the speed and quality of service your café delivers. A sample headline could be the following...

"How to get your latte fresh, faster."

How to Get Your Latte Fresh, Faster is a headline that speaks to a pain-point millions of daily coffee drinkers face every day. In fact, according to the Coffee Congestion Index, "The typical coffee drinker loses more time in waiting in line at Starbucks than in traffic congestion." That pain-point can be leveraged in a headline to become your money-maker. 

As more consumers click-thru to read your blog post, you'll need the right body text to keep their attention, and convert them along the way. But what type of text? Let's discuss that....   

Delivering social selling strategies through your headlines

Instead of writing only about scones, muffins or dark roasted blends, introducing readers to the staff working at your coffee shop. Specifically, you could highlight how your teams' commitment to excellence leads to the production of quality food, coupled with faster service. You could even go a step further....

Why not name-drop an employee or two in your blog post—just to make things a bit more personal. This is a form social selling that can really boost your profits. 

Social selling is a strategy that builds emotional connections between customers and the brands they shop. This can familiarize customers with the barista, the cashier, or other helpers who play a part in fixing their lattes. Your café has more to offer than lattes and free WiFi. You have a team of workers that have everyday experiences just like your customers. That's the connection you make. 

This is the apex of social selling and can be a huge selling point for serious business owners. Remember, it works for any type of business—not just for café owners.

Tetiana DeJesus—Digital Marketing Evangelistwrote an entire article on LinkedIn's new Social Selling Index. It's a free tool that helps brand professionals keep track of their LinkedIn social impact. She states, "Building a successful brand is interconnected with building relationships." And she's right!

By introducing customers to workers in your coffee shop, you're building new relationships and boosting brand loyalty. More so, social sellers make 78 percent more sales than their competitors who aren't!

Let this be the last straw (pun intended)

Simply plopping in front of your laptop to type a random blog headline about your business won't bring in new customers or drive revenues. I wouldn't do that anymore. You'll need a more calculated approach. 

One strategic asset that can work in your favor now sits at your fingertips—your professional and personal dealings with people, over the years. Use that knowledge to uncover the pain-points of your target audience and use your blog headlines to tell consumers that you have the cure.