by | Jun 5, 2019 | Copywriting Conversations, Podcast | 0 comments

Why hello and welcome.  Welcome to Episode 23 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.

Thanks for tuning in today, I know you have loads of options to listen to – so I really appreciate you lending your ears to me today!  Sending podcast love for that!

How do you go about writing your headlines or captions at the moment?  Is it something you labour over or is it a super quick exercise for you?

Headlines (or captions on Instagram) are so very important.  Did you know that a reader will read the first 3 and last 3 words of your headline and gauge from them whether they want to click or read on?  I guess if it’s shorter than 3 words, they read the first and last and not the middle is the point I’m making – our brains are funny things aren’t they – but it’s true, we don’t really read everything. 

So today we are looking at how to write engaging headlines which leads to a click and the reader reading our whole post or article or caption.

But before we go down that rabbit hole, let’s do this week’s discovery of the week!


And fittingly it’s about headlines!  It’s a headline analyser.  Just go to https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer, put in your headline and it’ll tell you all about the science behind your chosen words and will give you a score out of 100.  You do need to sign up to it, but it is free.

So, if you are often stuck here, at the beginning, at writing your headline – this little discovery just might unblock that roadblock for you!

As always, just a little disclaimer, my discoveries are just that and I am in no way affiliated with any of them but promise to tell you if I ever am.  I just love them and from the response of my listeners, you guys, you are loving them too!

Hey and if you have a little discovery, or something you use in your business that you’d like to share, please do so.  Email me at jenn@jenndonovan.com.au or tag me @smallbusinessmadesimple.  I really love to know what tools you use to help make your life simpler!


Back in the 80’s, David Ogilvy famously wrote, “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

Clearly that was before social media and the internet because today I think, and it’s just my opinion, that saying between 500 and 5000 people would read the headline and not the copy – think about it – how many things have your scroll past just today and haven’t bothered to click or read the rest of the body copy?

Headlines are powerful – when I say headlines, it does include captions also.  Because on Instagram we talk in captions.

Instagram is a perfect example of needing to have a great caption or headline.  You get less than 2 lines to grab your readers attention, to get them to click and read more.

So how much time and energy do you put into your headlines or captions?  Whether you’re writing a blog, a social post, an article, a subject line in an email, powerful headlines are crucial to your success and the success of the piece you’ve written.

Your headline simply allows the reader to make the “to read or not to read” decision.

Marie Forleo famously said on her podcast one day that she writes up to 50 headlines for every piece of content she puts out there – she believes that the gold starts to come around the 30 mark!  I remember thinking, oh my gosh, I don’t have that much time to write up to 50 headlines!  And I’m guessing I’m not alone there!

As a content marketer, you win the battle for engagement by making your headlines irresistible.  So, let’s have a look at some tactics bound to help you improve your headline writing chops!

  1. Ask

Posing a question, one of the oldest tricks in the book, remains one of the best ways to engage a reader.

  1. Talk about benefits not features. Features tend to bore readers.  Always go the benefits – how will your product or service benefit the reader?  (This is where knowing your audience and who you want to attract comes into play, yet again!).
  2. Use specific data or numbers in your headline

Integrating specific numbers and data into your headline is an effective way to make your headlines more enticing to readers. Several research studies have shown that headlines with numbers tend to generate 73% more social shares and engagement.

Numbers not only stand out in a headline, but our brain is more respective to them.  Just a pro-tip – when using numbers, make them unusual – so they really stand out.  So, instance, 1917 stands out more than 1900 – it’s just how we see it.  Unusual numbers are easier to capture readers attention.  Sometimes, odd numbers make it more believable too.  If my subject line was “how to increase your Instagram following by 2000 people in 7 days, it’s less believable than 1678 in 7 days.

  1. Use Rationales

Use rationales to engage with readers – rationales such as tips, reasons, lessons, tricks, ideas, ways, principles, facts, secrets, strategies etc etc.

Here’s some example::

5 Tips to Write Blog Introductions Like a Pro

15 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way as a marketer

3 Secrets to Make Your List Love your More

If you want people to read your content, do you have a good reason that they should?

  1. Follow the rule of the 4 U’s of writing attention-driven headlines:

The four U’s are:

  • Make the headline unique

o           Unique means one of a kind – different to others.  Not sure if your headline is unique – google it!  Type it into the search bar but make sure you use ” ” – quotation marks or talking marks as I was taught in school!

  • Be ultra-specific

o           E.g./ According to The New York Times, lack of focus, vision and planning is one of the reasons why 33% of small businesses fail.

  • It should convey a sense of urgency

o           Think FOMO – fear of missing out.  Only 2 left, ends in 3 hours, or 5 Steps I took to do x, but you can do it in 4.

  • Your headline has to be useful

o           This encompasses all 3 above.  If your headline and content isn’t useful, no matter how much urgency you employ, it’ll fail. In fact, there is no way to write a specific and unique piece of content, without it being useful at the same time.

o           Make it practical, helpful, valuable, informative, worthwhile, beneficial, advantageous and so on. The bottom line is to help the readers experience hope, knowing that their problem can still be solved.

  1. KISS – keep it simple super star!

Finally, in the words of Albert Einstein – If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough!

Write for your audience – don’t make the reader feel undervalued or dump because the words you’ve used are beyond them.

Don’t use: 12 Meticulous Savings Tips For The Financial Amateur

Instead use: 12 Effective Saving Tips For Those Who Want Extra Cash

Never ever use: Top 10 Omnipresent Places to Find Ravishing Blog Post Theses

Feel free to use: Top 10 Places to Find Useful Blog Post Ideas

You get the idea!

Of course, you can always use today’s great discovery to see if your headlines are engaging.

But at the end of the day, it’s not enough that they click your headline. They need to read the information you’ve provided them in the body of your content, as well. 

Getting the headline right is just the first stage! 

Hopefully these tips will lead you to better headlines and thus better engagement and heavenly click through rates!

If you have any comments or questions, let’s get social on social and continue this conversation in my Facebook Group – Like Minded Business Owners.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

But that’s all for Episode 23 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.

I’ll be back next Thursday with some more marketing know-how and another discovery of course.

Did you like these tips?  If so, subscribe so you never miss an episode and share this with a friend.  And maybe leave me a rating and a review wherever you listen in.  Those things are like gold for podcasters like me! Thanks to Stormwif, Karen of Merry Images and Kirsty at Graze Tables and Platters for taking the time out of your day to leave me a review.  Massive love to you all!

And if you want even more awesome tips, tricks and resources, head over to www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au or head to my Facebook Group – Like Minded Business Owners. 

Stay on your game peeps and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have.  Thanks so much for lending me your ears.

…….. and remember small business peeps, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!

Check out this episode!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This