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The Psychological Importance of Creating and Using a Powerful and Good Headline for Your Writing

Updated on May 30, 2011

A good HEADLINE can do your writing a whole lot of good, see how...

Creating a well cut out, powerful and good headline is the main ingredient that sells any write up be it online or offline; this is why many top writers from columnist, freelancers, journalist and bloggers make sure they tweak and tweak the headline of any article or report they write to suit the purpose and theme of the article or report and above all connect their Writings with the reader.

Having said that, I’ll like to list out some very vital points every writer online or offline must consider when creating headlines that sells; remember the psychological bond that connects a reader to read an article, report or publication is the headline; just imagine what a better headline will do.

Know this-a not so very good headline will get the reader to peruse and hit the exit button to go to another written piece that catches his attention. Loosing a lot of readers because of poor headline, is loosing a lot of traffic which spell loosing a lot of the cash that would have come easy if your headline was good enough to draw the readers to your contents.

This is so because the headline is like a prologue; that serves to introduce the plot.

In creating a powerful and good headline, they are four things that must be considered; this is what I call the four

A-I-D-A, an acronym for;

1.      Attention

2.      Interest

3.      Desire

4.      Action

the four aces that makes a headline stand out...

If you have being reading my articles lately, you’ll notice that I always use this four words in many context; now looking at it from the angle of creating a good and powerful headline- it will mean the following;

1        Attention: for your headline to achieve its desired goals and objectives; it must possess the power of grabbing the ATTENTION of the reader. This is the secret of best selling tabloids and publications like the Time, FHM, The Guardian etc. these tabloids understands these psychology of using headlines that enacts emotion and a sense of urgency that will make a reader jump immediately to buying and reading up the story; they understand that the headline is the missing piece of the whole puzzle and carefully bringing this piece to the whole pack will mean filling that void and bridging that imaginary divide that stands in between the reader and a good story.                                                                                                                                                      To succeed in this regard, you must use words that spells urgency, creates suspense, builds anxiety and excitement, introduce rhetoric (ask a question) and above all serve controversy.                                                                                                                                                 Words like –discover, how to, imagine, see how an average dummy…, do you know what happens behind the scenes…, where is the US president headed…, imagine being the next Warren Buffet, discover the real truths behind…, etc.                                                                                                  These are words that creates suspense and anxiety. When a reader sees them, it grabs his attention and gets him to read the full story.                                                                                                       Now why does this headline grab his attention? This is so because the human mind is curious and inquisitive-it wants to know every thing that happens around it; and for this reason a person must read more to satisfy the yearnings and needs for infinite knowledge and wisdom     

2        Interest­: After grabbing the attention of the reader, the next thing a good headline does is keep him interested. Once he gets interested, excitement begins to build up. He starts seeing the gains to be made from reading the full story; he visualizes the story creating a vivid picture of the plot and the epilogue; remember the psychology of the human is mind is very selfish and egocentric; it only serves the purpose that meets or satisfies that lust for more information; this is the magic of a good headline that uses the power of interest” to keep the reader staring at the headline and imagining what the full and real story will be.

3        Desire: once there is desire then the likelihood of keeping the reader on the pages is always there. The desire to see more than is imagined is the magic that a good headline brings to the fore: and for that desire to build up to unimaginable levels a lot of things must be put into perspective as regards drafting a good headline; there needs to be a yearning, a question be it answered or unanswered, there must be a solution and benefits; the headline must consider trends and what is in vogue, then the headline must be concise and hit the nail deep down to drive the point home. When all these is embedded in a headline, then that headline could be considered to be good enough to build desire, and when the desire build the more then …

4        Action: this is the reward of using the above three very effectively; a good headline after utilizing the magic of these three will now sound a bell and summons the reader to action., Action to read more, see more, know more and come back for more. This is how far a good headline can go; this is why you must take out extra time to make it look appealing to the reader, know this-every reader takes just 10 seconds or even less to decide if he’ll read your article or report, so having a good headline will increase the chances of this reader clicking through (online) or buying your report (offline).

Writing Headlines can come in easy with the following resources, you are free to try them

Since you’ve seen what it takes to create a powerful and good headline, the question now is WHAT CAN A GOOD AND POWERFUL HEADLINE DO FOR YOU?...

The good headline is like a meal ticket; and a good headline serves the following purposes;

A very good and powerful headline increases the Click-Through-Rate of an article; because it tells the reader the full content of what he is about to read, it excites him and urges him on to click and see more.

The joy of reading increases with a very good headline; this is so because the headline promises to satisfy the need and present and antidote or maybe a relief that the reader seeks. When I created the headline for this hub- Some Very Important Lessons I Learnt from top Writers I follow which has Helped me become a better Writer I tweaked and tweaked and continue tweaking till I came out with the knocker of a headline that has resulted in getting one of the best page views any of my hub has boasted of in the past one week. At first the headline looked like this- 30 lessons I learnt from top hubbers I follow, this headline only considered hubbers and since I want it to have some generic kind of touch I decided to tweak it a little further into some thing like this- 30 lessons I learnt from top writers I follow; but I still felt there was something lacking and need to be added, finally I tweaked a little bit more to come out with the headline above.

If you use social networks efficiently and regularly, you should know the importance of a vote; having a very good headline will mean Getting more Votes on Reddit and Digg.

The social audience are looking out for stories that will entertain them, educate them and help them kill boredom. So a boring headline will get many votes down; especially on Reddit and maybe Digg.

If you must know, the buzz and traffic that one article with a very good headline can do for you on Reddit and Digg can serve to bring you more readers that might be permanent and lurk around your blog or contents every now and then to see if you still got shit, this was the case with my article- 23 ways to get Your Blog Indexed without Submission after I submitted the link on stumble upon and reddit, I noticed a little traffic spike when I checked my stats.

While submitting a hub or any article to social networks, make sure that the headline is one that conforms with the policy and TOS of the Network.

Submitting stuffs that sound too promotional and trite can be seen as lousy and should therefore be booted out of the system.

Now have you stoop to wonder why many people crowd around sites like EzineArticles, FaceBook, Affiliate Directories and forums? All these people want solutions and remedies to their various problems and maladies; if your headline is good enough to Serve as an Antidote and remedy; then it is worth the click and ultimately good for reading. This is one bite that must not be lacking in any Headline; it must in a glance provide all that the reader has ever hoped for- picture a scenario where a person has been looking for an antidote to his ever increasing migraine; and all of a sudden he sees as ad with the headline-don’t let that migraine dictate things in your life, you own your life-see the one in a lifetime remedy to kicking out migraine out for good!

When you see this kind of Ad, it sounds as if it was referring to you, and as such you must take a look at what this is all about; and just maybe this could be the permanent cure and remedy you’ve always looked for in the past.

This is the work a good headline in action; it brings to the fore the very essence of living which the reader is seeking for- who wouldn’t want to live a good and better life…

When you read a headline of an article or report and feel excited then this headline has it all; a good headline must create excitement in the reader, when there’s excitement the chances of clicking through gets bigger.

A headline that looks like this- incredible! See how the king of POP Michael Jackson passed on-what killed and the role of his personal physician in the whole drama!.

This headline happens to be the rave of the moment at when the world lost one of the biggest icons and legends ever to walk the planet called Earth.

For this reason, many questions where asked, solutions seeked; excitement and resentment building up to unimaginable crescendo; so for this reason people where looking for articles in the form of an expose on what killed Michael; just imagine an article with a very good headline on what killed Michael will mean to the teeming fans and followers of this icon? It creates excitement in them, excitement that will make them want to read and discover more as promised by the write up.

I mentioned earlier the course of writing this that creating a good and powerful headline helps sell the writing. Every writer knows this and for this reason put more effort to the drafting of headlines for his writing.

Many times a reader who wants to take an action like buying stuff must look at for a review that comes with a well laid and beautiful headline; a headline that explains every thing in  jiffy without much ado.

Once this reader sees this kind of review with the kind of headline that addresses the need or yearnings, then he’ll likely click through to see what is on the other side, and if your content is as good as  your headline, then consider that you just made a sell.

When a headline Creates Suspense and Anxiety, it is a very good thing for your writing; this is so because your reader who sees this headline in just a flash will feel some level of agitation and for this reason like to see if reading the whole story can reduce the tension and anxiety within him.

Imagine a scenario where you just sat for an all important exam, an exam that can take you to a whole new level of living; and you just hit the news stands or visit a vendor close to your neighborhood, only to be greeted with the headline- RESULTS FOR…RELEASED! OUT OF FIVE…CANDIDATES WHO SAT FOR THE EXAMS FOUR…PASSED, TWO…FAILED, 6…WITHHELD FOR DISCREPANCIES…!

This is one hell of a headline that drives in anxiety, and for you to reduce this anxiety and pent up emotions wailing inside of you, then it becomes pertinent that you must buy the publication to read more. This is the magic of a suspense filled headline in action, get the clue…

Nobody loves been taken for a ride, and when you create a good and powerful headline and your reader sees that this is what you have in mind, then he’ll most likely want to see what you’ve got; this is so because from looking at the headline a certain rhythm and beat has takes the core of the person. This is what a good headline does, it Creates a Rhythm and Beat; and when this feeling is sustained with the headline making the rounds, then you pave the way for a whole lot of readers rushing to your pages to read more of your shit, try me…

When the reader is looking out for something or a certain information to read; he stumbles on a headline that Tell the Whole Story; it make him diagnose the quality of the article even before reading the whole article. It is a reader’s belief that a good headline proofs that the article that comes with this headline must be good and quality content: and from experience this is always true.

It is only a very good writer with the sense of writing stuffs that is loved by his readers, has the ability to create a powerful and thought provoking headline that attracts such attention and buzz.

Now when you take out more time to create good headline time and again, it has the ability of bringing in more readers to your pages.

This is very true because a reader who notices that a certain writer (you), has this ability of creating buzz filled headlines every time, he wont have no other option than to keep returning to see if you have more stuffs; note this- the success of your online biz or offline publications depends on return readers. These are the readers who follow you, comment on your work, constructively criticize you to help you improve and recommend more readers to your pages.

This is why you must put in extra work in your headline to impress these people, because they are the essence and reason why you do what you do, so make them happy as this is all about them!

Finally, SEO should be the stand point of using good headlines, because a headline that comes with the core keyword and tags that explains the theme of what you are writing will help you rank high in SERP pages of major search engines.

Like looking at the headline of this article; the main keyword is creating a good headline. I made sure that I included it in the headline as well as use it surreptitiously in every paragraph of this writing.

If by chance, some one types in “creating a good headline” this pages might just come up in the first pages of the SERP of Google or even Yahoo!

This is the importance of creating good headline for your writing.


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    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      I thank you for the great information on how to make headlines inviting. There is no doubt that good titles help bring people to your hub. Nice work.

    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks Flora for finding this useful even as an instructional guide while you perform in the Opera.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      AIDA-I will have to remember than acronym. I'll have to put it up where I can see it or I will be reminded of the opera instead. :) Presentation is a major part of everything.

    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks Jpcmc for your comments.

      The 4 AIDA is an age long advertising concept which I've adapted for creating good and quality content.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      7 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Well done, This is a great application for the tried and tested advertising/marketing concept of AIDA in writing. This will be very useful for all writers.

    • jrcemail profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree totally with the AIDA structure!

    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks ToKnowInfo for your comments.

      Its nice knowing that this little piece can be of help to a great and articulate writer as you.

      Thanks for your inspirational hub, as it really helped me especially this time.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for your great hub! I learned a lot and you inspired me to create better titles. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Looking forward to you teaching me more! All the best to you. Keep writing. Rated up and awesome.

    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks Amber for your comment and getting this hub rated up. That is really thoughtful of you.


    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 

      7 years ago

      Hi chinemeremz

      This is a really useful informative hub which I've bookmarked so that I can read it again and again! Rated up!


    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Tony

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Very useful and interesting. Thank you. I enjoyed the read.

      Love and peace


    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Gissel for your nice comment.

      Putting more word out on fb and twitter on this hub will be very thoughtful of you.

      Thanks for stopping by I really loved your hub on "bullies"

    • giselle2323 profile image


      8 years ago from Peterborough, Ontario

      Excellent hub! I find that a cool title/headline will pop in my head and the story will follow. This article provides important information. Thank you very much for sharing. I plan on spreading the word on this article via twitter, fb and digg!

    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Scarves for bookmarking this hub.

      Hope to hear and read more from you.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • scarvesff profile image


      8 years ago

      ...……Scarves ScarvesNice list. I have bookmarked the page. Thanks...:)

    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Sandy, its nice knowing that this could help.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      This is full of good information. I don't think all my writings had the best headlines, but I'm getting better at it.

    • chinemeremz profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      My bad! Thanks BR for pointing this out. Loosing is always confused to Losing.

      Both means varied things, and in my haste I made such silly mistake.

      Thanks for pointing it out how thoughtful of you.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 

      8 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Well done! This article has a wealth of information! A little constructive criticism is 'losing', not 'loosing'. I have bookmarked this Hub for future reference as well.


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