Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on March 17th, 2009

Who Wants Great Headlines and Content?

Do you suffer from mediocre content that never gets read? Does your blog’s headlines drive traffic away from your site, rather than draw it in? If your headlines are weak and your content can’t carry the team, chances are you have a major problem. Great headlines will not only increase traffic to your website and blog, but it will keep them coming back for more.
You must make a promise with your headline, something that is relevant to your target audience.  If you don’t know your target audience, you're reading the wrong blog post. If you do, then speak to them directly. This seems obvious, but people still miss the mark often.

Your content must fulfill the promise that the headline makes. You can’t ignore the headline promise, or your reader will get lost and mostly likely click on to their next online destination. I got some advice recently that helped me out and I would like to pass it on to you. It’s called the Four “U” Approach.

1. Be ‘useful’ to the reader.

Just like any other literate human being, your potential reader is going to want to be entertained and educated by what they read.

2. Provide a sense of ‘urgency.’

If you can’t write 50 great headlines in the five minutes after reading this I am going to cut your ring finger off with a jagged piece of broken tempered glass… or something to that effect.

3. Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow ‘unique.’

This is one of the oldest sales gimmicks in humanity and it’s no different from online blogging and content generation. They need to read this article because they won’t get this information anywhere else.

4. Do all of the above in an ‘ultra-specific’ way.

The better you execute the first three ‘U’ approaches, the better your headlines and content will be. Think about it: Your great headlines driving quality content into thousands of readers’ days. Every day.

Raise your hand if that sounds like something you’d be into…

Raise your hand if you think that content is king…

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had green beer on St. Patrick’s Day...

Raise your hand if you are tired of being asked to raise your hand for something…

Now raise your hand if you are done writing this post.

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