What are 8 seconds?

It can be forever to a child waiting for a treat or an eternity for a mother waiting to hear her baby’s first cry.

While it’s a mere blink of an eye for some, for a marketer, it’s a crucial key.


look with arrowThe rule is that you have 8 seconds to capture the attention of the reader and attain a positive return on investment. After that poof! There goes 50 percent of your readers according to Marketing Sherpa studies.


10 Headline Tips to Hook Your Reader

The headline is by far the most important component of your article, even more than the article itself! Considering that only one in five viewers will actually read your article, regardless of it being a blog post, email campaign, zine or ebook, so you need a powerful headline to attract your reader.Your clickable and shareable headline needs to be:

  • Unique
  • captivating
  • Keyword optimized
  • Irresistible

What makes your headline stand out from all the noise out there? Check out these tips.

1. Use action verbs

Get rid of all the “are”, “be”, and “is” verbs which don’t convey any action. They just “are” and exist.  We’re striving for excitement.  Instead replace them with verbs that create action in your mind i.e. shock, exploded, boost, whacks, hacks, slays

2.Use Strong Adjectives 

As Startup Moon notes, there’s a morbid fascination that seems to hang over us. Readers are often drawn to dark and violent wording. Some dark headline power words include:

  • Kill
  • Fear
  • Dark
  • Bleeding
  • War

3. Be a contrarian

Headlines that elicit controversy and bucks the norm, attract readers.  Saying something surprising that others are not expecting, usually lures curious viewers.


  • Going to a doctor is bad for your health
  • Eating fat and not exercising leads to longer lives
  • Studying causes brain tumors
  • Why flying coach is better than first class
  • Secrets the airlines won’t tell you

4. Play the numbers game

People love numbers and when a digit is next to a text, readers feel that there is a finite bit of information to digest.  They also want to know what the numbers include or represent.

An example of this is “4 foods that cause belly fat”.  People want to know what the four foods are.  It’s human nature to be curious when presented with a number.

 5. How Now

Readers are looking for solutions to problems they are struggling with.  They want to know how to do something to achieve their results and if you are talking about the answers to the information they are seeking, they will almost always scan your article. The trick is to be useful and provide essential information.

Educate with a flair.  Rather than a mere how to, make it “the best ways” or the “easiest ways”. Beginner’s guides also gain momentum.

 6. Keep Under 70 Characters

To ensure your headlines don’t get cut off on mobile devices and look good in Google, keep your headlines under 70 characters.

7. Insert Keywords

Make sure to insert keywords into the headline – it will help your posts rank better with search engines and be easier to find when people are searching for your topic.

8. Use Images in Sync with Headlines

Most social media channels enable you to insert an image next to your headline which is really potent to draw the eye and boost readership. The key here is to use images that are in sync with the subject of your article.

9. Use pain points and exclusivity in your headlines

Consider what motivates your audience; what makes them tick. Only 5 people are eligible for this program and if you read this and apply, you’ll get (a sure stock bet, the winning lotto numbers, a free whatever). Play to this and they will stay your audience.


  • What makes doctors open to malpractice suits
  • Mistakes that will make an IRS audit you

10.  Question

Asking the reader a question helps draw them in. People love quizzes. It goes back to getting rewards and feeling good about themselves.  They want to know if they know the right answers.

  • Think You Know Amazon? Take the Quiz and Find Out!
  • Want to Build the best website? Read This Guide First.

Do Share

How many of these tips have you been using?  Share any other strategies that you have found helpful by adding them to the comment box below.