I came across an excellent tip today from Copyblogger.com in their article The Art of Wrting Great Twitter Headlines. They advise you to think of your headline as a promise to the reader – what it is you are going to deliver to them and how you are going to ensure it fulfils their needs.
When crafting your headline, they suggest using a copywriting technique taught by the American Writers and Artists (AWAI) called the 4-U approach. They explain that in order for your headlines to work for you, they must provide some USE to the reader. You must also make the reader feel that your compelling content needs to be read with a sense of URGENCY. Next, your reader must benefit from your content being UNIQUE, and lastly all these things must be delivered in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way.
Copyblogger.com have written such a great review about the AWAI course (also known as Michael Masterson’s copywriting course) that it made me want to sign up there and then. I felt like I just had to be an SEO copywriter! Then I told myself to calm down. Although I really want to be able to create articles that make people want to sign up straight away (with urgency), I need to think about signing up to another course. In the meantime, I will learn to create better headlines that can be nicely enclosed in a tweet and also write great content that will give the readers what I have promised. The rest of the knowledge will follow in time.
Retweeting Great Headlines
You also have to consider retweeting. Sometimes people retweet without even opening your post, just because they like the headline. You could therefore leave them room to do this without taking up all of the 140 characters that a tweet allows.
Mickie Kennedy, founder of ereleases.com, has written an article on the Top 6 Qualities of a Good Headline. He explains that people share content all the time through Twitter and Facebook, so we must make it easy for them to do it. I can relate to this because whenever I have a few spare minutes, for example, waiting for the bus, I might retweet if I like the sound of a title; however, if it doesn’t catch my eye I wouldn’t even go that far.
So from now on, I’m going to make my Twitter headlines believable, clear, promising and as short as possible (as well as applying the 4U approach).