November 1, 2022Copywriting

#9: The #1 Reason Why No One Reads Your Content

Headlines serve as storefronts for your ideas.

As shop facades attract customers by giving a glimpse of their product offerings, headlines encourage readers to explore the entirety of a content piece—but only if they're written with clarity and curiosity.

Clarity helps readers self-select and decide whether a post could delight or help them in any way, while curiosity makes them want to know the rest of the story.

Headlines are pretty powerful.

Yet most of the time, we write them as an afterthought—like finishing touches instead of a make-or-break factor for getting people to read our content.

Weak headlines = Low content views

So, how do we write better headlines?

One of my Ship 30 friends (and fave creators!) Ev Chapman keeps a database of headlines that spark her interest, analyzes them, and extracts the frameworks she can use to write better headlines.

Related post: Writers who are satisfied with 10 views per post will not be interested in this post

Let's talk about email subject lines!

Subject lines function like headlines.

If your subject line fails to stand out in a sea of unopened emails, your email will never get read no matter how well its body copy was written. 🙈

Inspired by Ev's headline database, I started tracking my newsletter subject lines and their open rates with a Notion database. This will help me notice patterns and experiment with whatever is working.

Is this applicable to Instagram content?

Headlines shape-shift into into "hooks," which are the copy we see on Reel and carousel covers. And if you're looking for #inspo, The Futur is slaying the headline game. 🔥

You've written great content...

Don't waste it—be thoughtful about your headlines.

Go for clarity and pique your reader's curiosity. Look at your past content performance, notice what's working for you (and for others), and keep refining your headline formulas.

If you feel icky about writing catchy headlines, remember:

"It’s only “clickbait” if you fail to keep your promise to the reader." — Nicolas Cole, The Ultimate Guide to Start Writing Online

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Hi, and thanks for reading! I'm Kishly, a cheerleader of creatives and copywriter turned marketing strategist. Bookmark this blog to read my daily atomic essays on marketing, compassionate productivity, creative living, and lifelong learning. Or subscribe to Process, my weekly-ish newsletter for young adults (and the young at heart) in pursuit of wisdom and wonder. ✨

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