What drives traffic to your blog?
It’s a combination of several psychological elements, one of which is the eye-catching headline.
You’ve seen this before.
You already know you should be writing headlines which captures the attention of your audience, but which one’s should you use?
How in the world does this even work anyway?
I want to discuss some of the psychological triggers you can create with your blog headline and create an insanely easy way to promote your blog.
If there’s one thing you’ve probably already figured out, it’s that people are curious.
You want to know things, especially things related to what you’re passionate about. When you are presented with the knowledge that someone knows something in which you think you don’t know yourself, you become curious to learn more as well.
Curiosity does require a little bit of knowledge about a certain topic. Because we’re not curious about something we don’t know anything about.
Saying you have a secret implies you know something important that is on point with the message of conversation of your readers. With all of the content being created online every day, it’s easy to get lost in the mix sometimes.
Each piece of content needs to reveal something special each time to prove you do have the expertise and knowledge in which you just announced.
Not only does this build confidence in you with your readers, but it also establishes trust and you begin to become an expert on a certain topic.
It’s good to always know the secret in your niche, because when you do, you hold something powerful in which you can give to your readers.
If a man can write a better book, or make a better mouse trap than his neighbor, though he built his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your readers are always looking for a better way to build their business.
Some new tactic or strategy could help them bring more traffic to their blog and that’s a great thing for you.
Even though presenting the word “New” in your blog headline will create action for your post, once you promise it you must deliver.
Our generation is constantly searching for new.
A new car or truck, the newest iPhone, the most recent Macbook Pro, etc. Indulgence is one of the reasons people buy things.
One thing is for certain, people respond when they see the word new because no one wants to get stuck with the old.
Now presents the fact of the present.
What if I could show you a new way to get traffic right now?
You’d be interested wouldn’t you?
The reason being, you’ve seen the old ways (see how I used the word “new”?) and already know those strategies, but this time you could learn a new way, AND get it right now?
I’d take that too.
Now represents today and if there’s anything your readers love to see is something today.
Tomorrow isn’t important to them. Today is on their mind and you can capture their attention by including this word in your headline.
In his book, The Power of Now, Tolle explains how most of us can’t see the future. We live in the moment. This is one of the reasons some people have trouble planning and creating vision for themselves.
We are attracted to the present because of the finite way we use our minds.
This word is one of the 5 most persuasive words in the English language. It has been proven that the word “because” can get people to do stuff for you.
A study done by Harvard University proves this.
And you can read it for yourself, but here is the sense of the study.
A man came to a line where people were trying to make copies for themselves and here is what he said…
Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?” [60% compliance]
Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”[93% compliance]
Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?” [94% compliance]
Using the word “because” and giving a reason as to why you are doing something creates more compliance with your readers or target audience.
The more compelling the reason, the more likely you will find people becoming actionable toward you and your headline.Using the word 'because' allows your content marketing to become actionable to your reader.Click To Tweet
This Black Friday Psychology post shows why we go crazy for bargains.
I’ll leave you with this video to explain more about it.
Exclusivity makes people feel special.
More people will join your group, follow your social accounts, etc. if they know they are getting something special there.
Recently, I started doing an Insta-Vlog, a 60-sec video series about social media psychology exclusively on Instagram. I didn’t share it to Twitter, I didn’t blog about it either.
In order for people to get this special content, they had to follow my Instagram account.
In 4 weeks I gained over 650 followers from that alone!
The more special you can make something, the more they want to be included. Because people hate to be left out of anything. We flock like sheep and herd like elephants. We’re no different in wanting to be part of something with the crowd.
Just remember, when you mention “exclusive” that you deliver it well.
#7 How To
You’ve seen how to posts before. They are forms of the information manipulation theory which share how to persuade people to do something.
How-to posts are some of bloggers go-to articles because people love to learn things.
How-to’s are simple and straightforward and sometimes it’s easy to discount the effect these articles have on people psychologically.
However, if your information is full of great and helpful tips, honest and on-point with your message, relevant to the topic your audience is talking about at that time, and is written in a way that is digestable and easy to perform, then the how-to is always a winner in your headline.
Headlines with words like these create surprise in your readers mind.
When we experience unpredictable things, the pleasure centers in the brain on turned “on” compared to the every day norm in our lives.
A breakthrough can be a surprising factor, and we love surprises.
Also one of the 5 most persuasive words in the English language. The word “You” points to you. Not me, not your brother or mother, but it is directed and personal.
You is a name which will not be easily forgotten.
People are self-centered and want to hear how you can help them. Bringing up this word automatically puts them in the driver’s seat and guess what?
It just got interesting for them.
(Or words like this) Stimulation of words cause people to react to different things. Words like these cause electric stimulation of the brain and create different psychological effects which prompt people to action.
When you use words like this it creates excitement and emotion and causes the brain to release dopamine which is an attribute of energy and happiness.
As a human, you’re always wanting the answer to the question at hand.
These words are also called “The 5 W’s”. I wrote about this in a little more depth over on Convince & Convert’s blog which talks about how to use the 5 W’s better but here is the gist.
These words present a question to your readers or potential audience checking out your post on social media or wherever it is they’re reading the headline.
It poses a question which implies you know the answer to the question you are posing in front of them.
Right away the reader places trust in your headline that they’re going to learn the answer. People are constantly trying to make themselves better, when posing a question which they ask themselves silently, it causes them to believe the answer is just one click away.
Now, which question can you present to people that would cause them to click?
See “Amazing”. This works with the same principle and allows a great reaction as well.
The Loss Aversion is one which explains how all of us naturally go for the low hanging fruit first.
The word “Free” triggers that response and you end up flocking to it.
In the loss aversion two pieces of candy were produced to a focus group. One was $.50 and a very juicy piece of chocolate, the other, also chocolate, was a generic Hershey which was offered to the group free of charge.
Guess which one won out?
You got it, the free one.
The word free insinuates you are giving them something and this should trigger their emotional response to want it.
So why doesn’t this work every time we produce content?
It’s free too isn’t it?
You didn’t pay for this piece of content!
It’s absolutely free for you to enjoy and apply!
Sometimes our content is degraded simply for the sake of writing content because we have to. Each piece of content is special because it IS free to your readers. Don’t ever forget that fact.
Over to You
Are you creating great headlines that are driving traffic to your blog post and/or website?
It’s a very important thing to consider. You already know you need content, and sometimes this can lead to content blindness because you simply crank out the content because you know you “need” it.
It can lead to mistakes in the headline of an awesome post which could possibly be missed by people who need to read it.
How are you strategizing your headlines? Do you have an awesome tip for us today? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section, and would also love it if you shared the post with your friends!