Beyond Headlines: How to Get Your Audience to Read Every Word

Beyond Headlines: How to Get Your Audience to Read Every Word

Reader Comments (72)

  1. These are awesome steps to pulling your reader in and keeping them reading. It is definitely a challenge to keep visitors reading if your post is more than a couple hundred words.

    Developing a connection (and also establishing authority), setting up the need, and giving a solution is one of the most basic writing strategies. It’s strange that it is so easy to forget to apply this powerful method to blogging.

  2. Nice to see examples for each step of the process.

    Sometimes I like to start with a quick anecdote that I can weave throughout the piece. I think it makes the article easier to write and the finished piece is more cohesive. Plus, it gives the reader a simple way to remember what they read.

  3. Nice examples! I’ll be sure to put them to use. Personally, one of my favorite lead-ins is the bold, potentially controversial statement. It makes the reader want to read on to see if you can support it.

  4. These are helpful tips. I find that I often get stuck on a headline. However once the headline is created, often the piece will write itself. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh also, the phrase “set up a promise of valuable information” really hit home for me because as a blogger, I am constantly trying to give valuable information but the trick is to get readers to notice it. Thanks again.

  6. Great stuff, Dave–super-simple and effective. Sometimes I’ll start with a quote from someone notable to establish the like-minded connection. For example, on a recent site offering a book on storytelling for change-makers I started with: Plato said, “Those who tell the stories rule society.” Then the reader’s belief in the power of compelling stories is reinforced and they know we’re on the same page.

    Thanks for the post!

  7. I like to think of it like a good story… Captivating title, intriguing beginning, page turner middle and killer (or surprise) ending – and sometimes the comments can provide that for you!

  8. Yes, the lead is so important. Thanks for bringing this to our attention again and giving us some great tips.

    I was reminded me of what a copywriting guru said-

    The headline gets your foot in your prospects door. The lead paragraphs either keeps your foot there, or cause you to lose your footing.

  9. I’m always crafting my first paragraphs to capture my readers’ imaginations. These are some great tips to keep in mind, though I would say that not every post needs this type of paragraph.

  10. I gotta query! Every day you guys have a topical photo at the top of the page, where do you source them please?

    Many thanks,


  11. Establish, set-up and prime? Sounds easy enough. I know the importance of a great headline and a great first paragraph. The first paragraph is usually the hardest for me.

    I know I need to be short and concise while trying to outline what the meat of the post is about. But I just tend to run on and on without ever sharing completely what the post’s main topic is…I keep remembering from high school English …”the main idea”…”the main idea”..

  12. THANK YOU~Juicy stuff to mentally dine on! Since my PoSivity (deliberately mis-spelled) Day Blog begins 10/1 with a dynamic Mind, Body Abundance 11/18 Triathlon training, this info is quite timely. As a veteran Symbologist, I support the mainstream/metaphysical person’s wellness-journey using the ancient art of Feng Shui. Your article assisted me to identify, clarify, and amplify~Great good fortunes to you and many thanks.

  13. well i’ll be damned, you’re sounding scientifical – i’m thinkin there’s more to the launch coach then we’ve been led to believe 😉

  14. Great points. Here are the questions I make sure I cover to keep people reading beyond the title:
    1. what’s my point?
    2. what’s in it for the reader?
    3. what structure works best? i.e. tips, anecdote

  15. You should have charged for this article – I’ve been looking for this solution! I also like using a “crossroads” anecdote as Brian Clark likes to teach as my opener. I’m also having to do all this in Spanish as I am reaching out to people in Mexico, Argentina, etc. A little hard but it seems to pay off!

  16. @Satya, you’re just figuring that one out? Dave is a pretty sharp cookie. 🙂

    @Fernando, it’s so neat to get little glimpses of your project!

  17. Hi Dane, it is great article and blogger are always hungry for readers so three things is very important to attract readers.

    2)Beginning of writing
    3)Ending of article.

    This important parts is so important and this will attract people to grab the feed.

    Thanks Dane for sharing this information

  18. (and to finish the thought, now that the dog has stopped screaming at the cat that just walked through the yard)…

    – a headline that encourages readers to dig into the story, instead of giving the impression the headline *is* the story. It’s often tough to do that, but a good headline often makes the rest of the process you describe a lot easier. If I can focus on what will intrigue my reader, the writing flows more naturally.

    (Apologies for the fractured comment – as many of you know, working in a home office can be “interesting” at times.)

  19. I believe it’s crucial that people understand that though titles are important, they aren’t everything. Every sentence needs to lure the reader cleanly to the next sentence. We plan on addressing this at I’m glad I got professional insight on it from Copyblogger though! Great work, keep it up!

  20. I usually like articles with title as the article’s summary – or something to that effect. Ending paragraph that leaves me thinking is great too. Combine it with a blasting opening paragraph, then you got a killer article.
    Nice post, very concise.

  21. Great tips Dave, I think the key is in the headline. You need the hook to get people but in, but agree that there are ways you can make them read on. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for those posts that have taken your advice.

  22. Hmm, very useful post. Thanks Dave. I think I need to focus on better closing sentences for my first paragraph.

    My tip? I’ve found great success by interweaving practical advice with stories (mainly about my own experiences or those of my clients’) that my readers can relate to. It’s always nice to know that someone understands what you’re going through, even if they’ve come through it before you. I’ve noticed that the posts where I share personal experiences do far better than those that are purely fact based, no matter how valuable the content.

  23. Hmm, this post appeared at the perfect time. I was just annoyed that an opening to an article I’m writing now sucks. I rewrote it according to your tips and it looks a lot better now. I like to use ‘you’ in the opening and through the article, relating to my reader and kind of having a conversation with him/her. Much easier to write if you speak to a friend.

  24. Sonia, the great thing about too is that if you subscribe, they have a free downloadable image per week. And after a few months you’ll have a nice database of images.

  25. Fantastic article. It seems very easy when broken down into these steps yet seems so difficult when you sit down to write your own.

    I’m sure this formula will prove helpful in writing future articles 🙂

  26. I’m always relieved when I read posts like this. These things come naturally and I do not alway recognize I’m even doing it. I like the addition of “today” and “now” in the last line of the first paragraph. I’m going to add that to my next piece.

    Thank you!

  27. Very nice tips. I start to read many articles and begin to skim down the page as the first paragraph wraps up and I see eight paragraphs without any bullets or headlines and I am on to the next website.

  28. I agree with the magnetic headlines and the open with a bang idea. But I think including a picture or a video would make the post a little more enjoyable for the reader. It would certainly be more helpful for me if I get visual solutions for my problems rather than having to read them online.

  29. Terrific advice. The catchy headline is definitely critical in this conversation and I was reminded recently when one of mine bombed. LOL! 😉
    I had chosen an academic, pithy headline that would work at a high brow conference but not for a blog and reader interest dropped like horse turd. Experience is a great teacher .. and I will remember this advice. Thank you! 🙂

  30. Dave, this is good stuff. I am a freelance writer in my beginning stages and do appreciate anything that can be a positive step in the “write direction”. Thank you.

  31. I found this very useful. This reminds me a little of Joe Sugarman’s slippery slide theory. The whole purpose of the first sentence is to get them to read the second. And the sole purpose of the second sentence is to get them to read the third. And so on…

    I’ve been doing this formula in my writing unconsciously. Seeing it explained clearly really helps me be more focused when writing to a specific audience.

    To further expand upon this formula, I would add:

    1. Agreeable Statement
    2. Offer A Supporting Fact
    3. Create a Need
    4. Amplify that Need (Make the pain worse)
    5. Make a promise (to solve need/remove pain)
    6. Article content

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