How to grab your readers’ attention is one of the most important content marketing lessons. Why?
No matter how brilliant your ideas are, you can’t even offer them to your prospect unless you’ve made her look in your direction first.
You have to get your prospect’s attention before you can turn her into a reader, let her know how wonderful you are, or sell her something.
Do I have your attention yet?
Good. Now I’ll show you how to get someone else’s.
Your reader can’t pay attention to everything
The brain is funny like that — in order to understand, the brain has to focus on specific information.
Attention helps us screen out the irrelevant and choose which information will enter, and stay, in our awareness. Our attention decides what to “pay attention to,” because human focus is limited, and we just can’t give our attention to everything.
Your reader’s minds are very selective. So we have to give them a reason to pay attention to our content instead of everything else out there they could be listening to.
There are many obstacles in the path to gaining your reader’s attention
Even if you have the best product, service, or information on the planet, it’s still difficult to get people to give you the time of day. Here are some common obstacles when learning to how grab readers’ attention:
- The relentless proliferation of available products, services, and information
- Increased and increasingly better competition
- The multiplying methods of distribution
- Buyer sophistication
- Information overload
- The desire for instant gratification
- These are all roadblocks you face in the attention-getting game, so you’ve really got to be good at showing readers why their limited attention should be directed to you.
Try these 8 attention-grabbing techniques
Ready to strengthen your writing with attention-grabbing techniques?
These tips can supercharge your creativity so that prospects instantly see your content is worth their time.
1. Grab the reader’s attention in the first sentence
The first sentence of an article is almost like a subheadline, because it has a similar job. If your headline piqued a reader’s interest, that first sentence needs to maintain that interest.
It’s important to know your readers’ pain points, so that you can incorporate them into both your headline and opening paragraphs. Rather than lead with generic information they’d find in any article, highlight an aspect of your content that makes it unusual or different.
Make an interesting promise — such as practical ways to write articles fast without sacrificing quality — that you’ll fulfill for the reader if they check out the rest of your text. (Review the opening of this article as another example.)
2. Help them see what you see
You might be focusing on yourself when creating messages about your business, thinking that everyone sees things the way you do. But they don’t.
People won’t “hear” you, or pay attention, until they perceive what you perceive.
So you’ve got to make your position crystal clear — help them to see what you see, using storytelling, description, personal experiences, case studies, and anything that will put the prospect in the right position to understand your message.
3. Make it personal
When you make your writing personal, you make it important.
Personally interesting or perceptually meaningful information can grab attention, bring clarity, and help it slip right into your prospective client’s awareness.
You don’t have to do a lot of explaining to tell someone his house (or his hair) is on fire — because it’s so personal to him. You immediately get attention.
4. Use emotion
Emotion is a great way to bring clarity to your business messages while making them personal.
Emotion also comes with the triple bonus of adding clarity, giving clients a reason to talk about you and your business, and triggering the circuits in the brain that activate behavior and decisions — emotional benefits are much better at that than logic is.
5. Don’t take chances with attention
If you’re wondering how to grab readers’ attention, this is perhaps the most important concept to learn.
You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention, so don’t take chances with clever, cute, or insider language or visuals, which are often lost on people.
Don’t use inside jokes or industry terms, either, unless appropriate for narrow niche marketing. These tactics only tend to confuse audiences, if only for a few seconds, which is all it takes to lose them — and a confused mind does not pay attention.
6. Follow up with a strong second
Once you’ve managed to capture your reader’s attention, don’t waste it.
Getting your reader’s attention is like the first strike of a One-Two punch — if you don’t land the second part, you’re not going to knock them out (and I mean KO in the good way).
Make sure your second punch, the actual information or message for which you grabbed her attention in the first place, is worthwhile.
If it’s valuable, you’ve paved the way for easy entry into her attention with future conversation.
If it isn’t, it’ll be that much more difficult to capture her attention the next time, as your prospect’s brain has already filed your information under “not worth our attention.”
7. Use pictures to grab attention
Visual content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated.
Think of simple ways you can break up long blocks of text with images that give the reader a momentary break from your content. The trick is to make the images related to your topic, so while they pause from reading your words, you’ll still keep their attention.
If you start with an engaging image at the top of your content, you’ll immediately make your writing more dynamic and you can gradually add more images to the rest of your text, when appropriate.
8. Encourage questions from your readers
It might seem counterintuitive, but thought-provoking content keeps readers coming back to your site in the future. So, don’t be afraid of leaving your readers with some questions.
Although you want your writing to be thorough, you’ll have many opportunities in the future to dig deeper into topics that interest your readers.
Hint at subjects you might write about in the future based on their feedback or Q&As you might hold. When you give readers a way to be a part of your community, you have an opportunity to hold their attention over time, rather than for just a few minutes.
And that’s not only how you grab readers’ attention — that’s how you build the audience that builds your business.
Transcript of this video:
How do you write a book in 2 hours flat? And then after I show you that I’m gonna tell you Why writing a book is the most ridiculous and stupid idea in 2019, alright.
This is Prashant and Here’s How You Do It:
- You create the main message of your book. What do you want the book to teach or show or what’s the storyline? Once you have that;
- You go write the outline or the structure or the backbone of your book.
- If you’re confused go to Amazon.com find books in your niche, in your industry.
Take a look that table of contents and model them, right.
Once you have that pull out your cell phone and this is how simple it is.
Pull out your cell phone, pull out the voice recorder app and start recording your story, whatever you wanna teach record it on a cell phone and once you’re finished with every single chapter of the book, the structure that you created, go over to rev.com.
That’s Rev.com, and get the audio to transcribe into text.
Now don’t read the text yet, what you need to do next is take that text that you get back from rev after it’s transcribed and send it over to an editor.
So you can either go to any of the outsourcing websites or you go to fiverr.com and get the entire book edited. And why you’re at it also get somebody to build a book cover for you.
So basically what you did was:
- You Created an Outline,
- You Recorded the Audio,
- You Got it to Transcribe,
- You Outsource the Editing,
- You Outsource the Cover,
- And That’s It.
Once you get the final piece back then you go through it and you edit the parts that you want. But don’t touch it before it because what’s gonna end up happening is most people fail because they wanna get the perfect book. But there’s no such thing as perfect.
You’ll never get perfect, you’ll never be satisfied.
The point is if you have a message you need to get it out there as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the perfect book, it’s never gonna happen and that’s why some of the best sellers they’re not even in the market because they’re still on the desk of the writers.
Don’t fall into this trap of getting everything perfect. Record, transcribe, edit, get the cover and publish. That’s the way to do it.
But here’s the thing, you shouldn’t be really writing books in 2019.
Videos and E-courses are getting better attraction than traditional books. But I regularly sell courses.
And I can show you HOW if you go to CourseToClients.com.
- You become the Authority in the niche,
- You became the Celebrity in your niche and people come to you because you’re premium priced, you’re the Rolls Royce of the industry.
That’s how powerful creating an online course is.
The Best Part: I can show you how to create these high ticket courses because there is a specific formula and it’s not what you might think.
It’s really simple and I can show you how, if you go to CourseToClients.com I can show you how to sell these packages without even having the content created.
That’s it for me. This is Prashant I’ll see you on CourseToClients.com. B-Bye
Let’s move beyond the common ones you see over and over — like “how to” — and bring some new blood to the mix with these 22 titles (with headline examples) you can customize for your audience.
1. Who Else Wants [blank]?
Starting a headline with “Who Else Wants …” is a classic social-proof strategy that implies an already existing consensus desire.
Who Else Wants More People to Read Their Writing?
Who Else Wants a Higher Paying Job?
Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress When on Vacation?
2. The Secret of [blank]
This one is used by writers quite a bit when they’re thinking about how to grab their readers’ attention — that’s because it works. Share insider knowledge and translate it into a benefit for the reader.
The Secret of Successful Podcasting
The Secret of Protecting Your Assets in Litigation
The Secret of Getting Your Home Loan Approved
3. Here Is a Method That Is Helping [blank] to [blank]
To craft better headlines, simply identify your target audience and the benefit you can provide them, and fill in the blanks.
Here Is a Method That Is Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds on Insurance
Here Is a Method That Is Helping Children Learn to Read Sooner
Here Is a Method That Is Helping Content Marketers Write Better Titles
4. Little-Known Ways to [blank]
A more intriguing (and less common) way of accomplishing the same thing as “The Secret of …” headline.
Little-Known Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill
Little-Known Ways to Optimize Gmail
Little-Known Ways to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely
5. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
An essential on this list of best headlines. It identifies either a painful problem or an unfulfilled desire that the reader wants to remedy. You can help them with a damn good headline.
Get Rid of Your Unproductive Work Habits Once and For All
Get Rid of That Carpet Stain Once and For All
Get Rid of That Lame Mullet Hairdo Once and For All
6. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
People love quick and easy when it comes to headline formulas that solve a nagging problem.
Here’s a Quick Way to Get Over a Cold
Here’s a Quick Way to Potty Train Junior
Here’s a Quick Way to Back Up Your Hard Drive
7. Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]
This is the classic “have your cake and eat it too” headline — and who doesn’t like that?
Now You Can Quit Your Job and Make Even More Money
Now You Can Meet Smart Singles Online Without Spending a Dime
Now You Can Own a Cool Mac and Still Run Windows
8. [Do something] like [world-class example]
Gatorade milked this one fully with the “Be Like Mike” campaign featuring Michael Jordan in the early 1990s.
Speak Spanish Like a Diplomat
Party Like Mick Jagger
Blog Like an A-Lister
9. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of
Appeal to vanity, dissatisfaction, or shame. Enough said with this headline example.
Eat a Healthy Diet You Can Be Proud Of
Have a Smile You Can Be Proud Of
Build a Professional Network You Can Be Proud Of
10. What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]
Big curiosity draw with this type of headline formula, and it acts almost as a challenge to the reader to go ahead and see if they are missing something.
What Everybody Ought to Know About Sensible SEO
What Everybody Ought to Know About Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Great Headlines
11. Give Me [short time period] and I’ll Give You [blank]
This headline promises a strong benefit to the reader, like all good headlines do. But this one is especially effective because it promises to deliver in a very short time period.
Give Me 5 Days – And I’ll Give You the Secret of Learning any Subject!
Give Me 3 Minutes a Day – and I’ll Give You a Better Complexion
Give Me 7 Minutes and I’ll Share 37 Email Marketing Tips
12. If You Don’t [blank] Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later
We love to belong, but feeling excluded is a real bummer. Whether it be a financial opportunity or the social event of the year, we simply hate it when we get left out.
If You’re Out of the Market Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later
If You’re Not at AWAI’s State of the Industry Virtual Summit 2021, You’ll Hate Yourself Later
If You Don’t Optimize Your Site Now, Google Will Hate You Later
13. The Lazy [blank’s] Way to [blank]
This headline has always worked well with time-pressured people, and that’s certainly true for most people today. No one likes to think of themselves as lazy, but everyone likes to save time and effort.
The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches
The Lazy Dad’s Way to Quickly Getting Dinner on the Table
The Lazy Blogger’s Way to Write Great Post Titles
14. Do You Recognize the [number] Early Warning Signs of [blank]?
OK, technically this is still a list, but it’s wrapped up in a much more compelling structure than your typical “Top 10” article.
People want to avoid problems, and this headline promises the critical tips before it’s too late.
Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure?
Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of an Employee Meltdown?
Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of Social Media Addiction?
15. See How Easily You Can [desirable result]
These headline examples are about learning something new or gaining some advantage.
See How Easily You Can Learn to Dance This New Way
See How Easily You Can Own a Lamborghini Miura
See How Easily You Can Increase Traffic with Social Media
Remember, with headline formulas, you must understand why they work before trying to use them.
When you understand why the original headlines worked, you’ll be able to select an appropriate structure, and you’ll be a better headline writer in general. If you don’t, you might not only write a bad headline, you might come off looking bad in general.