It’s no secret that “how to” articles and blog posts are some of the most sought after, linked to, and bookmarked content online. People want useful information, and they’ll reward you by promoting it to others when you provide it.
The biggest battle is getting enough people to read in the first place. And that battle is won or lost at the headline. What’s more, writing a killer “how to” headline will help you write even better “how to” content when you fulfill the headline promise you made to get people to read in the first place.
It’s All About Benefits
The crazy thing about the popularity of “how to” content is the fact that people don’t really want to learn how to do anything else. They’ve got plenty to do already, thank you.
But it’s exactly due to the crazy busy lives we lead that prompts us to seek out tips, tricks, and methods to make things better, easier, and ultimately happier for ourselves. Focusing on the “better, easier, and happier” is the key to great “how to” headlines and content.
It’s not that people aren’t smart enough to understand the implied benefits of learning how to do something. It’s quite the opposite, actually. It’s just that implied benefits don’t prompt action like express benefits do.
People smartly employ aggressive attention filters when scanning headlines, and you’ll get through the filters of a lot more people if you spell out the benefits rather than relying on implication. Plus, body content that focuses on benefits as well as procedures is more emotionally engaging, which leaves the reader feeling better satisfied at the conclusion of the piece.
It’s been said that it’s almost impossible to write a bad “how to” headline. That may be true, but what comes after those two magical words can make all the difference in the amount of attention and readership your writing gets.
The more you focus on the benefits to the reader in your headline, the more readers you’ll have. And by touching on the beneficial aspects while laying out the procedural content, you’ll have more happy readers at the conclusion of the piece.