Musings

Creating Subheads That Hook Readers

Posted by Michele Lawton on May 4, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Hook readers with subheadsOk, I’ll admit it. I used to be a reader. But with as much time as I spend on my laptop and my phone I have become a skimmer.  Which is not really surprising when you think about it. Between links that entice me to click away and read something else, to ads, notifications, and invitations to check out another part of a website, I have to force myself to stay the course all the way down the page.  

In truth rarely do I make it past the headline and when I do I quickly skim the article to find its value to me. As someone who creates a lot of content I know how important it is to hook and rehook my readers with great headlines and compelling subheadlines. AKA subheads.

Subheads turn skimmers into readers

Well-crafted subheads help you to hold your readers attention. When you break up large chunks of text with subheads you can engage skimmers and then they actually read your amazing content.

Don’t bury the lead

Readers make a split-second decision if they want to stay on your site. So don’t hide your best information at the bottom. Give readers information right off the bat so they immediately feel satisfied and interested.

Subheads should “sell”

If you write them carefully, your subheads will “sell” the section they are headlining. They serve as “ads” for each section and convince the reader to consume it.

Your subheads should convince the reader that your content will deliver exactly what the reader needs. It should express a clear and concise benefit.

Can your subhead stand-alone?

After you’ve written your subheads, go back through and look at them again. Ask yourself:

Could your subheads work as a headline or become their own standalone content?

If you can’t answer, “yes” to this question, edit your subheads until you can.

Remember, when it comes to subheadings, it is all about making things easier on the reader. So help the reader by clearly and simply offering them the information that they want.

 

Topics: Writing

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