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The Ultimate Guide To Writing Irresistible Subhead Lines

I’m sure you’ve figured out that we Bloggers are in a war, right?  We are constantly in a tough battle for the eyes and minds of our site visitors.

The blogosphere is a huge, congested, incredibly noisy space where every Blogger is jockeying for a position and really fighting to get noticed.

Okay – you believe that you done all you’ve been trained/learned to do when writing irresistible subhead lines.

  • You’ve come up with great ideas that you are sure will add value to you site visitors
  • You’ve created killer headlines that jump off the screen and demand attention
  • You’ve spent hours crafting content that delivers great value and reads beautifully

Yet site visitors visit your Blog site AND seem to bounce out just as quickly as they reach.

Why It Doesn’t Matter How Great Your Content Is

Every Blogger that wants to be recognized in the Blogosphere as an authority Blogger works really hard at their writing.  They patiently read / study / subscribe to all the great writing advice available. It’s very likely that they are crafting some awesome, value add, content.

Every Blogger working hard at crafting superb content, has a common dream.

It goes a bit like this:

  • My site visitors see the Killer Headline I wrote on their social streams and click through to my article
  • The read every carefully and lovingly crafted sentence in my Blog post from start to end
  • They are so smitten with the superb, value add content that they subscribe, then go on to read everything I’ve written
  • They finally become my evangelists and actively sell me and my site to their connections

Regretfully, the harsh reality is:

They often don’t even finish reading the article that brought them to your Blog in the first place.


Hey! I can relate to being stumped for ideas for new Blog posts. If you can relate as well, then I recommend reading ED LEAKE’s Blog post titled “266 KILLER BLOG POST IDEAS – NO MORE WRITER’S BLOCK”. It delivers the right inspiration for your next Blog topic.
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Why Your Site Visitors Don’t Stick Around

Blog post readers have adapted to their environment.

You know as well as I do that it’s not exactly uncommon to be lured in by a compelling headline, click through to the article hoping to find awesome content – Only to find crappy content.

Hence, Blog post reader have adapted to become expert scanners.

All of us (over time) have learned to scan content. Determine if it grabs and holds our interest in a few seconds. If it does not, we bounce – plain and simple.

The vast majority of site visitors make their stay / read OR bounce judgment within 10 to 20 seconds of looking at your Blog post.  That’s it. Just 10 to 20 seconds. There’s really no waiting around for the grand finale in blogging in 9.5 cases out of 10.

How To Turn A Scanner Into a Reader?

It’s the subhead line.

Subhead lines are often an overlooked / underused technique in Blog posts. That said, it’s the perfect attention grabbing tool just sitting there waiting to be put to good use.

Here’s a quick deconstruct of the word subhead.
The sub (under) head (headline) literally means a headline under the main headline.
What does any kind of headline do?

They arrest attention, they entertain, they startle, BUT above all, they create curiosity.

They draw readers into your Blog post content, ensuring they stay with you long enough to realize that what they are engaged with is, in fact, superb penmanship.

What the headline does for the Bog post on a global basis, subhead lines does for each individual subsection of Blog post content.

3 Subhead line Blunders That Ensure Readers Bounce

1. The Plain Label Subhead line

A lot of bloggers use subheads merely as labels.  Unfortunately labels are used to identify, not to pique interest.

Plain Label Subheads are boring and they make scanners yawn. Yawning scanners stop scanning. They bounce. Not exactly the response you’re looking for right?

If, for example, your subhead for this very Blog post read:
Why Subhead lines Are Important
Then I’m are using this subhead line simply as a label.

It’s lifeless, boring, and does nothing to keep my readers engaged with my writing.

However, if my subhead line for this very Blog post read:
A Simple Secret to Hooking Readers
I am using this subhead line as a subhead line.

Notice the difference between a label and a subhead line?

2. The Spoiler Subhead line

Spoiler subhead lines tell readers exactly what’s coming in the text that follows.

If I’m serious about keeping my readers hooked on my Blog posts as long as possible, I don’t give them a free pass to skip paragraphs.

I tease them using a subhead line.

Let’s say your subhead line reads:
Use Subhead lines to Create Curiosity
Which is the subhead line, of a superb paragraph, that covers the fact that subhead lines must continue to sustain a scanner’s curiosity.

The subhead line is a spoiler that gives away upcoming points.

If my reader believe that they know the point I’m about to make, why will they soldier on reading my content?

My subhead line could read:
The One Thing Every Great Subhead line Has To Sustain
Then use the content below to explain how curiosity is that one thing.

Notice the difference between a spoiler subhead line and an arresting subhead line?

3. The Cryptic Subhead

The flipside of striving very hard to sustain curiosity in a Blog post reader is trying so hard to be creative and grab attention of my Blog post reader is that I create a subhead line that is more confusing than compelling.

Cryptic subhead lines can be a turnoff and lead to a bounce just as easily as the other two mistakes.

If my subhead line talks to my readers and says – You must keep reading to see what this writer is getting at – I’m good to go.

If my subhead line talks to readers and makes then say – What the heck is this writer is getting at – my subhead line is cryptic and confusing and will encourage all headline scanners to bounce out.

Blog post readers do not want to solve puzzles. They want to be entertained and learn something of value to them.

You have to treat your subhead lines as another opportunity to stand out, grab your reader’s attention, and keep them on your Blog site long enough to transform them into your fans.

The Four Ingredients Of Killer Subhead lines

If you haven’t bounced off and you’ve come this far, I figure I’ve hooked you, so I’m going to press my luck and write on some more.

Here they are:

  • Curiosity
  • Surprise
  • Personality
  • Emotion

Every good subhead line should, at the very least, generate reader curiosity and compel them to continue reading. The truly great subhead lines usually have at least one (or more) of the ingredients mentioned in the bullets above.

How Do Your Subheads Measure Up?

Now spend some time looking at your most recent posts. Take the time to evaluate the subhead lines you’ve use and ask yourself if they would make a Blog post scanner – Stop and take notice?

  • Are you using subhead lines to break up long blocks of content?
  • Are you triggering curiosity and engaging your readers to continue reading by injecting, surprise, personality, or emotion into your subhead lines?
  • Are many of your subhead lines just labels?
  • Are they spoilers that give away what’s coming next?
  • Are they so cryptic that they befuddle and confuse your readers?

When you treat your subhead lines with as much TLC as you treat your headlines, you’ll be on the right track.

5 Simple Techniques To Supercharge Your Subhead Lines



When crafting your next Blog post, try out these five simple techniques to craft subhead lines that arrest your scanners/readers and keeps their eyes glued on your post content.

  1. Write your Blog post as you normally do. Don’t worry about changing anything up just yet.
  2. When you’ve completed, re-visit your subhead lines. In your mind, isolate each subhead line and the text that follows it, think of that block of text as a short, all-inclusive Blog post by itself.
  3. Question the purpose of that short, all-inclusive Blog post. What is point are you trying to get across to the reader?
  4. Then ask yourself what should its Head Line be?
  5. Make sure that Head Line generates curiosity, THEN try to work in surprise, personality, and emotion in whenever possible.

Please Leave Your Comments They Are A Huge Help

Do share what you do in your newsletter driven, marketing campaigns that helps you win, consistently. I’d love to read all about this and hone my own marketing skills.  My Blog post readers will also be eternally grateful to you for your help.

If you liked this Blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you thought that this Blog post was not up to your expectations, I’d love to read your comments.

It’s your comments that helps me get better each day. Please pass on your bouquets or brickbats in the comments section right below.

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1 responses on "The Ultimate Guide To Writing Irresistible Subhead Lines"

  1. Excellent article based on experience

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