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How to get people to read your content


Only 20% of prospects ends up reading your content

While most people read the title of content they come across, only one fifth of people ends up reading the entire piece of content.

  • What you need to change to increase your readership

Today I am starting off with a question. Why did you decide to click the “read more” link and start reading this blog post?If it is because I managed to peak your interest, keep reading and see how you can do the same. If that is not the reason, please let me know in the comments, because it will be useful for me to hear so I can improve my titles.

You see, as an online marketer you write lots of content. Whether it is for your blog, your fan page or the tweets you send out via Twitter or a Twitter app, the only way to reach your prospects is through content. It can be a daunting task. To make things worse, only a small percentage of the visitors to your web properties will actually read what you have to say. As so often the 80/20 rule applies. Where 80% of people will read the headline copy, only 20% will actually read the entire content.

Your title is the first, and in the majority of cases the only impression you make on a prospective reader. If your prospect’s interest is not peaked by your title, your prospect will move on to the next shiny object. It is your duty to try to increase the percentage of prospects that turns into readers. Lets take a look at a way to write a compelling title that makes people want to know more and read your story.

There is one site in particular that I admire for the amazing headlines they create. That site is Let me give you an example. Below is a picture of one of today’s headlines:

aol title study


The story is about yesterday’s tragic death of Whitney Houston. The cause of death has not been released and many people want to know what the cause was. So, by saying “why police won’t release the results” they create curiosity, even though there is no real news to report. But by telling them that clicking on the link will give them some insight into why her cause of death is dealt with so secretively, people are eager to read the entire story.

Just in case you think that this technique only works with news stories about celebs, let me show you another one of today’s stories:

Designing a compelling title


This second example is amazing to me, and really shows you the power of creating curiosity. First of all the fact that most of the communication is done through the picture. It makes it very clear that this is about furniture. The title text confirms the problem: a boring room. The other thing that pops out at you is the blue by-line. Now that the problem has been defined, you can either just give them the solution, or say that the “after” photos look totally different, without showing the after pictures.  In order to find out how they turned this boring room into a “dramatically changed look” you have to click the link and read all the content.

You can do the same with your content. Show a picture that summarizes the topic of the content. Have a title that describes the problem and add some text to clarify the issue. Than produce a sub-title that tells the reader that you can find the answer to the problem by reading the entire story. Now that you know the problem, leaving without the answer would be seriously annoying. Right? So, you click the link and read it. Even if you don’t really care about this room. But after reading these few sentences, you want to find out what they did to make this room so appealing.

I encourage you to check out the aol headlines regularly, until you figure out their secret and can implement it yourself. Experiment with it, and track your result, so you know what works best for your audience.The fact that you are reading this sentence suggests that this method is working for you…

What do you do to make your visitors open your posts and read them from start to finish? Any other suggestions we all should incorporate into our headline creating techniques. As always, please share your views in the comments. If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider using one or more of the buttons in the top right hand corner to show your appreciation and share this post with others.

To your success,




To your success,

  • Janet Callaway

    Karin, aloha. Love the points you made in this post. Since I don’t use aol I was not familiar with their headlines. However, after reading this I am going to spend time reading and learning.

    Using the picture is powerful–especially since people are so visual.

    Over the past year what I have learned is that either a catchy headline or a list headline seems to bring the most activity and readership.

    Best wishes for a terrific week ahead, Karin. Aloha. Janet

  • steveborgman

    Karin, thanks for the great tips, as always.  I’ve always been a Copyblogger fan, and it also helps to read the headlines from newspapers and other magazines for ideas for great headlines.