The Rules of Engagement: Appealing to Different Types of Readers with Effective Subheads

October 28, 2016

If your main headline is the component that will grab attention and pull the reader into your page, the subheads within that page will help to guide them through and keep them interested. Subheads are effective in virtually any kind of writing; including blog posts, web pages, articles, sales letters, e-books and advertisements. When utilized effectively, subheads help to shape your story and people that prefer to skim the content will be able to get the gist without having to delve into the main body.

Here’s more info to help you get up to speed:

What Is a Subhead?

If you’re a smooth and savvy content writer, you already know what a subhead is, so feel free to move onto the next one and continue reading. If you’re unsure, subheads are those secondary titles you see spaced out down the length of the page. They serve a handful of useful purposes, and shouldn’t just be thrown in there to take up space without consideration.

How Subheads Improve Your Content 

Including subheads in your content provides important benefits. Content with subheads appeals to both readers and skimmers as mentioned above, but it goes deeper than that. The subheads within any piece of content should slide effortlessly into the subconscious of your reader, guiding him through until you have accomplished your goal.

Subheads make blog posts, websites, articles, etc.; look more professional and they break up the content into manageable pieces, so readers won’t be overwhelmed when looking at the entire page as a whole. Whether we want to admit it or not, people are generally lazy and if you don’t have subheads breaking up your content, you might find that many people leave before your message has been heard.

Expert Tips for Mastering the Subhead

Different types of content may utilize different guidelines when it comes to subheads, and while there are no hard and fast rules, keeping a few important factors in mind will point you in the right direction.

  • Always consider your target audience when creating subheads.

  • Aim for at least 3 subheads for standard 400-600 word pages; more if your pages are longer. Much of the time, it is a “feel” kind of thing.

  • Experiment with using conventional title capitalization and only first-word capitalization. As you can see, we like creating a bunch of mini-titles with conventional capitalization.

  • Try writing your subheads before the body content. It will help keep you focused and you can visualize your story / piece before you actually get to the nitty gritty.

  • Use whichever format you find appropriate for that place in the page. This includes questions, statements, how-to’s and the same criteria you’d use for the main headline.

Still Got Nothing?

It’s easy to see that there is a fairly wide range of possibilities when it comes to creating high quality subheads, and if you still feel that getting into your reader’s mind is not your thing, we have the solution you need. When you consider we have written many thousands of pieces of content and then at least three subheads for each piece…that’s a hell of a lot of subhead testing and evaluation. Call The Content Company today at 888.221.5041 and we’ll get the process started!

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