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How to Use ChatGPT to Write Powerful Headlines

You can use ChatGPT to write an effective headline. But you’ll need to know what an effective headline looks like first.

Headlines are arguably the most important part of written content. Done well, they grab a reader’s attention and convey the purpose of the webpage/article/blog post at hand. They also boost SEO. So, if you want to write a successful piece of content, write the perfect headline.

No biggie, right?

Okay, we’ll admit, that’s kind of a biggie. For many of us, writing does not come easily. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to come at all. But with help from Myriad and a little AI know-how, we’re confident you can be confident in your headline-writing capabilities. Here’s a headstart on everything you need to know.

First, What Makes a Good Headline?

A good headline makes all the difference between a successful piece and a dud. So, we should probably know what a good headline looks like, right? Here are a few notable qualities:

Clear and Specific

If a web user reads your headline and thinks, “Wait, what?”, the battle is already lost. There’s no room for clever wordplay or artful prose in a headline. (Unless you can do it in a succinct way that any eighth-grader would understand.)

Instead, the priority is always to be hyper-clear. The reader wants to see a headline and know immediately what to expect from the related content. Being too wordy, vague, or clever can cause the reader to lose interest. Even worse, it can lead to a loss of brand trust if the reader expects one thing from the content (based on the headline) and gets something else.

For example, a bad take on the headline for this article would read something like:

“Unleash the Headline Maestro within You: a ChatGPT Guide to Headline Wizardry!”

Did your eyes glaze over a little? Ours did. This title is way too complicated to get the message across succinctly. Plus, what does “a ChatGPT Guide” even mean? Is it a guide written by ChatGPT or something else? We’re not sure, but we’ve already lost interest in the whole shebang.

Not Too Long

Speaking of losing interest, a long and winding headline is a surefire way to lose readers. In fact, most sources agree that readers primarily pay attention to the first three and the last three words of any title.

This begs the question: Does a headline need to be any longer than six words?

Six words can be kind of limiting, but we recommend keeping it under 100 characters or 12 words at the very most. Readers are looking for content that is relevant and useful to them. A title that gets right to the point performs better than one that’s long-winded and elaborate.

Targeted to the Intended Audience

Who is the piece of content intended for? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you won’t be able to write a powerful headline. Knowing your audience and why they might find your content useful makes all the difference. Take the headline of this article for example:

How to Use ChatGPT to Write Powerful Headlines

Although the target audience isn’t specifically mentioned, this title conveys exactly what the article delivers. Anyone who wants to write powerful headlines in an easier way can click on the related content to learn how.

Includes a Keyword

For an in-depth reminder about what SEO is and why keywords matter, read this article. What’s important to know is that, just like you need to tell readers what to expect from a piece of content, you need to let search engines in on the secret as well. Do this with a well-placed and natural-sounding keyword.

(The keywords we used for this article were “ChatGPT” and “powerful headlines.” But we could have gone with “content creation,” “AI-powered writing,” or “headline tips.”)

Headlines are arguably the most important part of written content...they grab a reader's attention and convey your purpose.

Okay, So Where Does ChatGPT Come Into Play?

Knowing what a good headline looks like doesn’t make it easy to sit down and write one. Maybe you’re feeling uninspired, burnt out on writing, or at a loss for where to start. Whatever the case, writer’s block happens to everyone and is especially common when writing headlines.

And this, our dear friends, is where AI enters the scene.

If you know what your article is about but can’t seem to put the words for a title down on paper, turn to ChatGPT. Writers and marketers across the globe use AI for content ideation, brainstorming, and headline writing. Here’s what the process looks like:

First, go back to our previous article on writing quality ChatGPT prompts. You can’t expect quality results without a quality prompt. End of story.

Next, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What is the pain point this piece of content addresses?
  2. What tone of voice do you want the headline to convey?
  3. About how many words do you want the headline to be? (Remember, we recommend under 12.)
  4. What, if any, keywords do you want the headline to include?

Once you have an answer to each of these questions, you’ll have what you need to write a quality prompt for ChatGPT. It should look something like this:

Write a clearly-worded and succinct headline for an article that explains how to use ChatGPT for writing headlines. The article is for busy business owners who need help generating effective titles for content. Please use a fun and light tone of voice and keep the title under 12 words. Also, include the keywords “ChatGPT” and “write powerful headlines.”

Like us, you may not get exactly what you’re looking for on the first go. Thankfully, you don’t have to quit there.

Generate a Handful of Options, then Refine

In our opinion, the best part about ChatGPT is you can have the app try again and again with the same instructions and get different results every time. So, if you aren’t happy with the first result, keep trying.

Eventually, you should have a handful of options you think are workable. From there, you can refine, combine, and heighten the options until you come up with something that feels right. Add your own creative spark to the mix for best results.

Finally, Remember What ChatGPT Can’t Do

Before you put your new headline-writing plan into action, remind yourself that ChatGPT is a tool. Version 3 of the app (which is the version most of us use) was trained on nearly 500 billion “tokens” from existing content sources like news articles, books, and websites.

In other words, while ChatGPT can generate a unique response based on a huge amount of data, it cannot create something new. You won’t get any groundbreaking perspectives or unlock a unique twist on a familiar topic. Instead, the tool can only use existing data and patterns to generate a different version of something that already exists.

If you want your headlines and your content to have heart and humanity, those details will need to come from you. And guess what? There’s no better person for the job.

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