How to Write a Good Headline

Do you know how to write a good headline or do you have problems even thinking of how to do it so that you will have people reading your content?

 

Headlines or subject lines are something that many people struggle with on a daily basis and the reason I am writing about this is because after reading Bogdans post about headlines and powerful testimonials, I have to tell you I groaned as this is one area of writing that I struggle with …on a daily basis :-)

When you think about where you use headlines such as blog posts, press releases etc., its time to tackle the problem head on and lets learn about how to write a good  headline that will be effective and get people to want to ready what you have to say!

how to write a good headline

 

The fact is a good headline needs  have four components to make it work for your readers.

 

I read a formula on jeff goins blog that really helped me a lot and it is

a simple headline-writing formula: Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

Example: Take the subject “bathing elephants.” You could write an article entitled, “How to Bath an Elephant” or “Why I Love Bathing Elephants.”

Or you could apply this formula and make it: “18 Unbelievable Ways You Can Bathe an Elephant Indoors”
Well you have to admit this headline example is definitely unique, it is useful, it creates curiosity and if it doesn’t make you want to read more, I really want to know why!

Jeff’s post really is a must read by the way for many reasons and I hope you go in, read and leave him a good comment as he did a bang up job on showing you 5 Easy Tricks to Help You Write Catchy Headlines

What other tips can I share with you about how to write a good headline?

How about….

Don’t use all capital letters! I have seen many people write great posts, but because they have made their headlines all in capitals, I feel like they are yelling at me and I really don’t like it. Another thing people do and I confess I am guilty of this is making every first letter of a word a Capital. Keep the headline more natural.

Keep you headlines simple and easy to understand. Using abbreviations, technical jargon or hard to understand wording is not going to get people to read what you have to say and that’s just a fact. Unless your readers are technical geeks, remember that your reader will be skimming your headline for interest, many people who are reading might be people where English is a second if not third language and not everyone has the same level of reading.  This does not mean you are going to insult your readers intelligence, it does mean that to think of these things when writing a headline.

 Now that you have gotten the basic understanding of how to write a good headline, one last check list to think about…

  1. Is the headline accurate?
  2. Does it work out of context?
  3. How compelling a promise does it make?
  4. How easy is it to parse?
  5. Could it benefit from a number?
  6. Are all the words necessary?
  7. Does it obey the Proper Noun Rule?
  8. Would it work better as an explanatory headline?
  9. Does it focus on events or implications?
  10. Could it benefit from one of these 10 words? Top, Why, How, Will, New, Secret, Future, Your, Best, Worst.

These 10 Questions to Help You Write Better Headlines written by Matt Thompson is a must read to get the full meal deal on headlines and a great resource for anyone beginner or seasoned writer so head over there and see some great examples.

As you can see writing headlines is something  you need to take time with, it is an art and something that deserves as much or more attention than writing your content.  How are you writing your headlines?

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
How to Write a Good Headline, 10.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Be Sociable, Share!

11 comments

  • Hi Diane, glad to you have tackled this problem. Quite often we are so entrenched in the concept we want to talk about that we forget about certain proven rules of writing and instead of enticing user to click on our headline we want to say how passionate we are about the thing we want to talk about. Passion is good but knowing the psychology is very helpful if it comes to #marketing and getting your articles read.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    Reply
  • I groan a lot when writing subject lines/headlines, because what I think is good, usually isn’t lol. The adage of testing headlines is something we all should be doing and yet for many it is not even thought about ( raising my hand on this one)

    Thanks for the feedback and hope to hear how others feel about this topic
    Diane ( Blogneta) recently posted…Free classified advertising Mistakes!My Profile

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    Reply
  • Pingback: How to Write a Good Headline - Social Media and...

  • Pingback: How to Write a Good Headline – Social Media and Marketing by Bogdan Fiedur | The Cutting Edge

  • Hi Diane,

    Thanks for the reminders..! I know I should be doing these things but by the time I’ve finished my post I’m usually so keen to get it published that I rush through creating a headline :(

    Your article has reminded me to slow down and put more focus (and discipline) into my posting!

    Cheers,

    Martin.
    Martin Malden recently posted…6 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Trivita Business Off-LineMy Profile

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    Reply
    • Hi Martin and you sound like an echo of me and I have had to work at slowing myself down ( sometimes not always successfully) to be sure that I not only check the headling/subject line, but to also proofread one more time to be sure that I have everything right lol.
      I believe everything takes practice and I know that these guidelines have helped me…a lot!
      Isn’t it kind of nice to know..you are not alone in your feelings ?
      Thanks for your feedback and great to see you here
      Diane ( Blogneta) recently posted…Free classified advertising Mistakes!My Profile

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      Reply
  • Pingback: How to Write a Good Headline « Bogdan Fiedur

  • I’m so fortunate to have public relations expertise as writing headlines was one of the very first tasks I had to do. They only get better with time and practice.

    Here’s a great tip — study headlines in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times. The national dailies have to be clever to draw in readers.

    The headline is the most critical aspect of a blog post; THE MOST CRITICAL. Thanks for the link love!
    Jayme Soulati recently posted…Always Publish An E-Book, TooMy Profile

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    Reply
    • Hi Jayme and first off your welcome for the “link love” :-). I have been thinking that part of the problem for many people ( me included) is that we are always being told that we need to think SEO in our titles or headlines, but I have found that is not so easy to do and many times when you think ONLY of this aspect, what you write comes across very “stiff” or it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      I remember years ago people saying to study different headlines, but I never thought of The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, so a big thanks for reminding me ..very appreciated
      Diane ( Blogneta) recently posted…Free classified advertising Mistakes!My Profile

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      Reply
  • Pingback: How To Make Your Multilevel Marketing Article Titles Get The Job Done | Markets And Trading

  • Pingback: And this is why I should vary my headlines | Write on the World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: