Any writer – experienced or starting – runs into the “problem” of how to write good headlines. Journalism students take courses focused on how to write good headlines. And we all know the reason for this: more often than not, the headline is what makes the reader decide whether or not to actually read the article.
This is even more important when it comes to online writing. Whether it’s a blog post, an article on some web site, or a news piece, the headline can make the difference between getting a page view or the reader moving on.
As such, we read all sorts of guides, how-tos, and tips on how to write good headlines. Obviously, I suggest taking time to peruse those in-depth guides as you will certainly have important and practical lessons which you can apply to your writing.
If you’re a little short on time, though, here is a quick guide which can put you back on track, or get you off to a good start.
The infographic highlights the most important elements:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Refer to the reader.
- Use interesting adjective. (Use a thesaurus if you’re drawing a blank.)
- Use negative wording. This taps into one’s self-doubt and insecurities, and as bad as that may sound, the way you craft your article is what will matter at the end of the day. Once you’ve gotten your reader’s attention with the negative wording, you’ve got to deliver the goods in the article.
- Use numbers. My math teacher always said, “You can’t argue with numbers.”
The most effective headlines may combine several of these elements, and the infographic also shows you a general formula on how to craft a good headline.