We all know how important headlines are to a newspaper. However, they are more important for online writing. We live in a fast-paced world today and don’t have time to search through everything.
People choose to click on web pages based on the headline that search engines show. To get people to read what you wrote, you need to draw them in through a headline. After reading a blog post called “How to Write A Mind Blowing Headline For Twitter So People Will Read Your Blog” by Jeff Bullas, a social media marketing blogger, speaker and strategist, I can tell you the techniques that make great headlines and attract more readers.
Bullas’ headline examples include:
- Get What You Want
- Crystal Ball and History
- Problems and Fears
- Fact, Fiction, Truth and Lies
- How To, Tricks of the Trade
- Best and Worst
Get What You Want headlines show readers the article will tell them how to get things they want. These could be anything from relationships, health, money and way of life. Crystal Ball and History is a technique that lets the readers know you have ideas on what’s going to happen in the future. It could also tell readers you have the history of something and you’re going to share it with them. Problems and Fears headlines tell readers how to get rid of those problems. Fact, Fiction, Truth and Lies can be used for informing and making readers aware of what is true and what’s not. How To, Tricks of the Trade tells readers how to do something. An example of this would be my headline above. Best and worst explains the best and worst things a person could do for a certain topic. The list technique involves using a number. An example of this would be 7 Ways to Make a Great Headline.
A copyblogger article, “How to Write Headlines That Work,” describes some other techniques for writing great online headlines.
- Direct Headline
- Indirect Headline
- News Headline
- Question Headline
- Command Headline
- Testimonial Headline
In the direct headline, the writer gets straight to the point and tells the topic of the article. Indirect headlines take a restrained method using double meanings. The news headline clearly states what the news is. Question headlines should be used to empathize with the readers and answer questions everyone wants to know. In the command headline, a reader should be called to action. The testimonial headline demonstrates the writer has proof on what he or she wrote.
The methods include:
- Length Between 90 and 120 Characters
- Keywords in the First 65 Characters
- Use of Numbers
- Subheads for Added Detail
With so much information available on the internet, making an article stand out to a user is very important. A great headline can be used to beat the competition for the reader’s computer screen. Headlines are usually what convince people whether or not to read something. Several techniques can be implemented to catch a reader’s eye and get more people to read your writing.