It was suggested to me recently that my headlines could be snappier, shorter, and more… well, succinct. My immediate reaction was to bristle and go on the defensive; who is this person to tell me how to write headlines?? But the truth is that headline writing is an art. Some people might even say it’s a gift. You either have a talent for it or you don’t.
Well, I hope that last part isn’t true, because the headline is the first impression your reader has of your post, and as such it carries a heavy burden. I’d like to hope there’s a chance I can learn to do it well. Here are some great resources for headline writing that I have found in my search:
· How to Write Great Headlines by Stuart Brown
· Ben Yoskovitz’s The Best Headlines Are Not Just Written For Google Or Digg
· Mark Merenda’s Smart Blog, which is full of great tips for writing and marketing of every kind
· And of course the best resource: your own experience. Take note of the headlines that catch your attention as you’re perusing the web, newspaper, or your favorite magazine
Headline writing is more about psychology than anything else, as is the case with all marketing. What you’re trying to do with a headline is catch your reader’s attention and convince them not only that they want to keep reading, but that they need to keep reading. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one short sentence. Some people may have a natural gift for it, but for the rest of us, I hope that education and practice will do the trick.