Headlines: Will You Keep Reading Now?


Headlines are not my strong suit. Every article I write has to have a headline, and I struggle to create something snappy and relevant almost every time. This means more than 15 years of headline struggle and probably thousands of words wrestled out of my brain in hopes of finding the ultimate catchy phrase that will interest readers and keep my editors happy. That’s a lot of word struggle!

Thanks to repetition, headline writing has become a little less tortuous, but my skills still need polishing. I recently started working with a client that asks for four headlines per story. Four! I readily agreed, because they are a great client, but I admit the task caused some anxiety in the beginning. One is hard enough, much less four! But the more articles I wrote, the easier it got.

Today, I came across this article in the ASJA newsletter about effective headline writing. While it applies mainly to blogs, the tips (especially #3) can be adopted to help create more effective headlines for feature articles and other content.

Click here to learn how to create headlines that will keep readers reading. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Headlines: Will You Keep Reading Now?

  1. As an advertising copywriter, I too have had to struggle with writing deck copy. The problem with writing blog posts is that you can’t write very long headlines. Your character count shouldn’t be any longer than 60. With direct mail, you do have a luxury of writing the headline down half of the page if you like. I recently got a Dan Kennedy advertising piece that had a headline and subhead that went clear down the first page. (Of course he writes super long sales letters!) Anyway, I wrote about this rather extensively in my post about how to gain six headline writing habits. You can read it here: http://elmocopy.com/6-bazinga-headline-writing-habits-thatll-make-you-filthy-rich/

    God Bless!

    Mark Elmo Ellis

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