I have a confession to make: I often struggle with writing headlines. Why? Because the headline is usually the most important thing on the page. If the headline doesn’t work, there’s a good chance that readers will move on without even glancing at the rest of the text. In fact, I can recall more than a few instances in which it took me longer to write a 5-word headline than to write the other 450 words on the page!
|HOW TO WRITE COMPELLING HEADLINES
Basic Functions of a Headline
A headline must be compelling enough to capture someone’s attention and entice him or her to keep reading. It also needs to “select” the audience. For example, “Amazing Robotic Snow Blower Clears Driveways in Minutes” will attract a different set of readers than “Stay Cool During the December Heat Wave.” Plus, if you’re writing a print ad, the headline needs to deliver a message, as many people will read the headline and skip the rest.
Questions to Ask Before You Start Writing
For marketing pieces, ask yourself: Who is your customer? What are the benefits of your product? Why will someone want to buy this product?
For articles, think about: Who is the reader? What information are you trying to convey in this article? What is the benefit of this information to the reader?
Common Headline Techniques
Here are examples of 10 different ways to approach the same subject matter: