Top 3 Tips for Great Headline Writing

Every article, blog post or website page needs a headline. Great headlines grab reader attention, leading them to read more. However, headline writing is as much art as skill. But it is art and skill that can be learned.

1. Begin by studying the headlines that capture your attention. Create a swipe file and collect the best of the best.

Don't rush this part of the process. Let your natural reactions to a headline determine whether it ends up in your collection. Once you have a dozen or more examples of good headlines in your file, rewrite them for your chosen topic.

For instance, if you are writing about raising Labrador retrievers:

• Original headline: The Commitment of Motherhood

• Rewritten headline: The Commitment of Owning a Lab Puppy

2. Another tool that can help your headlines attract attention is the right keyword. This is especially effective if you are writing for online audiences.

Use the Google Keyword Tool to find out what people are searching for on your chosen topic. You might be surprised when one word or phrase jumps out at you - perfect for your headline. Even if this doesn't happen, make a list of the most interesting, high demand keywords. Then, take each one and put it in active voice.

Going back to our Labrador retriever piece:

• Keyword phrase: training labs

• In active voice: Train your Lab

By using active verbs like train, run, succeed, your headline becomes more interesting.

3. Finally, make a promise in your headline. If your article or blog post is going to teach readers how to do something, make that clear in the headline. If it will reveal a secret, let the reader know this:

"3 Steps to Clearer Skin"

"Learn the secret to overcome any fear"
Be warned, however, that if your article does not deliver on your promise, you will alienate your reader. Be sure that any promise:

• Is kept

• Meets the needs of the reader

Use these three tips to write headlines that attract attention. With that attention, you can build a readership, maybe even a writing career.

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