There it is. Another of those stupid blog post titles that says plenty about nothing.
You know the kind of lame titles I’m talking about?
- PR Is Dead! Long Live PR!
- Memo to Tom Foremski: Die Linkbait Journalism, Die!
- The press release is dead. Long live the press release…
- The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet
- The blog is dead, long live the blog
- Newsweek is dead, long live the news.
Before you get all excited and point to my stupid post headline, I think I’ve made my point.
We’re all done with these lazy headlines. They’re mostly throwaway attempts at linkbait.
Problem is, they’ve run their course. It’s time for some headline creativity!
How important are headlines?
Coincidentally, Neil Patel at Quicksprout crafted another of his EPIC posts to help us learn the intricacies of incredible headline writing.
In Latest Trends in Headline Creation and Their Success, Patel says:
“No matter what kind of a website you have, the one thing that is always true is that your headlines are really important. Headlines affect things like user engagement, readability, conversions, SEO, social sharing, and even click-throughs.”
Any questions? When it comes to blogging, news releases, news stories or most other content, I hope you get the idea that the only thing more important than the deadline is the headline!
Let me back that up with another two points from Patel:
- 80% of people will read a headline, but only 20% of people will read the article. Whether or not you snag that extra 80% depends on the magnetism of your headline.
- A really good headline can spike your traffic by 500%.
What’s the secret sauce for headlines?
According to Patel, there is no single recipe for winning headlines. Headline fashions come and go. It used to be that journalism-style, AP-proper headlines ruled.
Then came the Internet, social media and the rise of digital journalism. So much for the advice to never write a “cute” headline. Buzzfeed, Mashable, thousands of blogs and websites are making money hand over fist with cute headlines.
This is what he calls the “emotional intrigue” headline and the most successful practitioner of this intriguing headline art is Viral Nova.
I’ve picked a few of my recent headline favorites from this digital media juggernaut:
- These 26 People Got So Lucky That They Should Play The Lottery. Seriously, #12… Unbelievable.
- No, This Isn’t Photoshop. It’s The Most Breathtaking, Beautiful Creation I’ve Ever Seen.
- Here Are 25 Kids That Gave Absolutely Brilliant Answers On Their Tests. These Are Hysterically Genius.
- This Dad Finally Had Enough Of His Daughter Not Cleaning Her Room. What He Did Is Epic
- The Fact That These 25 Creatures Used To Roam The Earth Is Mind-Boggling… And Freaky. #9 = OMG.
- Here Are The 17 Most Magical Houses In The Entire World. I Would Live In #6 Without A Doubt.
By now I think you get the idea?
The most important question Patel says is “What do you want your headline to do for you?”
While it’s very situation specific, if you can answer that question, you’re well on the way to headline writing success.
Maybe, you’ll even want to try adding a little emotional intrigue to your next headline?
If you enjoyed these headlines, please share this post on your favorite social media channel.
If you’d like to read similar posts on the art of writing and headlines by yours truly, why not test drive one of these posts?
- Bad press releases: 20 worst headlines ever
- Bad news releases: 25 press release turkeys
- Bad dogs: 18 brand-new, worst press releases
- PR funny: Wiener burned by news headlines
Author: Jeff Domansky
Visuals: Viral Nova