Types of headline writing
Focus on ‘What’s in it for me?’
Benefit headlines appeal to readers by explaining how your information will help them. These headlines are so effective, if a benefit headline is an option, use it.
Tell the story, don’t tell about the story
Make traditional news headlines short, active and free from hype.
Try a little cleverness
Feature heads draw readers in and make your message easier to understand and remember. Plus, they’re more fun to write.
Draw people into your web pages, blog posts, emails and social media
Heads up: How do you write great headlines that grab reader attention and show up in search results?
Avoid common headline writing mistakes
8 approaches to avoid
Just say no: Write great headlines when you steer clear of these 8 common headline writing mistakes.
Don’t just slap the topic on top of the story
Warning label: Label headlines communicate the topic — but nothing else — about the story.
Present participle heads may be worse than labels
‘If I see upcoming in the paper again, I will be downcoming, and someone will be outgoing,’ counseled Wall Street Journal editor Barney Kilgore. Heed his advice.
More on how to write a good headline
What writers and others say
Headline writing “combines the mastery of Scrabble with the composition of haiku.” — John Early McIntyre, ACES president and assistant managing editor for the copydesk at the Baltimore Sun