posted on July 10, 2010 01:23
The first secret to writing a good headline is understanding just how important the headline is. It's the one thing that everybody reads. Even if somebody only stops by your site for a few seconds, they will see the headlines. And whether they stay for five seconds or five minutes will depend largely on the headline.
The second secret is using words that pique the reader's interest. Take the headline for this blog entry. I could have titled it "Writing Headlines" - yawn. By offering the "secrets" of writing "great" headlines, I've managed to appeal to your sense of curiosity (secrets) and your desire to do something great. By putting At Last at the front, I give you the impression that there's something special here that hasn't come before. I hope I've met that expectation.
The third secret, and the last for this article (there will be more), is a very practical one. Don't use ALL CAPS. Seriously. It makes text far too difficult to read, and the last thing you want to do is make the most important line on a page difficult to read. You've probably seen the e-mail floating around the Internet that starts with, "Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are..." Well, try it in ALL CAPS.
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
I rset my csae.