June 02, 2007

10 Ways To Write Headlines That Roll Eye-balls


There are two kinds of people on the Internet.One group which believes that an attractive title is not essential for a story and if the story has power it will make it on its own and the other group which believes that a sound story needs a headline even sounder.I am an advocate of the second group because the fact remains that,success of a story drastically depends on the way in which the story is presented.Whether you're writing 'link-request' emails,trying to get your story digged or making drastic efforts to make your blog post stand apart from the rest you need headlines.You deal with it everyday but it never seemed important enough.But today is the day to master the skills of writing unbearably attractive headlines.What i want to share with you is not those newspaper kind of headlines which are of no use in the Internet,but some less-known headline secrets that have worked dramatically well for me and might work for you as well.

1.Let's start with a simple one.The spelling phenomena.This is an old secret but less popular.Look at the title of this post itself.Tell me which one is more attractive:

10 Ways To Write Headlines That Roll Eye-balls
or
10 ways to write headlines that roll eye-balls

I hope the point is clear.

2.Spelling phenomena II.This one works 90% of the time.See those symbols on the number buttons just below the function keys on the keyboard.The people who use these symbols is a minority and those who use it on headlines is finger-countable.Use the symbols,add some creativity and the most important tip is not to overdo.

Example: 100% Tested Information On Making Money Online.
Shh!!!Untold Money Secrets Revealed.
7 Things You Learned @ School That Could Possibly Ruin Your Life

3.Spelling phenomena III.This tip is not on doing something but avoiding something.Don't say your CAPS LOCK KEY is stuck on.TITLES WITH ALL LETTERS IN CAPS LOOK DUMB AND WILL SURELY LOOK UNPROFESSIONAL.

4.Uncompleted titles and arousal of curiosity.This one you should use it with care.It may not work in all cases especially for technical items but it will work excellently for stories.Choose a line from the story itself which sounds like a suspense just to blow up.It works excellently for news stories too.

Example:At the end of The Daily Show,Bill Gates.......
You might have seen this title before right.

5.Going odd and standing above the crowd.Remember when John chow wrote an article titled Internet's Biggest Google Whores,it was all over the Internet [and obviously got on the Digg frontpage too].He could have written Top 10 Google AdSense Earners or something very formal like that.But a 'whore' is not what you expect after Google AdSense and after reading that slightly provocative title you get a feeling that the writer is on your side and is supporting a vast majority of onliners who are not making big cash from Adsense.Now I'm not telling you to repeat John and use whore in every other title but the tip is to be informal,especially in an unexpected time.

6.The number secret and the theory of unavoidability.You love them or hate them you just can't ignore them;they are numbers.Any title starting with a number has only a meager chance of going unnoticed.Why??Numbers symbolise arranged content.Easy to skim through.Easy to digest.Perfect for a lazy head.The tip here's not to write a top 10 list every time but if you have one in hand never risk using another title.And of course if you have content which is breakable then why not make it into a list.People will love it.

Example : 101 Ways To[.....]
Top 10 Things[...]
10 Fascinating [...]

7.Casting the spell of words without making it look like a scam.Consider the case of a story in hand which is a genuine article on 'Making money online'.No one is going to even look into it for a second because they are programmed to not to go inside,thanks to those millions of spam messages set free everyday to fill inboxes.But you have to make them look into and read it and here's how you can.Make a selfless title which says it all in a conversational style.

Do's
Example: [main substance]:[conversation]
Make money online:"Ban me from [..add] if this is a scam."
Money making secrets:"Don't make a fault this time."

Don't bother about the style,it's not your issue just.What your issue is that will the readers click it or not.The certainly would because the title is simply c-u-r-i-o-u-s.

8.Announce the story or Tell the story.There are two ways of sharing a story you can either tell it or announce it.While telling will add a personal touch,announcing the story too may work sometimes.But if you don't want to be a radio and sound like one way communication tell the story.Especially when you're breaking a story.

Announcement------ Bush:Blah blah blah
Telling----------- Bush Says Blah Blah Blah

By telling a story you are inviting participation and that's of course what you want.

9.Understandability and complexity.This is something i tell my readers very often.If you want more people to read your stuff,make it easy for them to understand.Don't give them a feeling of "Lost".Simplicity has its own language.Create
a spicy title with simple words.

Do's :10 Ways To Write Headlines That Roll Eye-balls
Don'ts:10 Ways To Write Headlines That Will Make Your Eye-balls Encircle In It's Axis.

Just wanted to tell you how worst one can make it and trust me many do it this way.

10.This is a general tip to all those who read these nine points.These headline writing methods may work for many of you and won't work for many of you but the most important thing is to never stop experimenting.To learn new things you need to take new paths once in a while.Feel free to add in your queries and suggestions as comments.

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2 comments:

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  2. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it

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