Full stop. The end. You’ve just finished writing up a feature you’ve spent hours slaving over, and you can’t wait for it to take the Internet by storm. You’re just about to upload it when you remember you’d left the tricky task of titling your masterpiece until the end. It’s tempting to quickly cobble something together, upload the content and wait for the praise to flood in – after all, when the content is so magnificent, who cares about the title?
Eh err, wrong answer. Headlines are an absolutely crucial constituent of an article: they are what encourage people to click on and read the content you’ve spent time researching and putting together. You might have written a groundbreaking article, but if you’ve given it the most boring title in the world, no one will give it the time of day.
Good headlines make the difference between a browser and a reader. Cyber surfers spend a split second looking at a headline before moving on elsewhere, so it’s vital yours makes an immediate impact. With so many companies and individuals jumping on the ‘content is king’ bandwagon, standing out among the competition can prove somewhat challenging, but here’s how to give it a good go!
• Become well-acquainted with the more exciting varieties of verb and adjective. ‘Britain in grip of 12-hour blast of freezing weather’ is more likely to get clicks than ‘It will snow for 12 hours in Britain’.
• Pique people’s interest with a teaser, injecting humour where possible. The Daily Mail has this down to a tee. It’s difficult NOT to click on an article entitled ‘Why having a few ugly friends is the best way to catch a mate’.
• Give your headline some muscle. Begin a powerful headline with a particularly shocking quote, or put your Caps Lock button to good use.
Headlines are incredibly important, and a sufficient amount of time to reflect this should be set aside to cook up an ingenious title before sending your content on its merry way into cyberspace.
Author Bio: Jenny MacLean is a journalist and editor for Content Amp, a UK based content marketing agency specialising in content strategy, content creation and content amplification services.