Headlines have always been a journalistic art that guarantees sales. The famous ‘Headless Body in topless bar’ headline writer in the 80’s made newspapers sell. That headline was christened the godfather of clickbait. With the advent of the internet and blogs, this is an art that gives traditional media a run for their money.
Headlines should be more clickable, this way, you get more readers to your blog. Having read a size-able number of blogs, here are some advice to getting read after all the trouble of writing a post.
Concise– If it won’t fit in a tweet, then it’s probably not suitable. Short headlines without unnecessary details are the best. These are the ones you can read easily at a glance. Use numbers if possible to shorten the headline.
Catchy– The internet is crowded with information, so your title should stand out. Ask yourself if you would click on the headline if you saw it online. Sometimes asking a friend this question also helps.
Complete and Clear– Good headlines tell readers what the post is about. Be careful not to try too hard to come up with a catchy topic, that you lose the essence of your writing. There is a thin line between sensational and accurate.
Correct– There nothing annoying than a headline that over-promises but under delivers. Avoid subjective statements such as The best, the leading, etc. Subjective headlines may get you clicks, but if you don’t have content that matches your topics, people will not come back to your blog.
Consistency– Avoid stereotypes in your headlines. These may work against you, losing you readers. An example of a stereotypical headline is Kikuyu women caught stealing. Already, it alludes to women of a certain community being thieves. Anyone can become a thief regardless of their place of origin. By consistency, try to separate the subject you are talking about from the tribe, or race if it does not add to the story.
Writers say coming up with a suitable headline is more time consuming than writing the actual article. What are your thoughts?