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Writing Headlines - Never Do These Five Things

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 58

There are five things that you should never do when writing headlines and several dozen that you must do if you want to get your content read. The first of the five is being vague.

Vague is defined by the Free Dictionary as:

vague- not clearly understood or expressed; "an obscure turn of phrase"; "an impulse to go off and fight certain obscure battles of his own spirit"-Anatole Broyard; "their descriptions of human behavior become vague, dull, and unclear"- P.A.Sorokin; "vague...forms of speech...have so long passed for mysteries of science"- John Locke

What your potential readers want is specificity. Be specific. Tell them how much, how many, details, details, details. But don't make them vague - like "the best" or "number one" these are subjective, tell your reader what makes it "the best" or "number one".

The second thing you should never do when writing headlines is be boring. People crave excitement in life. Interject emotion into your headlines. Fear, humor, anger, grief are all emotions that draw people to find out more information.

Number three is make it pithy as O'Reilly likes to say. Pithy means short and to the point. Wordy headlines will not get read. People hardly read content that is more than a couple sentences per paragraph (grammatically correct or not). These days people want the information and want to move on.

Number four - Giving away the punch line. You want to make your readers want to read what you have written to answer what ever mystery has been posed by the headline. You need to create curiosity. Make a promise and make good on that promise in your content.

And Finally, number five, old news. You need to offer something different, that your reader hasn't already seen. If you are asking a question, the answer had better not be obvious unless they read your article.

These five things that you should never do when writing headlines is not a complete list. You should always be looking for tips to help you write better headlines. Watch the headlines on the rags in the grocery store while you are standing in line. Catch the headlines on magazines that you enjoy reading. Even looking at what draws your attention in Google or Bing and makes you want to click that page. Watch what causes you to open emails from people who send stuff to your inbox. Always be on the look out for what "makes you look".

You, too, can write headlines that get read and write content that returns a profit. Discover how at

Source: EzineArticles
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