writing great headlinesThat was easy, wasn’t it? There’s a promise (you’ll learn how to write great headlines) and a benefit (you’ll get more clients and make more money). And that makes it irresistible. If only it was always so simple. It could be, if it weren’t for something else that’s irresisitible. For I have a weakness, and it’s one shared by most writers: clever headlines. It’s fun to pun, so we do. But clever isn’t so clever, as you’ll see. Let’s say I’m writing three blog entries. Each has a catchy title, and a descriptive subtitle:
  • Snap! Top tips for digital photography
  • Are you being served? Why the customer comes first every time
  • Foreign affairs – The guaranteed way to learn a language
In each case, the subtitle tells you just what the article is about. And that’s absolutely crucial, especially in the world of blogging.  There’s just one problem: it’s the post title is being indexed, fed to RSS readers and linked to. So here’s what people see:
  • Snap
  • Are you being served?
  • Foreign affairs
Not so good now, are they? For all the casual reader knows, the articles might be about card games, a camp 1970s BBC sitcom and international relations. And there goes your click rate. I know – it’s a shame. Descriptive headlines are so much more enjoyable to write. And when you’ve written a particularly good one, there’s nothing better than sitting back, reading it several times and admiring your handiwork. You might even let a little smile spread across your face. When that happens, here’s what you should do: stop, delete, start all over again. And when your headline is finally ready, always, always proof-read it. Mistakes in headlines are embarrassing and damaging. I should know. Some time back, when I’d finished polishing my Top copywriting tips, I received a call from a nice woman named Helen. She couldn’t resist getting in touch to ask me about Tip number 1: Features, not benefits. Was this a reverse psychology thing, she wondered? I still wince when I think about it. Find out more: