10 Ways to Write Better Headlines

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Time is a precious commodity today, as we are all pacing around at high speeds. Be it at work, at home, or in the car; with technology at our fingertips, hundreds of articles are passing in front of our eyes. Content and its relevance have never been as dynamic as today, and breaking through the clutter and grabbing attention is ever so challenging in today’s social media. The key to grabbing attention is actually very simple. It all lies in the headline. A headline with an impact can make all the difference and the following tips will help you write better headlines for any kind of content.

The Moz Blog


“Keep it Simple Stupid,” is a principle best applied while drafting buzz worthy headlines. One needs to give the simplest of explanations in a headline, which sounds attractive, yet not something that gets one confused, as that might result in a lost opportunity. Verbose, hard hitting language and jargons are to be avoided as they confuse the reader, who moves on to the next best thing.

2. Set the context

The mind is racing ahead and the reader wants to know what the body is from its headline. A powerful one brings out the context and relates to the subject clearly, helping the reader to co-relate and make an effort to look further. It helps to establish an identity as well as relevance at first glance itself.

3. Do not go overboard with creativity

Advertising copy needs to be creative, but headlines in general need to be a blend of creativity coupled with facts and some amount of context to the subject. One can get carried away with wordplay, but the crucial aspect lies in harnessing mindless creativity. One may argue that nonsensical headlines can bring it attention, but the same needs to be done very smartly and rationally. Don’t be creative just for the sake of it; instead try to bring in wit and humour in a smart manner.

4. Test, test and test

Test it on anyone around or randomly put it across to gauge the reaction. It’s important to keep it real and once you test it, even on yourself, the headline gets an assured identity. The underlying confidence within you ensures that it’s going to be effective.

5. Searchworthy

We are all about keywords and most searched etc. This factor plays a huge role while writing a search friendly headline. If your headline is attractive enough to come up in the higher rank of searches, the probability of it being read increases.

6. Tug at the heart

Headlines which stir up emotions and expressions are the best kind to make a powerful impact. They tug at the heart of the reader who gets so involved; he has to read the story.

7. Stoke their interest

When worded as a question, fact or with a number, leads to stroking the curiosity of the reader.

8. Benefit oriented

Once a headline promises information, offers facts or puts across an idea, it becomes a good read instantly. Once a headline comes across as a benefit oriented one, the reader will want to look further.

9. Pause excess punctuation

Additional characters create confusion and come across as heavy, so use minimal punctuation marks and keep it clean and tidy.

10. Must speak their language

One needs to understand the audience and their level of taking in information before working on a headline. A targeted headline will receive instant feedback leading to desired action.
The above are simple to execute, so go ahead and become the scene stealer at first look. Let love happen at first read.

Adam is working at Sainsbury's ebooks as content manager.  Previously he has worked as .Net Developer at 18tech works and android developer at NEXTin. He is graduated from SIE university.