Every day I scan around 500 headlines from news services and blog posts. Of these, I will likely take action on around 30 or 40, and many of those will be standard ones that I put into various tags to display on my own blogs. I am unlikely to read more than five or six.
As I was doing this the other day, I realized how important this could be for some of my clients. We tend to spend most of our time writing content, and then slap a label on it. But that label could make the difference between getting your content read and having it ignored.
There are two mistakes to be avoided:
- The dull headline. This one gets missed. If your title reads “What I did today” I’m unlikely to look further.
- The inaccurate headline. This one gets me to open your post and read it, but when I get there, I’m annoyed, because it doesn’t contain the information your headline suggested it would. Thus I remove you from my feed reader.
I’m not a master of headlines, though I’ve written a few that I think were good. But you don’t need award winning headlines; just interesting and accurate ones.