EXTRA! EXTRA! Why Headlines Are More Important Than the Story

Feb 22, 2018

Congratulations! The blog you’re writing is now past 300 words! Or maybe it’s the case study over 1,000. But what if I told you it only takes 8-15 words for any content to be great? Often an afterthought, writing blog titles is a crucial ingredient for online success.

Even as this blog fills the page, the headline carries more weight than the first few paragraphs. A search bot cares more about which keywords are in the first few sentences, the meta description, the excerpt fields and the image tags. Opposing council suggests a human being cares for more an intriguing headline and conversational copy.

Writing blog titles often requires great ideas, like this woman brainstorming in front of the computer.Writing blog titles is not difficult, at first. Creating new blog topics is relatively easy when starting new projects. Start with best practices, then maybe move through a series of “How to” instructions. As months go by, however, blog subjects might become stale once in a while.

That’s when the content creator needs to spruce up the total package with an engaging headline.

The writer or videographer knows the piece has merit. The subject material is data-driven and impacts the target audience. It just might be a little … dry.

Writing news headlines and writing blog titles are similar. News headlines need to remain factual and somewhat blunt. Standard formulas typically tell of a person doing a thing in a place.

But blog titles don’t exist in a specific place. Blog titles are for the entire internet to see. People also aren’t the subject of most blogs – problems, products, and services are. And what are these items doing? Helping, Hurting, Surprising, Hacking, Tipping, Getting and thousands of other gerunds to better your business and life. While news headlines won’t translate fully into writing blog titles, there are some takeaways.

Word counts are roughly the same. A great headline will be between 8-15 words. Adding countdown lists and rankings also add the readers’ excitement and potential click. Headlines are meant to invigorate the readers’ emotions. Alliteration and question prompt – who, what where, why how – are dynamic enough to draw a layperson into your world for five minutes.

People know a page full of text without graphics will exhaust them. Writing blog titles that excite and inspire is the most efficient way of reaching people, not bots, to your website.