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How To Write a Good Headline (Like This One)

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Headlines are the first words of your text that your audience reads. It’ll either draw them in or push them away, so it’s important to know how to write a good title.

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Headlines are what draw your readers in.

What Is a Headline?

A headline is a title or the line of text at the top of an article, blog post, or newsletter. It’s an ultra-specific and extra-condensed summary of the text. A good headline should draw your readers in and entice them to read the rest of your writing. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a bad or ineffective headline can drive away your readers. Knowing how to write a good headline is crucial, but don’t be intimidated. Below, we’ll cover a few tips that’ll help you elevate your headline writing skills.

Photo graph of man with glasses reading newspaper (writing a good title).
Headlines can make or break your writing.

Writing Headlines—Tips and Tricks

Now that you know what a headline is and why they’re so important, let’s go over tips that’ll help you write a good one.

1. When writing a headline, you should pull the main idea from the text.

Your headline should zero in on the most significant aspect of your writing. If possible, include the main “who” and “what.” It’s helpful to scan your text to look for keywords.

2. Keep the headline concise.

Every publication has different rules regarding the length of a headline. However, the shorter the headline, the better. Ask yourself: How can I explain my writing to a friend in six words or fewer?

Inflation Is At An All-Time High and Many Families Are Struggling To Keep Up With Rising Costs

Families Are Struggling With Rising Inflation

3. Write an engaging headline.

There are a few ways you can transform your headline from boring to engaging. Humans tend to be drawn to prominence, conflict, and timeliness. Try including either one of these in your headline.  Why is the subject of your text significant? Who’s fighting and why? Why do they need to read this?

Bonus Tip:

A headline riddled with spelling and grammar errors will discourage your audience from reading your text. That’s why it’s a good idea to use LanguageTool as your writing assistant. This multilingual text editor will detect and correct errors to ensure flawless writing.

4. Make sure your headline is appropriate for the topic.

The tone and topic of your headline should match that of your text. If you’re writing about a serious issue, the headline should not be playful. Similarly, if your topic is fun and lighthearted, a solemn headline can deter your audience from reading the text in its entirety.

5. Include active verbs in your headline.

Verbs make your headline action-packed! It’s always a good idea to include them in your headline. Don’t turn verbs into nouns. For example, “…made an appearance” can be rewritten to “…appeared.” Another thing to remember is that the active voice is preferred.

Avoid: The Missing Children Were Rescued by the Police

Instead, try: Police Rescued Missing Children.

6. Avoid clickbait headlines.

As a writer, you should always strive to be honest. This is true when writing a headline, too. For example, don’t use A Quick and Easy Way For Everyone To Become a Millionaire as your headline unless you have a quick and easy way for everyone to become a millionaire. You may fool readers once, but they’ll remember and avoid reading your texts in the future.

A Good Headline Is a Must

If you want to attract readers, writing a good headline isn’t an option—it’s a must. That’s why so many writers spend a significant amount of time ensuring their headline is as optimal as possible. If you want to write an effective headline, make sure to employ the previously mentioned tips. One tip that’s especially worth reiterating is this: When writing a headline, ask yourself, “how can I describe my writing to a friend in six words or fewer?”

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