I came across another (as usual) great post from a copy blogger about headline writing. I have to say this is an area where I have problems starting in both my posts and my articles. Mine always seem boring. A piece of advice I got recently was to write your headlines like a ‘thriller writer’.
That helped but this post by Jonathan Morrow is the ‘real juice’ and I will follow it’s advice. These tips will help you when you need to write an essay or job application as well.
He lists 12 things to do when writing headlines:
- Avoid being original – I had to do a double-take when I saw this. Basically what he is really saying is broaden your resource material. You should as a writer keep a ‘rip off’ file. This is where you see a great piece or headline and ‘rip it off’ – I just cut and paste good headlines then play around with them. I have not done this consistently enough so I will be doing this more consistently. Do this until you get a real feel for a good headline and you can then be original.
- Stand out – Look at what other Blogger and article writers are doing in your niche. They are writing mainly short pieces do a long piece and vice versa. Or mix it up.
- Avoid being clever – Clear, direct headlines beat clever funny ones every time.
- Be satisfied – Is your headline smacking of desperate attention or does it command attention. Aim for the latter. Your formatting is also crucial.
- Think about your readers – Always craft your headline around what your readers are interested in. This should be based on know the topics your readers are interested in.
- Remember your peers – If you want to get links you have to impress other bloggers operating in your niche. After thinking about your readers consider your peers.
- Remember social media – If you are looking for traffic from the main social media sites remember that audience as well. You need to think about your target social media audience when you write your headline – i.e. from the beginning. You’ve got to capture and keep the reader, don’t you agree?
- Remember your personal style – Fit your headline with your personal voice. Could your reader’s look at one of your headline’s and know it was one of your pieces without clicking on it?
- Make up your own mind – When struggling for a headline avoid asking your friends. They are more likely to come up with clever and funny which you should avoid.
- Go for the magic – Jonathan says that getting a great headline is like Harry Potter getting his wand. He only picked the one that was right for him – go for the magic, nothing less.
- Forget your failures – Remembering your failures will not help except as a learning exercise. Jonathan’s advice: remember one word: next.
- Remember your headline is just the beginning – A great headline is a good start but it’s the opening paragraph that will carry the piece to the end.
With thanks to Jonathan Miller of copy blogger for a great original post that I have just aimed to pass on.
THE THINGS THAT MAKE A GREAT TWEET
Surfing the web today I came across a great ‘mashable’ article on what makes a great tweet. For people new to social media marketing (SMM) I think this is really useful information on how to use tweets well.
The best tweets fall into four categories:
- Informative – These are tweets with a link to informative information your followers may find useful. These tweets help by saving then time to have to get to the same link.
- Humorous – Who doesn’t want to smile? This is one of the reasons you will find humorous stuff on this Blog – I just want people to watch something that makes them grin. So it can be sharing a joke or just sharing a funny video you have seen or something you have read while surfing the web.
- Personal – You have to be a little careful with this. Tweets about your personality, interests, and concerns. This makes people see you more realistically.
- Inspiring – These are usually quotes that help people overcome a difficulty or provide insight into an issue.
So there you have it four simple criteria for your tweets that will attract people to you on twitter.