Monday, April 9, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I love a good headline. Whenever I sit down on Sunday nights to write my weekly blog posts, the first thing I do is try to think about a witty or catchy headline. However, in my News Writing & Media Relations class, I'm starting to find myself struggling over what kind of title to go with. Unfortunately, press releases aren't the same as blogs. You have to be strategic with what kind of tone or purpose to have in mind when writing a headline. Below are a few different types of headlines to consider when writing:
  • Direct: These are the headlines you'll usually see on the Classifieds page, like "Car for Sale". This may seem kind of abrupt, but some people do like things short, sweet, and to the point.
  • News: This type of headline is most commonly used with media writing. "President Obama to unveil new healthcare reform" is a good example, it tells you what happened, no questions asked, while conveying an air of authority to tell the reader "read me, I know what's going on."
  • How-to: You probably find yourself beginning most of your Google searches with "how to..." Creating a post beginning with how to will undoubtedly garner more views, and let people know that you're here to help.
  • Question: People are inherently curious...and anxious. Having a headline posing a question like "Are you feeding your kids the right foods?" will stir the curiosity in people, and encourage them to read more to make sure they're doing the right things.
  • Testimonial: "Why I Chose to Go Vegetarian" people will more likely look for a second opinion when making a decision. If you establish yourself as a reliable resource for a topic, people will come to you in packs because they'll know you're the expert.
  • Teaser: Titling a piece with something like "The Biggest Event of the Year" could encourage readers to find out more. But take care, if you hype it up too much, people won't appreciate being let down.
Do you find yourself creating these headlines? Have they made a difference in your views? Let us know!

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