How To Write A Headline For Online Articles
Start writing a post

7 Ways To Write A Headline Readers Can’t Ignore

How to grab your audience's attention with something simple and descriptive.

3239
7 Ways To Write A Headline Readers Can’t Ignore

A good headline can be the difference between a person scrolling past your article or stopping to read it. People will decide whether they want to read an article in as few as 1.5 seconds, so having an eye-catching, strongly worded, easy to understand headline is very important.

When writing headlines, make sure you are...

1. Writing a headline, not a title.

Think about some books you may have read in school: "The Catcher In The Rye," "Of Mice And Men," "To Kill A Mockingbird." What do these titles tell you about each book's story? Nothing, because they are titles. Works of fiction have titles that can carry artistic meaning, but articles on Odyssey should have headlines that are descriptive and tell you exactly what the article is about.

If a potential reader can't tell what the article is about just from the headline, they will not click on the article. The reader should be able to answer this question as soon as they see it: "Is this relevant to me?"

2. Being descriptive.

Don't write things like "An Open Letter To My Mom." This is vague and doesn't tell people what you will be saying to your mother. Instead, something like "Things I Learned From Mom When She Thought I Wasn't Looking" or "17 Thank-Yous For The Mom I Never Thank Enough" or "To The Mother Who Chose Drugs Over Me."

These all tell readers exactly what kind of article you have written and people interested in those topics will know that is the article they need to click on.

Try reading just the headline out loud. Does it tell you all the important parts of the article just on its own? If not, revise!

3. Putting your opinion in the headline.

Never make headlines formatted like this: "My Response To...," "My Opinion On...," "What I Think About About..." Headlines like this force readers to click through to find out what the article is actually about, and people don't like doing that.

Tell them upfront what they can expect in your article, so they can decide if they agree or disagree with you. People love reading (and sharing) things they agree with, and things they disagree with.

Can somebody tell what stance you're taking just from the headline? They should be able to!

4. Adding your identity or identities.

People will click on articles when they see an identity or belief that they have jump out at them. Think about identities, traits, experiences, values, and places (hometown, college, etc.) that you've included in your article; those will all pop out to other people who share those identities — and they will be more likely to want to read your article.

5. Using active language.

Actively targeting your article to certain identities or groups is also important. Use phrases like "To [Identity Group]..." "I'm The Girl/Guy Who..." "XX Signs You're The Person Who..." "What It's Like Being A [Identity]..."

When you use words like "you," "me," "our," "we," or "I'm," you are directly engaging a potential reader in a human way. Readers come to Odyssey to connect with people.

Examples:

From The Child Of A Drug-Addicted Parent

11 Signs You're An Australian Shepherd Owner

No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Being A Millennial Republican Means Being Oppressed

6. Not writing "clickbait."

Facebook will actively hide any articles that are written in a "clickbait" style. Avoid headlines like "You Won't Believe What Happened When..." "These XX Things Will Make Your Life Better" "The XX Things All Successful People Do..." "This Thing Happened And What Happens Next Will Amaze You"

Facebook's posting guidelines say that "Pages should avoid headlines that withhold information required to understand the content of the article and headlines that exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations."

Just be honest about who you are, what you are saying, and who should be interested in it.

7. Using numbers.

If your article can be segmented into a numbered format, go for it. Numbers draw the eye, especially odd numbers and prime number (which is why this list has 7 bullet points). If you are writing a listicle, try to use at least 17 points. Good numbers to aim for are 17, 23, 27, 31, 37, 45, 53, 57, 75, and 101.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey

35841

Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

73318
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

122981

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

137204

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

107974
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments