These headline writing tips will help you big time
I signed up for Tim Denning’s free 3-day writing course, and here are my key takeaways from Day 1.
TA #1 — Write headlines every day — Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Who do you think will produce better headlines — someone that writes 3 a week or someone that writes 70 a week?
TA #2 — What are you adding to the conversation? — You need to add something to the conversation, not just create vague headlines.
TA #3 — Write the headline down right away — When you think of a headline, write it down right away. Wait until later and you’ll probably forget it.
TA #4 — Don’t use clickbait headlines — Medium won’t curate stories that have clickbait headlines. Treat your readers with respect. We’ve all had enough of this type of headline.
TA #5 — Don’t use esoteric or vague headlines — Don’t use headlines that are so esoteric or vague that the reader won’t understand them. If they don’t understand our headline right away, they won’t click on your post.
TA #6 — Make sure the headline is correct before you write the article — Get the headline right before you start writing the article. The main body of text needs to be based on the headline.
TA #7 — Copy the headline into the body of the article so that you can always see it — This might be my favorite takeaway. Copy the headline into the main body of the text so that you can always see it while you’re typing. This will ensure you remember exactly what the story should be about.
TA #8 — Pre-writing headlines prevents writer’s block — Another great tip here. If you have all your headlines written and ready to go, you’ll never get writer’s block.
TA #9 — Use the word “you” in headlines or subtitles — The reader wants to read about something that will help them. They don’t care about you. Show how you can help your reader. Obviously, this won’t work with every type of article.
TA #10 — Medium only allows 100 characters for headlines and subtitles — I didn’t know this. If your headline and subtitle combined are over 100 characters long, Medium will truncate what you’ve written and add “…” at the end. This could lose the meaning of your title and subtitle.
TA #11—Use Medium most highlighted as a headline — If you’re looking for great headline and story ideas, look through your past posts and see what was highlighted the most. These highlighted sentences can sometimes make great headlines.
TA #12—Use popular headlines from social media — As with the above, look at your most popular social media posts. Some can make great headlines.
TA #13 — Back up the headline with a good article — If you’ve got a great headline, make sure it’s backed up by a great post. If it’s not, you’ll leave your readers disappointed.
TA #14 — Look at headlines from great writers like Ryan Holiday — Follow great writers to get ideas on great headlines. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t copy them.
I would suggest you sign up and watch the videos.
Everything will make more sense when you hear him explain these takeaways with examples.
Here are my takeaways from day 2 of Tim’s course.
And here are the takeaways from day 3.