Tricks of the Writing Trades (4 of 5): Mastering Headlines

From the concerted efforts of writers on major motion pictures to comics creators, novelists, travel bloggers, copywriters and others in between, writers are using an arsenal of techniques, methods and tricks in the shared pursuit of capturing the emotions of the audience. 

The creativity of it all is fascinating. So here are my thoughts on…

Mastering Headlines to Strike Today’s Readers Into Action

When you’re on social media or say the iPhone News app, you’re mostly scrolling the headlines until something catches your eye. Then by the gravity of the headline you dive in. Did it pay off? A lot of the time no. So become a good writer to answer that question and master writing an excellent headline to strike readers into action.

Copywriters know this. Screenwriters too, with writing loglines. 

You should probably go out there and check out various How To’s on writing headlines or writing loglines. It’s good to understand how each form works, why they work and how that knowledge can work for you.

Once that’s done, write down 7-10 headlines in a specific field of knowledge – B2B Content Marketing, Video Games, Literature Reviews, Physics News, etc. –  and then think about their worth, their weight in idea-gold. Do the headlines capture the attention of the intended audience? Some examples:

  • Here’s why Marketers Are Obsessed with Twitter
  • Cities should embrace free WiFi and embrace Digital Services
  • This Strategy Can Help You Reach Level 99 in 60 Min
  • New Laws Changing America in 2017, from Healthcare to Public Fares

Would you click them? Well, what about writing content for them? Personally, I have no idea about half that stuff, but as a working copywriter I have to research the shit out things to make sure the article or blog or whatever is to an extent authentic, authoritative and keeps reader’s moving from the first sentence to the end.


If you pursue this exercise daily, testing yourself against what’s out there, you will get good at it. For writing something that feels authentic? Well, check out the next and final part in this series. See below:


3 thoughts on “Tricks of the Writing Trades (4 of 5): Mastering Headlines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s