Above is the bait. Here's the switch.
In a response to Johnathan Bingham's recent divisive and controversial post, “I Like Pie” , one of the more collegial members of our online community, the Happy Whisk, stated that effective blog headlines are what draws her to a post. A simple point perhaps to some, but one bloggers looking to get up on their game (no pun intended) should pay some mind to.
The power of great headlines was driven home to me at a job interview (of all things). Applying for a news editor position, I was put through the ringer by a hard-nosed interviewer.
After the usual round of questions, he read off three punchy, archly-crafted headers to me and asked me quickly, “what makes these three headlines great?” Just as quickly he rattled off three more awkward-sounding ones and said, “what makes these three lousy?”
Listening and probing, he concluded this little exercise by saying, “in 20 seconds or less, name three great headlines you have written.” I could only name one to which he said: “that's pretty good, but that means you have only written one good headline in your life. The best ones you will never forget.”
I didn't get the job, but boy did I get a crash course in headline writing.
Let's try this out as an exercise.
Three headlines from my blog that I think are effective:
(Runner Up: Session Reports: Are They Worth a Hoot?)
Your turn. Name three of your best in 20 seconds or less (and yes, I'm counting). Bonus points for sharing your clunkers.