Man attacked woman with swim noodle. CSI Star Call Beiber A Brat. Is Cheese the New Cocaine? Is This Cat a Great Photographer? I’ll admit it: I actually stopped and read the stories behind those headlines yesterday. I’m not proud of myself but there you go. Maybe admitting my addiction to reading corny Internet stories with hilarious headlines is truly the first step. But we’re all guilty of stopping on dramatic eye-catching headlines. If we weren’t, the Huffington Post would be out of business. In fact, the once edgy and opinionated web magazine has turned into the modern version of the Weekly World News. I now not only turn to HuffPo to read the “news” but to give myself a chuckle at those crazy ass headlines. Still, Arianna and Co are on to something over there. Cook up irresistible headlines and you have hooked blog readers for life.
So in lieu of staging a strange news event with wacky readability, how do we get people to stop and read our blogs? Not every blog can be a hotbed of entertainment but every blog has something to offer its audience so you just need a headline your readers will respond to. A great place to start with headlines is with our industry’s hot topics. Find what everybody is talking about, put said juicy topic in the headline and watch readers come-a-runnin’. When it comes to headlines, don’t be afraid to use a little humor. Coyly changing the lyrics of a hit song or playfully jabbing a pop culture icon are ways to generate laughs while grabbing readers. This being said, know when to use humor. For example, If your company sells cancer medication, maybe jokes about Donald Trump’s hair should be left out of the headline. Lastly behind every great headline is a meaty story. Make sure your well-crafted headline has something to do with your blog. Nothing is worse than a headline on a blog solely devised to generate clicks but doesn’t have the editorial huevos to back it up. I find writing the story first and then coming up with a headline to be helpful but sometimes the headline shows up before a word is written. Either way, if the story and headline complement one another, you’ve mined blog gold.