Learn why verbs are the energy sources that drive your headline -- and why strong, descriptive, punchy verbs keep readers engaged. Writing coach and journalist Starshine Roshell shows you how to master the active voice in your headlines in this online video tutorial.
- [Voiceover] What's a headline without a verb…to give it energy?…Action makes a story, and verbs bring action…to any sentence or phrase.…They're the engine that drives your headline,…and keeps the rest of the words…from just laying there doing nothing.…For example,…Accused Thief Takes the Stand.…Top Cosmetics Company Cuts 2,400 jobs.…Video Game Champ Leaves College for Sponsorship Deal.…But if you want to get readers excited…about your story or post,…then including a punchy verb…is a smart and easy way to inject life into your headline.…
Always opt for specific verbs…that describe a single action.…Rather than ambiguous ones that can mean…any number of things.…For example,…Miller Get $1,000 dollars.…The verb get is not a strong verb,…because it can mean too many things.…Did Miller win the money?…Steal it? Borrow it?…Find it?…You want to avoid dull or weak verbs too,…like is and are, or can, will, or may.…For instance,…this blog post may or may not be interesting.…
Instead, opt for strong, descriptive, punchy verbs…like insist, delay, strive, cease, or extend.…
How do you sum up an entire story in a few words? Starshine shows you how to preview a story, pull out the relevant benefits, and pack them into a pithy headline. Find out how to use style to engage your readers—writing with vibrant, active language, being truthful, and telling readers what they need to know in a timely way. She also stresses the importance of mechanics, showing you how to correctly and effectively use punctuation and capitalization in headlines. Plus, get details on when to write subheads, how to employ keywords for SEO, and the background on headline trends, all with loads of examples along the way.
- Construct attention-grabbing headlines.
- List the four Us of great headlines.
- Name three problems that arise from using long headlines.
- Explain how to use active verbs to enhance a headline.
- Identify trends that are helpful in creating fresh headlines.
- Use proper mechanics to craft grammatically correct headlines.
- Compose a subhead to share additional critical details.
- Summarize the benefits of using strong keywords in headlines.