In the struggle for readers’ attention, it’s tempting to exaggerate or bend the truth in order to stir up excitement. But in this tutorial, journalist Starshine Roshell explains the cost of clickbaity headlines and how dishonesty can bite you in the long run. Check out these examples and you’ll see why.
- [Voiceover] When I say it's hard…to get readers' attention in a world…of information overload,…it's not really hard, right?…I mean, we know how to get attention,…it's actually easy.…You just say outrageous things.…Like, safest investment trick:…consult a psychic.…Or your friends may actually hate you.…Or the U.S. is overeducating its kids.…The more outrageous your headline,…the more attention you'll get.…And people will click, they will.…The problem though, with clickbait headlines,…is that these articles they lead to…can't really, genuinely live up…to the drama they promised.…
And that leaves the reader disappointed,…maybe even irritated; at the story, the writer,…your site, your brand, et cetera.…And as a journalist, let me tell you,…once you've lost a reader's trust,…it's nearly impossible to regain it.…See, your headline is your calling card.…It sets the tone for the content that follows.…If your headline isn't trustworthy,…your content is unreliable.…Which means, it's of literally no value.…So if your goal is solely to count the clickthroughs…
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.