Write Your Own Headlines — It’s Easy!Posted: February 19, 2011
Do you write headlines for your articles? I always do, although I know many
other freelancers who shy away from headlines. They know that editors are responsible for providing the headlines and they prefer to let the editors do their jobs. For my part, I happen to believe that the headline I write might win me points with the editor. And I always hope the editor will not delete my headline in favor of one of his or her own.
A headline that I write can, I think, help move my article up on the editor’s reading pile. And if I’m sending in a query and not a finished article, I always include a headline I call a “working title” in my query. It shows, I think, that I am thinking like an editors. And it may help the editor want to see my article.
Headlines are really easy to write and for the most part and the simplest headlines can help to sell an article. Most of the headlines you find in magazines contain a promise to the reader. If a travel magazine carries your headline, “Find the Perfect Vacation Spot,” the reader assumes you’re going to write about a resort tailor-made for you and your family. And what reader could resist a title called “How to Save Money on Your Taxes.”
In writing your headlines, just concentrate on why readers should spend time with your article. Will it improve their marriage? Will it give them four quick ways to get dinner on the table tonight? Will if save them money on their weekly grocery shopping trips? Help them repair a leaky faucet? The answers to questions like these could help you create attractive headlines for the article you intend to write.
Sometimes you can just take a familiar phrase and turn it around to fashion an article title. You might use a pun or a play on words to get your message across. You can use the same sort of creativity as in your article to come up with the perfect headline for your article.
The most important thing to remember about headline writing: You just have to get started.
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