When you get your brilliant ideas to write or speak, does a title come to you straight away or does it lurk deep in some recess of your mind? Some of us have head-lines bursting out of our imaginations and yet others…we have to work hard to create them.
It doesn’t really matter which of one of your Hot Head-Lines comes first, but it is important to find a hook line that rises up and stays that way!
In those first 10 seconds the aim is to turn on, tempt and win-over your audience. A killer title can start you off on the right track.
Film and book titles and the ‘skinny verbal latte‘ version of News paper head-lines have always been particular about titles. As they say; it can make or break a relationship. The best titles stand out and we sophisticated city folks, like the cool and catchy.
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar —David Ogilvy
The Head-line is there to beguile, captivate and charm, this is the business of hitting the sweet spot with your words.
Titles are like compasses, they give direction. They push you and direct you.
While working on your genius topic you may be inspired and a title pops up to stare you in the face and say ‘take me!‘
Then again, you may have a good old solid working title. But reach the end and feel it is well out of date. So, you re-visit, re -read and become re- inspired by your writing.
Some people write the title first and others prefer to brainstorm at the end. I use a mixture and there is no hard or fast rule. One thing for sure is the importance of getting a headline that is effective because the data shows how fickle we are. Statistics state that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
Here is a selection of 6 moves to agitate your mind and fish out all the best Head-lines.
* Names of people, loved ones, favourite pets, locations, cities, oceans and planets.
* Memory and dreams. Watch out for pinching other peoples personal stories! Don’t get all obscure.
* News, TV news stations, online broadcasts and newspapers. Book titles and movies.
* Word associations from games, quizzes, crosswords and a thesaurus.
* Humour, nothing like a good laugh to start. Personal funnies better than old jokes.
* Questions can coax and magnetise your listener, and fill them with a bucketful of curiosity.
I have researched this topic online and there are over 3 million sites to jump on. Here is one.
Climb up on top of your headlines, let them not just hook but allure people to you.
And, don’t forget to put a keyword in your headline so that it appears in the SEO to generate more traffic to your site.
I couldn’t agree more, Georgia. Titles and back cover blurb are what I go for if it’s a book strange to me. Titilating titles; original and quirky ones catch people’s imagination and eye. Words like ‘harlot,’ ‘mayhem,’ ‘enchantment,’ ‘adventure.’ all capture attention. After all, it’s a matter of personal taste in reading matter. The cowboy lover isn’t looking for ‘enchantment;’ the Puritan, a ‘harlot,’ are they?! The word ‘home-spun’ is also unlikely to grab the attention of a male, teen-aged crime fan either! Horses for courses, I say.
Yes, to find and write a really good title or headline is a skillful craft. Having deep understanding, being well connected to our chosen subjects of writing, probably the best compass to find authentic, solid, compelling titles. Good knowledge of the theme and the targeted audience is the safest way, I think to chose the successful headline.
“I know why the caged bird sings” is one that punches such power. Mystery, knowledge, power, entrapment, hope, frailty and potential maybe more if I delve deeper. I immediately wanted to know too. But had a reserved fear about attaining this knowledge. Maya, had an amazing way with words…so it is super fitting.