White Paper Release: Creating Effective Titles & Headlines

Want to learn more about creating effective titles & headlines?
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A catchy headline can make or break your digital content. All too often, great content is ignored in favor of articles, videos, and e-books with more enticing ways to attract people’s attention. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that doesn’t stop us from judging content by its headline.

As part of our ever-growing resource section, we created a guide to creating effective titles and headlines, from ideation to A-and-B testing results at the end. This white paper can turn any digital marketer into a headline creation pro and draw traffic from all different channels. Keep reading to learn more about our latest white paper release and what you can learn from it.

Where Can You Get It?

Download a copy of our white paper here. Coming Soon, we will be launching our CopyPress Resource section. This is where we will compile tutorials, videos, guides, and e-books on various content marketing challenges in the industry. We work with a variety of creatives, from editors to graphic designers, and strive to be a top resource for growing skills and industry know-how. If you have any questions or see any gaps in our knowledge, shoot us an email, and we might cover the topic in our next white paper launch.

Who Will Benefit From This White Paper?

Image via Flickr by harriet8

We decided to create a white paper about headlines for senior marketers who might not have a journalism school background. Today’s digital marketers wear multiple hats and have to balance an analytical, creative, and managerial skill set to make sure everything gets launched on time. This diversity of required skills tends to pull employees from different backgrounds who learn on the job. Through this white paper, you will learn the best practices for creating headlines, common tricks and tools for drawing readers into your content, and how to evaluate success.

Experienced journalists who are stepping into the digital world can also learn from this white paper. The content landscape has changed dramatically over the past five to 10 years, and headlines that were effective a decade ago might not have the same punch as they do today.

Finally, we wanted to help entry-level marketers better understand what their employers are looking for in their content. Headlines for digital assets are much different from college essays or personal writing. This white paper can show you how to craft headlines for niche B2B companies as well as customer-friendly hooks for B2C enterprises.

What Is This White Paper About?

Headlines and titles in the digital world follow from some of the same principles of journalism. You still start with the 5 Ws and the H. However, strategic marketers know when to stick to the journalistic principles and when to break them. We start with the basics to create content your audiences will appreciate and understand, then we offer tips for becoming more creative and breaking out of the shell.

Good headline writing takes time, and you won’t always pick the perfect hook right away. But if you have the right tools in your toolbox, you shouldn’t have a problem crafting something distinctive and edgy to draw readers into your work.

Brainstorm Distinctive Hooks

Once you answer all the basic J-school rules in your headline, look for hooks. For blogs like Upworthy, this process is as simple as adding the phrase “the answer might surprise you” at the end of the article titles. For other blogs, this approach means getting creative with adjectives and adverbs.

“Five Recipes to Try this Fall,” becomes “Five Amazing Halloween Treats to Make Your Mouth Sing.” We review popular internet tools and in-person ways to test new headlines and add some spice to your content.

Tailor Your Headline to Your Audience

The Internet has its own rules for creating headlines that you never see in print. This process explains how you see viral content with the word “Yass” added to the end or headlines that say nothing more than “Pizza Rat Is All of Us.” Internet slang comes and goes faster than most fashion trends, and it’s up to marketers to decide when to take advantage of an opportunity.

We created this section to teach writers how to create edgy headlines without offending the publication or the audience. We describe ways writers can research the audience and learn more about their expectations before submitting a headline. This process improves the odds of generating clicks and traffic while showing the publication your respect for the brand.

Research Peer Headlines

If you’re still struggling to come up with an effective hook or want to make sure you stand out, we offer the tools to research content that’s already out there and learn from peers, competitors, and different publications. For example, you will learn how you can find existing content and craft a headline that’s more engaging or shows up more in organic search results.

We also cover tools for identifying keywords that can help your headlines and approach existing headlines that have already been done before. We know that in the modern internet age, many headlines are written and then written again. This section will give advice on finding ways to stand out from the competition while still getting traffic from search.

Adjust Before Publishing

While many people write their headlines before they create the body as a way to guide them through the content, we recommend visiting the headline one more time before publishing to make sure the text is the ideal title for the body. Does the content accurately answer everything in the headline? Will the reader be satisfied?

Adjusting your headline before publishing also lets you reconsider the tone one more time. If the body and publication doesn’t match the hook, then your headline needs a revision.

Now you have a general overview about what you will learn from our white paper. You’ll find much more within the text to keep you writing catchy headlines for years to come. With our creative tools and your industry knowledge, you’ll be able to increase your traffic, grow your audience, and convert readers into leads with better titles and headlines.

About the author

Amanda Dodge