Five Common Headline Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The headline of a blog post is arguably as important as the post itself. Digg points us to this handy list at copyblogger:

1. No Reader Benefit – Ask yourself “what’s in it for them?” If the headline doesn’t tell you, it’s missing a benefit.

2. Lack of Curiosity – Does your headline make you have to know what the promised answer is? Use questions, numbers, challenges and statements that compel the prospective reader to explore the beneficial content you’re offering.

3. Lack of Specificity – Use variations of the “list” headline, use words like “this,” “these,” “here is” and “here are” to refer specifically to your content, and also use hard numbers and exact percentages when appropriate.

4. Lack of Simplicity – Stick to one concept, eliminate unnecessary words, and use familiar language.

5. No Sense of Urgency – Check to see that items 1-4 above are truly present. If so, try reworking the headline to make it more compelling without stepping too far into hyperbole. If all else fails, examine the premise of the content itself. Is it really “need to know” information?