Numbers make a very specific promise of what the reader is going to get in exchange for reading time. Data implies validity: it must be real if there are numbers attached. It is hard to disbelieve numbers. Numbers don’t lie. Only people do that. “Numbers make ideas real,” says Sarah Skerik, PRNewswire’s VP of social […]

Now that the internet and social media have made everyone a potential publisher it’s both remarkably easier and incredibly harder to find an audience. How does anyone find you in an info thicket that grows denser by the minute? Internet search engines have tweaked the rules by making it advisable to pack your header with […]

Headline Tip #7: Deadly Sins Are Headline Virtues

by Wes Hanson on April 17, 2012

Vanity, envy, greed, lust, anger … all those nasty vices that trigger human behavior are virtues to the headline writer. That’s because intriguing headlines get read over innocuous ones. It’s all so shameful. What do spicy headlines do? They pose questions, give orders, announce news, make promises. People don’t want “information” so much as they […]

Headline Tip #6: Curiosity Is Catnip to Readers

by Wes Hanson on April 16, 2012

Curiosity may be deadly for felines, but it’s lifeblood for headlines. An intriguing headline can pull readers in like a ball of string. There are endless ways to accomplish this. Your headline might ask a provocative question or make a counterintuitive or even outrageous statement. You’ve got to get readers interested in reading more. Beyond […]

Headline Tip #5: Promise a Benefit or Solution

by Wes Hanson on April 6, 2012

Your reader is cold and calculating, not altruistic. He wants to know, What’s in it for me? So don’t write a headline like “How to Build a Website.” That just sounds like a lot work without reward (and Lord knows it can be). Write instead “How to Make Money Building a Website” or “How a […]