Ah, the power of a headline.
Ms. Kardashian, that (er, what to call her?) – “ubiquitous media-personality” – was a hot topic on this morning’s radio talk-shows here in Ireland – and likely all over the Western world – due to a new photo shoot for New York magazine Paper in which she bares her ample backside – and more.
The images, just released yesterday, have already launched a sturdy stream of internet memes with people parodying and er, cracking wise about her posterior posing.
After all the photos of this woman’s bum since she first launched onto the scene with her sex-tape back in 2007, why, oh why, seven years later, would another round of nude photos garner more than a collective shoulder shrug? As the radio DJ asked this morning,
Why is this woman famous and why is she in my life?
But instead of pondering that question a moment longer – which of course, can be answered simply as “duh, sex sells,” I’d like to examine some headline writing tips that can be gleaned from all this silliness.
- Pique your readers’ curiosity – Admit it, you were curious about those dang photos. Maybe you indulged fully. Maybe you completely resisted. Maybe you quickly peeked because you were piqued. Writing a headline that makes readers curious to learn more and turn to you for answers or insight, is a great way to build an audience.
- Link your cause to a celebrity or a news item- Obviously, you don’t have to always link your relevance to someone who is more famous than you (as I shamelessly have), but I can tell you this week alone I saw more than a dozen writers referencing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s choice to wear the same clothes every day as a launching point for their own observations. In campaigning, we call this finding a solid “third party advocate” – someone who supports your message and is highly visible. In the same vein, linking your point to a current hot news event or topic is common sense – but too often a missed opportunity.
- Be emotional and/or fun – Most of us will welcome a quick read if it appeals to us emotionally. Take here, for example: For a few moments today, you got to shake your head, roll your eyes and think about the silliness of Ms. Kardashian’s photo shoot. And you got a few headline writing reminders along the way. Not bad.
Yesterday, one of my clients, who has been closely monitoring the analytics of his recently-launched blog, remarked that he sees massive upswings in the number of hits he receives depending on the style of headline he writes.
So, whether you’re writing blogs, white papers or even preparing a presentation – where “headlining” will become part of your introduction – spend time strategizing about crafting an engaging beginning. A dynamic headline is what compels your audience to sit up, pay attention and take interest in what lies ahead. Or, as in Ms. Kardashian’s case, what lies behind.
Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.