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10 Headline Writing Tips You Need to Start Using (part 1)

Patient Attraction Episode 595: 10 Headline Writing Tips You Need to Start Using (part 1)

 

If this isn’t your first time hearing this podcast, you know that I am a big proponent of press releases. Press releases give exposure to your practice, dental services, develop credibility and serve as a valuable SEO tool. But there is one fatal flaw that I cannot stand in a press release: boring or bad headlines. We’ll talk more about it when we return.

– Colin here, and welcome to the Patient Attraction Podcast.

– It’s hard enough for dentists in larger markets to get press recognition, and it gets even harder when your press release includes a terrible or boring headline.

– So today and tomorrow, we’re going to cover my personal Top 10 list of headline-writing must-haves.

Here are the first 5:

  1. Let the reader know why your story matters.

– This seems like a basic tool, but you’d be surprised how often a headline tells the entire story or simply fails to pique the reader’s interest.

– To avoid this problem, use the headline to convince the reader why they should care about your press release.

– Look at the headline less as a summary and more as a pitch about why someone should read the story below.

  1. Write the headline last.

– Don’t waste your time trying to pull a clever headline out of thin air before you write the copy.

– By familiarizing yourself with the copy or writing about the topic in-depth first, you’re more likely to discover a headline that best draws readers to your article.

– Newspapers have used this tactic for centuries.

– Walk into the New York Times today, and you’ll find that the headlines are written well after the story has been written and edited.

  1. Don’t be afraid to be clever.

– Don’t let your headlines be dull.

– When you are writing headlines to appeal to readers and news agencies, create an attention-grabbing headline through the use of puns, imagery or even some sensationalism.

– News media or search engine users are more likely to click on your headline if you find a way to be clever and unique.

  1. Use active voice instead of passive voice.

– This rule goes back all the way to high school and even elementary school and serves as a great tool for any style of writing.

– What is active voice?

– Think subject, verb and object, with the subject performing the action.

– Good headlines are ALWAYS written in active voice because it best answers the newsworthy questions like who? what? when? where? how? and why?

– Passive voice often has the opposite effect and leaves readers confused.

  1. Write Page 1 headlines.

– If you write a headline that is worthy of the front page of your local newspaper, you’re more likely to see your press release or press release topic in that very spot.

– Press releases with terrible or confusing headlines are likely to show up in the trash bin instead of the newspaper or your local media outlet’s homepage.

– Spend a few minutes thinking about these 5 headline writing tips and put them into practice the next time you have something newsworthy to share.

– Tomorrow I will give you my other 5 must-do guidelines for headline writing.

– Until then, keep moving forward.

 

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