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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.