April 2012

Headline Tip #11: Twitter Invigorates Headlines

by Wes Hanson on April 30, 2012

With its severe space restrictions Twitter is actually a headline enthusiast’s dream, and a throwback to the earliest days of journalism where short headlines ruled. A well-written short headline puts you ahead on a level playing field where everyone (even the establishment pros) has the same constraints and opportunities. The headline is tailor-made for the […]

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 #9: Make Dysfunction Function for You

by Wes Hanson on April 19, 2012

Obsessive compulsiveness is rational? Are you crazy? Yes, and no. It’s only logical to fuss over your headlines and opening statements. Look at advertising legends like David Ogilvy and Gene Schwartz, who worked and reworked (and reworked) their headlines and copy openings, devoting at least half their writing time to just the first few words. […]

Headline Tip #8: First Impressions Count

by Wes Hanson on April 18, 2012

Psychologists and emotional intelligence experts warn us to watch the impression we make on people the first time we meet them – these impressions, however fleeting, rarely change. Nor are they wrong. Surprisingly people make accurate snap judgments in a fraction of a second. In a Princeton University study subjects could predict with 70 percent […]

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 […]