Let’s take a break from the headline remixing, and look at some of the submissions that I thought worked “as is.” Often the key to great editing is knowing when to keep your hands off, despite the fact that we might have taken a different approach ourselves. Feel free to voice contrary opinions in the comments—I always love to hear suggestions on how to make any headline better.
Let’s start off with the strong headlines that I didn’t even try to rewrite. In fact, I suspect that in these five cases, Jim, John, Jim, Maki and that anonymous guy at Engtech fully knew their headlines rocked, and only wanted to hear us confirm it.
- How To Manipulate The Media & Get Free Publicity With Creative Marketing Ideas
- How To Make Readers Avoid Your Blog Like The Plague
- One Simple Technique to Help You Overcome Procrastination and Start Writing Now
- A Comprehensive Guide to StumbleUpon: How to Build Massive Traffic to Your Website and Monetize it
- How to Earn a Six Figure Income from Blogging in Two Easy Steps
Great work guys. It should be noted that the last post is actually satirical, which makes the fact that he nailed the headline even better.
These next headlines are also very good. I contemplated rewriting them, but ultimately decided in each case I didn’t think I would add any clear value over what was already there.
To me, that means it was the right headline for the content within the context of the site itself. Some of these would also work in other environments, like Digg, while others would need to be re-written to better match up with a different audience.
- When Hiring the Wrong Consultant is the Right Idea
Nice cadence and contrast in wording.
- The Breeze At Dawn Has Secrets To Tell Us
I think this opening line from the subject poem works as a headline for the audience. You?
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Treat Your Employees Like Dogs
I was expecting a headline disconnect, but the content actually ties in to dog training analogies.
- Every Customer is a Potential Competitor
I might start this one with “Why.”
- 8 Tools & Tips for Picking a Domain Name
I might switch around “tips” for “tools.”
- How Do You Balance Art and Commerce?
A classic question.
- I Think My Husband Is Flame Retardant
A lot more interesting than “My Husband Enjoys Really Hot Showers,” right?
Let me know what you think out there. It’s time someone else started re-writing headlines so I can go watch basketball.