So, it’s Wednesday morning of this week, and I’m right in the middle of the daily train wreck that occurs as soon as the kids roll out of bed.
As I deftly prevent the 18 month old from bashing his head on the corner of my desk, the old IM chimes, and despite myself I cannot resist its Siren call.
It’s Markus from AU interactive, and he wants some quick headline advice for a post he’s about to release.
We quickly bang it out, and go our separate ways.
Later on in the day, I notice that his post, 10 Things That Will Make or Break Your Website is on the front page of Digg. Last I looked it had scored over 1100 votes, a bunch of Delicious bookmarks, and spent time on TechMeme.
First off, the post is excellent. Not only is it well written, but the content is unique because it’s a summary of points made by presenters at the Future of Web Apps Conference.
But as we all know by now, the exact same content might slip through the cracks if you don’t write a great headline. Markus knew when he contacted me that just sticking the number “10” in front of your post title is not the end of the analysis.
So, let’s have some headline fun.
If you have a post that you’ve just written, or perhaps an older post that didn’t do as well as you thought it should have, or even if you want to write a brand new post that you think will do well…
Drop the URL in the comments to this post. I’ll pick as many as I can and rewrite the headline (or tell you your post title already rocks). Then I’ll link to the posts late next week and maybe we’ll all learn something in the process.
And let’s make this open source—all the copywriters who read this blog (along with the bloggers who have mad skillz when it comes to post titles) are welcome to choose their own selections, rewrite the post titles, and put it all in a blog post of their own. I’ll link to all those as well.
I can’t promise you your resulting post is going to get the attention that Markus got. There are simply too many variables.
But I think this kind of exercise may be more helpful for some than simply reading another article on headline writing.
So, let me have those posts!
UPDATE: First five headline remixes are here.
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