I received over 100 submissions for headline remixing, so in the spirit of March Madness, I’m going to try to rewrite as many as possible in a series of posts. Frankly, the quality of the submissions has been really good, so I will also try to point out those that work “as is” and why.
Let’s get started.
Original headline: How My Readers Helped Improve My Blog
- When both addressing and referring to the reader, it’s better to speak directly to them, even though it’s likely not every reader contributed a suggestion. Remember, it’s a conversation. You wouldn’t normally refer to someone you’re speaking to in the third person.
- With so many “how” headlines out there, I like to add “Here’s” as a preface. It adds specificity to the headline promise without resorting to a numerical list approach.
- I debated whether to use “this” instead of “my” when referring to the blog the content is hosted on, and ended up sticking with my due to the contrast with you. I also removed the word helped; if the blog was improved due to the suggestions of readers, helped is superfluous and the resulting headline is more powerful.
Original headline: Non-Existence of Job Security
- The original headline has a good angle, but the delivery is a bit stilted. Keeping the provocative concept of non-existant job security and dressing it up as an illusion should easily pull in readers.
- More troublesome is the fact that the post is not really about the non-existence of job security. The content makes reference to that concept as an opener, but is really an exercise in determining whether to follow a passion or to keep a job. The new headline better reflects what the post is about.
- This post begs for a question headline. The content engages the reader by asking questions more than by providing answers, and the headline is a perfect place to begin that engagement.
Original headline: The Web Next Revolution
- I like the original headline, and it looks like the post received good feedback. My approach is a bit more specific, and a bit more provocative in that it challenges the reader. In my experience, that ups the pulling power of the headline by raising the curiosity factor.
Original headline: Digital GTD: A Review of the ‘Tracks’ Software
- In my opinion, this post is a classic example of when to use a “list” headline. While it is, in fact, a review of the Tracks software, the content quickly focuses on 6 problems the author identifies, and the ultimate recommendation is to steer clear. In this case, the list headline transmits very specific information that will suck in readers. For those who don’t know, “GTD” stands for “getting things done,” a productivity system developed by David Allen. Since GTD is one of the primary focuses of the blog, it’s not only acceptable to use the acronym, it’s preferable.
Original headline: Transforming Your Space… Can You Say Boudoir?
- This post is great “how to” content that uses the allure of romanticism and sophistication associated with boudoir, the French word for bedroom. This is a case in which I like to see the “how to” headline format used. Some may argue that this approach lacks pizzazz, but I’m fairly confident that it will pull more readers.
- I like the use of the root word transform in the original headline; it’s a great action verb. By adding in contrast with “boring,” you’re speaking to the general dissatisfaction that people feel about their living environment over time, and the desire for a new approach that enhances the lifestyle image. This is an example of “continuing the conversation” that is already going on inside the reader’s head.
- The boring, bedroom, boudoir alliteration provides a nice bounce to the title, and the quotes around boudoir draw the eye across the headline and provide additional contrast.
Part two coming Thursday…