Posts tagged headlines

Never Let a Correction Interfere With a Headline
Lessons learned from the Washington Post.
H/T: Jay Rosen

Never Let a Correction Interfere With a Headline

Lessons learned from the Washington Post.

H/T: Jay Rosen

Titanic Sinks Four Hours After Hitting Iceberg
Survival Facts: If you were a third class passenger, your chance of survival was 25 percent
First class passengers had a 62 percent survival rate. Second class passengers had a 41 percent survival rate. The crew had a 24 percent survival rate.
Fun Fact: What happened to the iceberg?
Bonus: Images of the Titanic wreck made by stitching together hundreds of optical and sonar images collected by robots via Scientific American Woods Whole Oceanographic Institute, and National Geographic.
Image: April 16, 1912 edition of the New York Times.

Titanic Sinks Four Hours After Hitting Iceberg

Survival Facts: If you were a third class passenger, your chance of survival was 25 percent

First class passengers had a 62 percent survival rate. Second class passengers had a 41 percent survival rate. The crew had a 24 percent survival rate.

Fun Fact: What happened to the iceberg?

Bonus: Images of the Titanic wreck made by stitching together hundreds of optical and sonar images collected by robots via Scientific American Woods Whole Oceanographic Institute, and National Geographic.

Image: April 16, 1912 edition of the New York Times.

Someone’s Enjoying This Story
Yesterday’s New York Post.

Someone’s Enjoying This Story

Yesterday’s New York Post.

Thinking Through the Headline

We try to teach each other here at the FJP and our latest learnings look at writing headlines and titles on Tumblr.

While Tumblr specific, I hope this document can also help others who are teaching or trying to learn how to write headlines and titles more generally.

The Google doc is here. You can download the PDF here. — Michael

One hundred years ago today the Titanic hit an iceberg south of Newfoundland. This is tomorrow’s New York Times.
Bonus: Images of the Titanic wreck made by stitching together hundreds of optical and sonar images collected by robots via Scientific American, Woods Whole Oceanographic Institute, and National Geographic.

One hundred years ago today the Titanic hit an iceberg south of Newfoundland. This is tomorrow’s New York Times.

Bonus: Images of the Titanic wreck made by stitching together hundreds of optical and sonar images collected by robots via Scientific American, Woods Whole Oceanographic Institute, and National Geographic.

We’d wonder what they were thinking but that would assume they were thinking.
Via ESPN:

Last night, ESPN.com’s mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again. We regret and apologize for this mistake.

We’d wonder what they were thinking but that would assume they were thinking.

Via ESPN:

Last night, ESPN.com’s mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again. We regret and apologize for this mistake.

Sometimes a Crease Creates a Headline Wrinkle
And sometimes print can get you in trouble. From the Detroit Free Press: United Auto Workers Talks Shit to Ford.
If only it were so. A crease in the paper obscured an ever important “F” in the headline.
Via Poynter/Romenesko.

Sometimes a Crease Creates a Headline Wrinkle

And sometimes print can get you in trouble. From the Detroit Free Press: United Auto Workers Talks Shit to Ford.

If only it were so. A crease in the paper obscured an ever important “F” in the headline.

Via Poynter/Romenesko.

poynterinstitute:

Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark describes how good writing turns crap into a front-page natural: “This is tabloidism at its best, a combination of clever, almost offensive messages, created by a team – photographers, writers, editors, designers — who are, shall we say, on the same page.”

Vive Le Tabloid?

poynterinstitute:

Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark describes how good writing turns crap into a front-page natural: “This is tabloidism at its best, a combination of clever, almost offensive messages, created by a team – photographers, writers, editors, designers — who are, shall we say, on the same page.”

Vive Le Tabloid?

Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days... fed only Viagra

And that, dear readers, is our lesson today for working your headline the SEO way.

Via the Daily Mail.



Science of a Good Headline

1. Avoid Cliché Terms
People stopped responding to cliché terms such as ‘high quality’, ‘number one’, and ‘top of the line’ a long time ago. It takes more than that to convince viewers that what they’ll get is different from the rest.
2. Going straight to the point vs. creative headlines
A direct, brief headline works in some cases, as do creative headlines. It depends on the situation really–direct headlines make use of the product characteristics and features; while the indirect headline is used to grab attention.
A direct headline gets straight to the point, with no intention to use creative tools or flowery words. Some examples of direct titles are: ‘Top Free iPod Apps’ and ‘West Jet Seat Sale at 50%’. Customers who are in a hurry, who want to get a benefit rather than entertainment, will prefer direct headlines–titles that get it right to the point.
The indirect headline otherwise ‘sells indirectly’. They are more subtle, using curiosity to intrigue the reader into knowing more.





for the rest of the tips, see 1stwebdesigner.

Science of a Good Headline

1. Avoid Cliché Terms

People stopped responding to cliché terms such as ‘high quality’, ‘number one’, and ‘top of the line’ a long time ago. It takes more than that to convince viewers that what they’ll get is different from the rest.

2. Going straight to the point vs. creative headlines

A direct, brief headline works in some cases, as do creative headlines. It depends on the situation really–direct headlines make use of the product characteristics and features; while the indirect headline is used to grab attention.

A direct headline gets straight to the point, with no intention to use creative tools or flowery words. Some examples of direct titles are: ‘Top Free iPod Apps’ and ‘West Jet Seat Sale at 50%’. Customers who are in a hurry, who want to get a benefit rather than entertainment, will prefer direct headlines–titles that get it right to the point.

The indirect headline otherwise ‘sells indirectly’. They are more subtle, using curiosity to intrigue the reader into knowing more.

for the rest of the tips, see 1stwebdesigner.

New York newspapers.

New York newspapers.

Front pages of today’s newspapers. 
Evidently there’s a popular file photo.

Front pages of today’s newspapers. 

Evidently there’s a popular file photo.

Tech Journalism: When Headlines go Wrong.

Tech Journalism: When Headlines go Wrong.

A/B Headline Testing Plugin for WordPress

A new Headline Split Tester plugin for WordPress is now available.

Via Nieman Labs:

Not sure if you want a straight, newsy headline or something with a little more pizzazz? Something keyword-dense and SEO friendly or something more feature-y? This plugin lets you write two headlines for each post and have them presented at random to readers. The plugin records how often each version of the headline has been clicked and, once it has enough data, swaps full-time to the most effective one.

If you’re in the kind of operation that has regular debates over headline strategy, here’s a great way to test it. (Although note that this is measuring clicks on articles within your site — it doesn’t tell you anything about the SEO effectiveness of a headline. You’d have to wait for Google data for that.)

We have lots of debates over the appropriate role of audience metrics in journalism. But personally, I’d rather have those debates armed with as much data as possible. If you want your site to be filled with puns and plays on words instead of SEO-friendly nouns, fine — but it’s worth knowing how much of a traffic impact that decision has when you make it.