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Two pens writing great headlines for your blog

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Two Pens presented a short webinar on Writing Great Blog Headlines as an online class for the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. Course covers many examples of interesting headlines and analyzes why they work.

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Two pens writing great headlines for your blog

  1. 1. Writing Great Blog Headlines Emily Warn & Cynthia Hartwig February 28, 2013
  2. 2. Emily Warn
  3. 3. Before we start… Two Pens likes to teach interactively. That means we talk and you respond. We throw out headline prompts. You try them out. Are you game?
  4. 4. RESPOND IN CHAT WITH IDEAS FOR HEADLINES AND VISUALS. WE’LL RESPOND.
  5. 5. Headline writing is not divine inspiration. It is creativity in service to the CUSTOMER.
  6. 6. The job of a headline is to attract attention.
  7. 7. THE THREE SECOND RULE: YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO PICK UP A PIECE OF TOAST FROM THE FLOOR THAN YOU DO TO GET A HEADLINE ACROSS.
  8. 8. OUR CRITERIA FOR WHETHER A HEADLINE IS WORKING 1. DOES IT GET YOUR ATTENTION?
  9. 9. OUR CRITERIA FOR WHETHER A HEADLINE IS WORKING 1. DOES IT GET YOUR ATTENTION? 2. IS IT ENGAGING?
  10. 10. OUR CRITERIA FOR WHETHER A HEADLINE IS WORKING 1. DOES IT GET YOUR ATTENTION? 2. IS IT ENGAGING? 3. IS THERE A PROMISE?
  11. 11. OUR CRITERIA FOR WHETHER A HEADLINE IS WORKING 1. DOES IT GET YOUR ATTENTION? 2. IS IT ENGAGING? 3. IS THERE A PROMISE? 4. IS IT ON STRATEGY?
  12. 12. ALL HEADLINES MUST SAY ONE (!!!) ONE THING. NET TAKEAWAY/CREATIVE STRATEGY STATEMENT = SINGLE COMPELLING PROMISE
  13. 13. IN ENGLISH:
  14. 14. THE THREE SECOND RULE WAYS TO
  15. 15. 1. Clarity usually trumps cleverness.
  16. 16. COMPARE & CONTRAST: OVERSTUFFED INDUSTRY JARGON VERSUS...
  17. 17. . …SIMPLE AND PLAIN ENGLISH.
  18. 18. HANDS ON EXERCISE 1.Think about an upcoming blog post. 2.Write a straight forward, clear headline that’s easy to get. POST IN CHAT.
  19. 19. 2. EMPATHIZE WITH CUSTOMERS’ PROBLEM
  20. 20. HANDS-ON EXERCISE: 1. Think of a problem your customers face. 2. Write a headline that empathizes with this problem.
  21. 21. 3. Entertain by being unexpected Cynthia Hartwig, Co-Founder
  22. 22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32p8d6OudgU Entertain by being unexpected
  23. 23. HANDS-ON EXERCISE: 1. Think of something that’s unusual or unique about your company or industry. 2. Write a headline that reveals this surprising fact.
  24. 24. 4. Pose a challenge by asking & answering a question.
  25. 25. HANDS-ON EXERCISE: 1. Think of a question you could pose. 2. Write a headline that the reader has to answer.
  26. 26. 5. IMHO: Weigh in or Report on Debate Challenges by asking & answering a question Short post. Promotes enthusiasts & MVPs
  27. 27. 6. IDENTIFY WITH AUDIENCE BY MAKING THEM LAUGH
  28. 28. 7. STATE THE PROBLEM
  29. 29. 8. USEVISUALSTO MAKE HEADLINES WORK BETTER. Headlines need visuals because they are LAZY.
  30. 30. The best headlines and visuals require reader involvement.
  31. 31. This is called a “See-and-Say Headline.
  32. 32. This communication requires involvement.
  33. 33. HANDS-ON EXERCISE: Help the Headline Tell A Story with an image. Brainstorm 3-4 images that work with the “Something Missing” Microsoft post. POSTYOURVISUAL IDEA IN CHAT.
  34. 34. Why do these headlines work? POST YOUR IDEAS IN CHAT.
  35. 35. WHAT MAKES A GREAT HEADLINE? ASK THESE QUESTIONS. 1. Did it make you stop in your tracks? 2. Did it tell you something you didn’t know? 3. Did it promise something you want?
  36. 36. THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING US. HTTP:WWW.TWOPENS.COM HTTP://WWW.SVCSEATTLE.COM @twopens2 (Cynthia Hartwig) @emilywarn (Emily Warn

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