By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine
Remember the old movies when the boy would stand on the street and sell newspapers…yelling “Read all about it…(then give you the title of the story) Read all about it.” He always used the title to persuade the people passing by to stop and buy a paper from him. Then he would tell them something interesting and intriguing to create more interest. Well of course, the paperboy on the corner is gone now but titles aren’t.
That paperboy knew the title had to grab attention if he was going to earn a living. It had to be bold enough to stop them in their tracks and want to have that paper to see just what did happen. We are the same way. The title has to grab us to make us want to read further…whether it is the newspaper, blog post or a magazine. It’s the title. You have a 10 to 30 second window to entice people to want to read what is there. So make sure your headline /title seizes the reader’s attention.
Remember human nature will pick something up and read it if it pertains to the following:
1. Unexpected death…someone well known; someone living in the community or a child.
2. A Wrong going on in the community that has been uncovered or righted.
3. Warning about something bad coming or going to happen.
4. Telling them they must take action to claim something good for themselves or their family or business.
5. That they only have a brief time to make something happen.
6. An urgent matter that will pertain to them or their community.
These are only six ideas to use to grab a reader’s attention. I am sure you can think of more…so don’t forget to share them with us.