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How to Fascinate your Readers with Interesting Headlines

I admit it. I totally suck at writing headlines. I see these intriguing headlines all over the Web, and I wonder, “how does she come up with these clever, enticing headlines?”

I’ve read zillions of articles about writing better headlines. I’ve downloaded e-books about writing better headlines, and I’ve studied tutorials. I’ve done worksheets. I’ve listened to podcasts.

I know the stats, and the advice. Yes, I know that 80% of my writing time should be invested in the headline to make it really great.

But do I do it?

Heck, no!

I’ll spend an hour writing a great article, and another hour (or more sometimes) capturing screenshots to show you the steps. Then I spend a minute on the headline and I’m bored.

No more!

That’s because CoSchedule, maker of the best WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin, has just come out with a new tool and it’s awesome!

The new CoSchedule Headline Analyzer makes writing and rewriting headlines fun.

image of the Headline Analysis screen

First you type in your headline.

type in your headline

Click the Analyze Now button, and. . .

See the analysis results

It shows your headline analysis, as a percentage of 100.

You can see, that “Type your boring, drab, first-draft headline here” got a score of 65. Ouch.

Scroll down to see what you can improve.

image of Word Balance analyzer

First, there’s something called Word Balance. The perfect headline would have a balance of common, uncommon, emotional and power words.

Notice that I have 0% in the “emotional” category. Also note there’s a handy little tip I can click on, called, “What makes emotional headlines so powerful?”

image of Tip

When I click it takes me to an article about why emotional headlines get more social media shares. Sweet.

Continue scrolling, and you’ll see the four word types from your headline listed.

image of headline type

Then we get into the Length Analysis, including character and word counts.

image of length analysis

Following that is an example of what your headline will look like in the Google search results, and as the subject line of an email.

Then what the “average” reader sees when skimming your headline. (HINT: He doesn’t read the whole thing. . .)

Finally, the tool shows the keywords you’ve used, and something called Sentiment. My sad-faced sentiment score reinforces the lack of emotional words in this headline.

image of more analysis tools

Below that, your score is displayed again, along with buttons to share on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

But That’s Not the Fun Part. . . Yet

So now that you’ve analyzed your first headline, go back and rework it. Change a word or two, or ask a question. . . Hit the Analyze button again.

image of better score

Look at that! The score jumped, the word balance is better. . . Now I’m on the right track.

I don’t expect to go from awful headlines to wonderful immediately, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Notice you’ve now got something called Headline History just below the Analyze window. You can compare the two headlines, and keep modifying until you’re satisfied.

image of headline history

I’m actually enjoying the process — the colored circle provides visual interest, and the scoring makes it feel like I’m playing a game.

Not boring at all!

I want my headlines to score at least 80.

Reword Old Headlines

You can use this tool to improve older headlines that aren’t performing well. Focus on your current writing, but set a goal to work on a few older headlines each week. When you’ve got a new headline you like, share it on social media and see what happens.

I’ll be doing it, too.

5 thoughts on “How to Fascinate your Readers with Interesting Headlines”

    1. Hi Barb,

      So glad you found it helpful, Barb. I’ve been having a lot of fun using it. Hopefully my headlines are better too 🙂

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