The Content Champion Podcast
The Content Champion Podcast
Loz James: Content Marketing Strategy Expert & Training Provider
CC 089: How To Write Perfect Headlines For Your Blog Posts
9 minutes Posted Dec 2, 2019 at 10:49 am.
Download MP3
Show notes
In this episode, I’m going to look at how to write perfect headlines for your blog posts. Let’s dive in…

Listen To My Show On Writing Headlines

Want your episodes to look this good? Try Smart Podcast Player…
The Importance of Headlines
Headlines are crucial – whatever type of content you’re producing. 
In fact, advertising legend David Ogilvy said that “on average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.”
The Inverted Pyramid In Journalism
When I was at journalism college in Birmingham in the late 1990’s, I learned about the importance of writing good headlines in the context of the inverted pyramid.
Established in 1845 when Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, the inverted pyramid was a new way of passing important messages and breaking news from one point to another – by loading all the most important details and key information on the front end of the story. This of course starts with a great headline.
Reading the newspapers and news websites (especially the tabloids), will help you learn how great headlines are written.
Newspaper headlines include all the most important information up front, written in an enticing way that encourages you to read more – the headline then segues into the introduction or lede of the story (l-e-d-e), which covers the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of the story in the first couple of paragraphs. 
In turn, the lede entices the reader to move on to read the important elements of the story in more detail (with quotes, statistics, eye witness reports etc), and then the article finishes up with other general background information and supplemental details at the end.
So we see that in this context, all the information in the inverted pyramid is hierarchical in importance – and all flows from the headline itself.
Here are some examples of journalistic headlines and first paragraphs.
Firstly from the BBC website:
Theresa May calls off MPs’ vote on her Brexit deal
Prime Minister Theresa May has called off Tuesday’s crucial vote on her Brexit deal so she can go back to Brussels and ask for changes to it.
Secondly from the New York Times website:
U.N. Approves Sweeping Deal on Migration, but Without U.S. Support
More than 160 countries adopted a sweeping international accord on migration on Monday, after the United Nations secretary general robustly defended against the “myths” and falsehoods that critics had directed at the deal.
How Website Visitors Read Headlines
In terms of blogging then, great headline writing and having an article structure based on the inverted pyramid is ideal for the digital era of short attention spans and a hunger for fast food information. 
In this context, you may have already seen the Nielsen Research study about the F shaped pattern of how people read websites – scanning from top to bottom right to left (reading the headline first to create the top horizontal line of the F). 
Then scanning down and across from left to right in the middle of the page to get other essential information (forming the second horizontal line of the F), to finish reading down the page for all the supplementary details as the vertical stem of the F reaches the bottom of the page. 
This is literally the inverted pyramid formation in action on a web page – so there’s a direct relevance here.
Headlines In Google
The increasingly sophisticated Google algorithm is also geared for this inverted pyramid model too, especially for information based searches – with search intent realised in headlines and first paragraphs through relevant keywords and related phrases,