How to write a headline for an online article

A headline on a web article is often the only thing the reader reads.  It has to stand on its own, giving the reader the quickest possible summary of what the article contains.

This headline will often appear out of context, in a list of articles on the site, in the hitlist generated by a search engine, or in a list of bookmarks in the user’s browser.  If the headline doesn’t give a clear sense of what the article is about, busy readers will probably not click on it to learn more.

To write a good web headline, try to summarize the key message of your article in a sentence with a subject and a verb, dropping out articles such as “a” and “the” when possible. Boil it down to the kernel message.

Here are some recent headlines from the Heritage Project site:

* Online Magazine ready for postings
* Does Everyone Need to Blog?
* How are Weblogs different?
* More on Web Blog Use
* LOC Veterans History Project Highlights more Stories of Sacrifice
* Heritage Project Helps Family Dealing With Grief

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 09/29 at 12:08 AM
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