After extensive analysis (in my own head) I distilled my findings into 3 amazingly simple things…
- The headline needs to get my attention, if it doesn’t, unless I am referred to the article, I never get as far as reading the content.
- If there is too much ‘pre-waffle’ before the content, I tend to skim through to grab the main points (and possibly miss them).
- It is the take-away value that counts. Namely, when I have finished reading what have I gained? Whether it is the start of an idea, a challenge to my beliefs, a deliberate action or something else doesn’t matter. What makes it a good use of my time and an article to refer is simply that it adds value.
To that end, I will endeavour to create great headlines, cut the waffle… well most of it… and give value to every reader.