Out of the gate, make sure your headline adheres to these don’ts;
- don’t use all caps
- avoid typos
- don’t make the headlines links
- avoid profanity
It can be tempting to bait readers with exaggerated titles to get clicks. The issue with that is they may leave the reader wondering if what they read was actually worth reading. In the short term, this may help drive traffic, but in the long term, it undermines your personal brand and integrity as a writer. Exercise caution with particularly bold and provocative claims in your headlines. If the headline exploits the readers’ emotions and insecurities, it is likely clickbait. If you’re going to make a bold statement, then just remember to back that up in the body of your story or article.
If you choose to be poetic, clever, or artistic in the title, do so carefully. The challenge with writing a title this way is that it becomes obscure and confusing. In most cases, the reader won’t click to find out more because they didn’t understand what the story was about in the first place. If you want to be poetic or clever in your headline, follow it up with a strong subheadline.