I love a good headline, but I hate writing them.
Actually, I’m pretty bad at it. (Editor’s note: This is true. I’ve rewritten 97 percent of Jessica’s heds.)
I ignore headlines as much as Charlie Sheen ignores reality. When a story is finished, I’m done. My fingers hurt. On to the next one. But I’ve come to the point in my career where it’s time to take my headline writing beyond Journalism 101.
So, where could I learn to write better headlines? Mashable? The Economist? Strunk & White?
Our CEO, Mark Ragan suggested a subscription to Cosmopolitan. I was skeptical.
But I figured that even if my headlines didn’t improve, maybe I’d finally figure out the secrets to super lush lashes.
It turns out there’s a lot Cosmo can teach writers, PR reps and journalists about what gives a headline zing. Here are the five things I learned—besides figuring out I needed to buy a lash curler.
5 examples of why your headlines must use numbers:
Once I finished the March issue, I had a list of more than 200 tips to help improve my life. Just think about how boring these headlines would be without a number:
10 Ways to Let a Guy Know You’re Interested
101 Things About Men