When is the best time to write a headline?

Follow this five-point checklist as a guide.

Follow this five-point checklist as a guide

I typically write rough working headlines and subheads toward the beginning of the project, when I’m outlining the piece. I don’t spend a lot of time on this during the early stage of an article. The purpose is to give me some structure to work with.

I focus on shaping the right headlines once I finish the rough draft by using these questions as my guide.

Five-point checklist

1. Is the headline congruent with the body copy? Avoid fluff or hype that would bait-and-switch readers. Make sure the headline is compelling and your body copy delivers the goods.

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