My boss at the time would plead with us to read Reader’s Digest, claiming they had mastered the art of “catchy” headlines.
The way we digest our media has changed, but the tried and true methods of creating a powerful headline have not. Effective elements include…
1) Scare tactics – Warning: Blogging Could Be Killing You
2) Secrets Revealed – How Blogging Makes Me $5k a Month
3) Numbers – 27 Ways to Grow Your Blog
We can go back to the August 1949 issue of Reader’s Digest (see below) and find page-turners such as “High Blood Pressure? Don’t Be Alarmed” and “The World’s Strangest Factory.” Who wouldn’t want to read those!
But in the 1940s there were only a few magazines to choose from. These days, there are thousands of printed publications and hundreds of millions of Web pages. Can all of this fear-mongering, number-dropping and secret-revealing keep grabbing readers’ attention?
Saturation is defined as “the supplying of a market with as much of a product as it will absorb.”
Do you think the way headlines are written will change over the next decade? Or will the same methods continue to yield good results?
Personally, I already find myself tuning out these tactics. However, if I look back at the 2009 stats for my primary blog, over 75% of the stories in my top 20, contained some sort of number within the headline.
What are your thoughts on the future of blog headlines?