How to write a great headline

Young female journalist

One of the most important skills today’s breed of multi-media journalists have to master is the art of writing great headlines.

When I started my newspaper career more than 20 years ago they were the preserve of the sub-editor.

Young reporters didn’t need to concern themselves with writing a headline.

But in modern journalism with newsrooms shrinking and fewer journalists working at a news outlet, a reporter has to write the story and attempt to draw the reader in with an imaginative or dynamic headline as well.

It can be quite challenging for a trainee or rookie journalist to capture the essence of their story in a heading.

One of the most important things to remember is to bring out the human element in headlines.

This is because readers, whether they are looking at a printed publication or an online article, engage more with the people in a story.

So, if the piece is about a school you should include the words teachers or pupils and if it’s about striking transport workers then be sure to refer to train drivers or bus drivers, as appropriate.

My new book – How To Become A Journalist – gives 11 top tips for writing headlines.

If you follow the principles I outline you will have no trouble writing great headlines which will succeed in attracting the attention of readers and enticing them to read on.

For a sneak preview of the opening chapters of my book, which is available as a paperback or an eBook on Amazon UK, click HERE.

A new book titled How To Become A Journalist






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