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Writing Web Headlines That Work

You don't need to be an SEO genius to attract eyeballs to your link

By Alisha Tillery - September 19, 2011
Chances are you don't have the luxury that writers at the award-winning satirical news network The Onion have, which is the freedom to write your headlines before you write the story.

Instead, you probably labor over your story first, and then plunk out whatever title you think fits it best. (If you're really lucky, you simply turn over the piece to an editor who will do the heavy hed lifting for you. Thank God for freelancing, right?) But in case you were too busy stacking old copies of your college newspaper to notice, headlines are pretty important on the Web. In fact, they're probably more important than the lede and story itself.

But how exactly do you craft a good headline for the new media age? Should everything be written countdown style as "6 Ways to Do XYZ," be shamelessly SEO focused like "Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, and Kim Kardashian Naked Photos," or go straight for the jugular like this one? Well, yes and no. There are some no-fail strategies for crafting headlines that will wow and inform your audience, ensuring they click, read and come back for more....

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