6Why Headlines Matter


In newspapers and magazines, headlines serve the same purpose as a store’s logo on its window, wall, or door: They are meant not only to inform you of what’s inside, but to lure you in. A person walking down the street will take no more than a few seconds to read the store sign and glance in the window before deciding whether to go in. So it is with headlines. The main headline, the top line, is the store sign. Any kind of readout—a second line or deck—is its window display.

We could call this The First Rule Of Headlines: You have two seconds to get the readers interested. As we said in Chapter 2, headlines must be clear. ...

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