QuickTip Sundays: Short Form Blog, And Why Headlines Are So Important


I come from the world of print, when we designed magazines with headlines in particular spots with particular word lengths, because they would sell. You walk into a store, see only the top half of a magazine, and there’s the headline: DEEP SEX, on a Cosmopolitan cover.


The form of media doesn’t matter: print, web, radio, people want a short summary of the story, even if it’s a hyperbole.

How important is it? The New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and other organizations have people that are responsible for creating engaging headlines. The Post, the best tabloid example, was host to the Headless Body in Topless Bar headline. Who could forget that?

Which brings us to Short Form Blog. It hasn’t been around for very long (two months), is taking a concept from another blog (Instapundit), and the design is so Roger Black, Roger Black might have to claim some licensing fees.

Who cares.

He does an excellent job taking existing content, and turning it into compelling headlines. Engaging. Fun. One word exclamations. It works.

He proves several points on why he’s getting traction with his blog, only two months in — he takes his time, because he realizes writing less actually takes more time, because he edits, edits, edits until he finds the perfect match.

Headlines should be tested. Headlines should be crafted. Headlines should be played with.


Because headlines are the only things that are visible at the top of the page, on most RSS readers, and on email subject headlines. Headlines translate to return on investment, more visitors, more page views, create more engaging content, shall I go on?