Jane McGuire

Copywriting lessons from the world’s worst headlines

Copywriting lessons from the worlds worst headlines

First published date December 03 2015 Amended date February 03 2016

A great headline has the potential to increase traffic, sell newspapers and earn a journalist a reputation in the industry. That said, we couldn’t help wondering what happens to the bad headlines out there. We searched high and low to bring you some key copywriting lessons from the world’s worst headlines – if these don’t persuade you to go on a course, we don’t know what will.


Make sure you have a story

Image via buzzfeed.com
Image via huffpost.com

A good way to gage this is if you are bored writing an article, the chances are your audience will be bored trying to read it.


Always re-read your headlines

Image via huffingpost.com

A good proof-reader is worth their weight in gold, but checking before you press send will make their job a bit easier.


Be direct

Image via buzzfeed.com

Get straight to the point, the headline needs to grab attention.


If in doubt, use humour

Image via buzzfeed.com

Be funny, especially when the story is as good as the one above.


Avoid stating the obvious

Image via 9gag.com

Diana was alive before she died? We gathered.


Remember that stories come in all shapes and sizes

Image via huffpost.com

Even this one – crime, apparently, never sleeps and not even your postie is safe.


Remember what we said about being direct?

Image via huffpost.com

Don’t sum up the entire story in the headline.


If you want to put your writing skills to the test and learn from an industry expert, why not sign up to a copywriting course? Who knows where your words might end up one day! 

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.