“Headless Body in Topless Bar”: 5 Content Marketing Lessons from All-Time Best Headline

This New York Post headline is almost 30 years old. But,  It would be just as effective today as it was in 1983.  In fact, it’s a classic from which we can learn 5 important lessons.

When you apply these lessons to every headline you write, you will dramatically improve the readership of  your online articles and blog posts.

  1. Be brief. In just 5 words, this headline  grabs our complete attention. There isn’t a single wasted word.
  2. Lure your readers into the story.  This headline  absolutely demands that we read the rest of the article. How can anyone not want to know what the heck  happened?
  3. Don’t tell too much of the story.  If we know absolutely everything worth knowing, after we have finished reading the headline, then there’s no point in continuing on to the full article.
  4. Use precisely descriptive words.  Headless. Body. Topless. Bar.  Each word contributes to the meaning of the headline. There is absolutely no ambiguity.
  5. Be memorable.  I doubt that anybody who ever saw this headline will have forgotten it. In fact, I would guess that those who saw the actual cover of the New York Post will remember the entire story when somebody mentions just the headline.

Creating a great headline is hard work, but well worth the effort. Without an effective headline, you won’t get the readership you need to generate content marketing results.

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