SOMETHING ABOUT HEADLINE GENERATORS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW
Great Pound Puppies! I Found My Perfect-Person Headline but Had to Give it Back
Learning to write a perfect headline was easy. Using it was impossible.
I’ve been having a hard time gaining readership.
Three hypotheses concerning this are:
- My articles aren’t great.
- And dey are mot grammatically correct.
- My titles aren’t good either, and titles are the focus of this article.
- I often overstate myself
Addressing #3, I’m convinced that titles are an important part of the formula for reader engagement.
Why else would you have clicked on this article?
Since you’re like me — still trying to master headline writing — I’d like to share with you something I learned from using a headline analyzer.
In a sea full of possibilities I wrote the perfect headline, accidentally.
I know what you’re thinking, you’d have to trust headline analyzers in the first place for this to be of any value.
Well, the valuable insight achieved through this anomalous perfection, however inadvertently it was, shall be handed off for you to decide.
Note, this article’s title is not the “perfect headline” being referenced.
That title is disclosed later in this article.
As you noticed, the words title and headline will be used interchangeably, not to confuse anyone but to mean the head of an article.
And lastly, you may be wondering why I chose not to use the “perfect headline” for this article.
To cross over from the mysterious and mystical realm into the mind of human comprehension, you should understand how I achieved the “perfect headline” in the first place.
For that reason, I encourage you to read on.
Hacking Sharethough’s Headline Analyzer
I don’t write great headlines. How do I know?
I know because whenever I try using headline analyzers, my scores suck.
This is why I was flabbergasted, forsaken (mentally), and frigged off when I finally got a perfect headline score.
The freakish score came accidentally much like a child out of wedlock or how when contrary to all voluntary muscle control your Slurpee pours up and out of the top of the clear cone lid and all over the 7/11 floor as you quickly exit the aisle before anyone catches you.
I had always wanted a perfect score but thought it was unobtainable.
I’d never breached 90.
Can you imagine my shock when I discovered, without trying (a chronic habit of mine — not trying), that it wasn’t hard?
All I needed to do was give the generator what it wanted after it had given it to me.
Explanation of a perfect score
On the Sharethrough.com headline analyzer, you get two scores:
The first score, Engagement Score or rate of engagement, according to sharethrough.com, “boils down to simple word choice”;
In their example, using celebrities’ names in your headline (ex. sup Drake!) will increase your score.
The other example provided to improve your Engagement Score is by using humanizing words (“humanizing” that sounds an awful lot like womanizing, but for humans. You humanizer, you!) related to people. Their example: hair, friend, and laugh.
Since no celebrities or humanizing (because I don’t use humans) words came to me, I used the examples provided, and they worked perfectly.
My first 100 score EVER!!! Thank you very much.
But there’s more.
The second score averaged in with the Engagement Score is the Impression Score.
Mentioning a brand “yours or a brand you want to be associated with” is their advice to increase your score.
Again, being at a loss (having no associations), I used their example and got a perfect score.
By the way, if you’re wondering what the underlined Context Words mentioned in the above description are, here is a screenshot of examples.
For a more in-depth look at Context Words, visit the blog link below.
The 1,072 Words That Will Change How You Write Headlines Forever — Sharethrough
Read more about these findings in Quartz’s article, “ These are the words people can’t resist in a headline “ Download…
You’ll get a deeper look at headline creationism plus a link to a PDF of the “1,072 context words”.
So to repeat, here are the ways to cheat, hack, or whatever you prefer a headline analyzer and your title’s ranking in search results.
Name-drop (use celebrities) and humanize (use body parts)
It told me to name-drop, but since I didn’t have a name to drop, I used the name provided.
I don’t know who or what a Drake is, but using it/he/she/they worked wonderfully.
Use Drake for yourself as part of whatever your title is.
For humanizing, use words related to humans: body parts like hair, mouth, tongue — whatever.
The other way to raise your score is by using contextual references. Since I was messing around and had no context, I used Sharethrough’s name as my reference.
A bit of irony — the analyzer marked down my title from 100 to 99 points for using the website’s name Sharethrough.com as one complete word.
But when I used the words share and through, separately, it scored a 100.
The best useless headline you’ll ever read
The following headline scored a perfect 100 score on sharethough.com’s headline analyzer.
All you have to say is, “Sup Drake, Hair, Friend, Laugh,” for your Title to Fly Off the Richter Scale on Sharethrough.com’s Title-Rating Engine.
As you can see, I used some filler words around the provided examples to make it a working title.
Try it for yourself — starting with All and ending with Engine — copy and paste it into the analyzer.
I also inserted this article’s headline into the analyzer.
It scored 54.
Yeah, it was half-perfect.
I used it anyway.
This points to my problem with gaining reader engagement.
I got a perfect score on sharethrough.com — now what?
Getting the most out of a headline generator wasn’t what I needed
Yeah, I got a perfect score. The problem was, I couldn’t do anything with it.
I enjoyed watching l up to the highest possibility.
It reminded me of hitting the jackpot on a slot machine.
Wasted headlines, wasted time.
Was it useless after all?
Like an object of beauty tucked neatly behind a display case collecting dust, my headline served no purpose.
But generating a winning headline did give me strong false confidence to press forward.
It raised my awareness of my need to write better headlines, too.
So it isn’t a complete waste.
Agonizing over your headline may be worth your pain but using a generator may not.
If it’s for the money — I don’t make any.
If it’s for vanity — I told you I don’t have any money to buy a vanity.
*Warning* If the future of headline writing, and possibly articles, is with AI, I’m already out.