Some writers believe framing a headline is the first step to take before writing a blog post.
The headline acts as bait for their audience and keeps them on course when writing.
I admit a headline is the first impression your audience will have of your post. It helps them decide whether or not to view it.
But the headline must not come first all the time. As practical as it sounds, it doesn’t work that way for everyone.
I have moments where I come up with a headline first and it guides the flow of my post from start to finish — which is awesome.
Yet I’ve also had moments where I obsessed over a headline until I ended up with an abandoned project.
The primary goal of every writer is to write.
It’s demoralizing when you have a story brewing in your mind, yet you are unable to come up with the right headline for it.
There are tools that can help you come up with a headline, like a headline generator. But the key is knowing when and how to use them, otherwise you can end up more confused than ever before.
As a little girl, when I first discovered my love for writing, I never thought for a second I would ever struggle with it.
But I’m grateful for my struggles because they have taught me a lot. That’s why I agree with what Toni Sorenson said:
Strength comes from struggle. When you learn to see your struggles as opportunities to become stronger, better, wiser, then your thinking shifts from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I must do this.’
From the moment I made my writing public, I’ve had three major struggles. They are Perfectionism, Consistency, and Inspiration or the lack thereof.
On perfectionism, I realized writing is not about perfection but expression.
Every writer faces a few struggles but to thrive, they have to come up with ways to get through them.
Writing without a headline can be a struggle, but you can get through it when you these 5 keys in the back of your mind.
1. Know what works for you
Every expert develops a theory based on their experience and what helped them through it.
Theories may differ but application determines the result.
As humans, our reasoning and mode of execution vary one from another. Nothing can change that, not even our profession.
I have read a lot on how to write a good blog post, the tools to use, and how to structure your post to engage your audience.
I’ve practiced a few and they’ve been helpful. But to be effective, I apply what I learn in ways that suit me.
There is no hard and fast rule in writing. Some rules are basic but technics vary.
Don’t drown yourself trying to keep up with some other person’s technique, find yours and perfect it.
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. — Michelangelo
If writing is your goal, go ahead and write. If you come up with the headline first, beautiful! But if the story comes first, write the story.
Set your words free!
Writing is like giving birth to a child. Some parents have names for their children before they are born — male or female.
Other parents wait for the birthing experience to inspire the name of the child. Sometimes the name comes when the mother beholds the face of her baby.
Either way, the child is born.
No woman in labor will hold off delivery because she wants to come up with a name first.
Whatever works for you, flow with it.
2. Don’t dwell on SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps with ranking on google. To some writers it is basic but not to me.
I have no idea how it works.
I have read and tried to apply it but the whole process is still alien to me.
If you are like me, instead of worrying about it, channel that time and energy towards writing.
3. Don’t worry about structure
The word draft exists for a reason.
I admit your headline can set the tone and structure of your writing. But your writing can also determine the headline. Either way, stay on course.
Focusing on structure will make you lose your momentum.
So, keep the momentum going.
4. Ignore errors
It is never easy to ignore those red lines when typing.
It can be very distracting.
Handwrite if you must. Whatever process you choose, don’t let those errors get in the way.
By the time you get to this point, your words are out — your baby is born. You may not have a headline for it yet and it may not be perfect at first glance, but it is yours.
The difficult part is done.
Take your time to edit. As you go through your work, the headline will come to you.
Seek a second opinion — even for a suitable headline.
Bear in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect work — at least not to the creator.
Leave the perception of perfection to your audience.
Headlines are important but they are not worth obsessing about. In order to have a written work, you must write.
Every writer is an artist and every artist has to create in spite of challenges.
Write. Even when you have no clue what your headline should be.
Headlines are not final, you can always edit them. Don’t obsess over it, focus on writing.
As you journey through the process of writing, the headline will definitely come to you.
If it doesn’t, do not panic. Use the tool I mentioned earlier as a guide or ask for suggestions from other writers.
Whatever the case, be proud that you have written.