While there is some amount of latitude for Bloggers, there is still much work to be done for headlines.
For instance one may come across a picture that one could not find in ages. If it is a school picture you would not necessarily write ‘My School Picture.’ Instead write ‘Picture Found At Last!’
A quotation from someone can be used as a headline. If it is too long and you can’t include the person’s name, put the quote in single quotation marks.
The headline of an opinion piece can reflect what you are thinking but if you are working as a reporter the headline should not be stated as if it is an instruction from the medium. Let us say a group or political organization has decided to protest nationally about a crucial issue. If you write ‘Let Us Take To The Streets,’ it will appear as if you are part of the campaign team for that group.
A question can be used as a headline. If someone dies under circumstances that could have been avoided, a possible title is “Why did Jamie Jones have to die?” You then provide the information that you have gathered. Here you are grabbing the reader’s attention to read the entire story instead of writing a headline that literally blurts out the information before one reads the article. The caution you exhibit in not writing libelous statements in an article or report must also be adhered to in a headline.
A headline asking a question can also be based on a speculative piece. This is where you will discuss and share the opinions you have on the question used for the headline.
Don’t be too concerned about needing to take the time to work out your headline. There is an added bonus. You will notice if there are any libelous statements, irrelevant information, gaping holes and grammatical or spelling errors. It may even indicate that you need to put on your investigative hat and do more work. The analysis will also help you to consider if important information is buried too far in the story and should be moved up.
If you want to write on a hot topic make sure the headline has in the key words that will attract readers. Be in the thick of things, not when the topic is fast becoming yesterday’s news. For sure practice makes perfect and the more headlines you write the better you will become at it.