One popular headline writing technique on the market involves inserting famous people’s names into the headlines.
- Richard Branson’s Guide to Surviving an Amish Bathhouse
- The Most Controversial Feng Shui Designs by Barry Manilow
- 1,283 Cheap and Vaguely Fun Lessons You Can Learn from Tiger Woods about Losing
- Louis CK on How to Stack Money unto the Lord
The thought is you leverage the famous person’s name for attention. Usually works pretty well.
Naturally, this technique does not work when the person isn’t famous. Gasper Hicks might be a great guy, but his guide to how search engines work will be worthless.
But it also fails when your subject is only parochially famous. Meaning, her name might mean something to people in New Zealand, but not in South Africa or Cleveland.
Or her name is only meaningful to people who work in a certain industry like fashion, carpentry, or telecommunications.
This happens a lot in podcast titles that involve interviews. The host will interview someone who’s doing good work, but not well-known outside a very small section of the universe.
But it occurs in articles, too.
Thus, if the focus of your article or podcast is a minor star, focus on the benefits, particularly the most powerful desire of the reader or listener.
Speaking of podcasts, have you listened to my new podcast Rough Draft?