A Great Headline

25 Things You’ll Get If You’re Trash But Also A Deep, Philosophical Thinker”

This is a great headline because it immediately caught my attention by using a number to reference a list, followed by terminology that I use daily. This headline is very witty and relevant to me because the headline itself is something that I would say or tweet about.

The promise is clear, “25 Things You’ll Get…”, and the intended use of the article is stated right away. I can relate to this article because I jokingly use the word trash to describe myself in certain situations, for example when I don’t proof read my work and lose marks for grammar and spelling errors I could describe myself as being trash. I could also describe myself as a “Deep Philosophical Thinker” because I do constantly psychoanalyze myself as well as engaging in deep thoughts about random issues, mostly at inappropriate times.

This headline resonated with me because I found it to be funny and intriguing. The content delivered on its promise by using headlines and memes about things that directly relate to my personality, lifestyle etc.

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Headline Options

Original Headline:

“The birth control pill is killing women, but no one’s warning them of the risk”

New Headlines:

  1. “Yaz/Yasmin birth control pill responsible for over 23 deaths. Help us spread the truth about the pill.”

I used the “Before-and-after-bridge” method for this headline.

I start out immediately by attracting my audience, women taking the “Yaz/Yasmin birth control pill”. Next I state their current situation/the problem, “pill responsible for over 23 deaths” which creates fear for those who are unaware of this fact.

Lastly, the solution/call to action, “Help us spread the truth about the pill” which tells the reader that the article will inform them and help to solve and prevent this problem from reoccurring by sharing this information with others.


  1. “23 Deaths that could have been prevented if doctors didn’t omit the truth about harmful risk factors associated with Yaz/Yasmin contraceptive.”

For this version of the headline I chose to use a number to create an immediate shock factor. I want the reader to know exactly what the article is about right away because the most important snippet of information will gauge them to read more. I use fear to attract attention and motivate my readers to read further.


  1. “Drug Companies Stand by the Birth Control Pills Responsible for Blood Clots and Death. We’re Here to Warn You, Because Your Doctors Won’t.”

In this headline, I am speaking directly to my audience by using the personal pronoun “you”. I clearly state the most interesting part of the story and what the intended use of the article is. I also focus on the end goal, “We’re here to warn you, because your doctors won’t”; telling the readers what they will gain from reading the full article.

Success of the Headline

The headline was an exact representation of what was to be expected in the article.

The article starts out with a testimonial story from a woman who started experiencing symptoms that medical professionals brushed off as dehydration. The article includes a link to her exact story as well, “What Every Woman Needs to Know About Blood Clots” which outlines right there one of the risk factors that was mentioned in the headline.

The article specifically included relevant information to me when I read,

“According to a Canadian Broadcasting Company report in June 2013, birth control pill manufacturer Bayer paid out in excess of $1 billion to settle thousands of birth control pill lawsuits in the United States. Those settlements were all related to two low-dose contraception pills, Yaz and Yasmin. At the same time, an investigation by the CBC revealed that pharmacists suspected the deaths of 23 Canadian women were attributable to those two same pills.”

This is where the headline became justified for me. I was using this specific brand of birth control pill for several years until recently, without ever having known that these risk factors were causing death.

At this point I can say that the headline did solve the problem by giving me very important and useful information that I will definitely use to take action.

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Why Headlines Are Important

Headlines are the universal representation of the story.

The headline is responsible for grabbing the audiences’ attention and evoking some emotional trigger that will get them to click and then read the story.

Headlines are crucial to the reader because without a headline, there would be no gateway to the content. If there is no gateway, the reader won’t know what the content is so they most likely won’t read it.

Today’s digital user wants everything to be straight forward, quick, surprising and most importantly relevant to them. The job of the headline is to attract the reader’s attention by delivering those exact elements, and then allowing the content of the story to justify the claims that the headline has made.

b. Recently Clicked Headline: (February 26, 2017)

“The birth control pill is killing women, but no one’s warning them of the risk”

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I stumbled across this headline to an article that was shared by one of my Facebook friends. I clicked on this article primarily because it instilled fear right away by saying that this pill women are taking is killing them without having been warned of the risks ahead of time.

The next reason I clicked the article is because it is relevant to me. Many women including myself take birth control pills for a wide variety of reasons. I have also had bad reactions to certain pills in the past, so when I saw that there was a deadly risk factor to this specific pill, I felt obligated to look more into it.

Following the headline there was a subhead underneath it which caused further concern,

“The pill kills truth. It exists and is prescribed to women amid a swirl of chaos; amidst contradictions and lies; and amidst dead, blind and profoundly injured women”

After reading that subhead I was just plain scared, not only for myself but for my friends and family who are also on the pill.

This headline demonstrates a Problem, Agitate, Solve style in my opinion. The article starts out with the problem “The birth control pill is killing women,” and then not at all subtly agitates with “but no one’s warning them of the risk”, which can also be the solve because without having to say it, this article is solving the problem by warning people of the risks.

The content did justify the heading by providing heaps of information about the pill, organization, sponsors and real life testimonials from women and their experiences.

The actual article was posted online on May 7, 2015.

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