The startup of headlines

The power of headlines has been known for quite a while in the publishing world. No matter how great a piece is, it doesn’t matter if the headline is bad. If a headline is good, you can easily 10x your page views. None of this is new.

Here is what’s new. Headlines may be much more powerful than we ever thought. As it turns out, headlines alone are enough to power a startup.

The best example here is Upworthy. If you use Facebook, I am certain you have come across Upworthy. They are the posts with super-clickable titles like “At first I was only  interested, but two minutes later, my mind was blown”. Have you seen any like those? And then clicked? I sure have.

Upworthy has a fairly simple business. It (1) chooses great shareable  content, and then (2) slaps a great headline on the content, and (3) shares it out on Facebook. A great headline compels the user to view the content, and great content compels the reader to share. That is all you need for massive growth. I have also come across Viralnova, which seems to be doing the same thing.

Isn’t that amazing? These are full VC-investable startups that are built on choosing great content, and writing great headlines. Yes, choosing great content is a value add. But it isn’t like they are creating the content. It is all out there. If you hire enough people, you can easily find great content, and then slap a new headline on them.

Can you write great headlines? You may want to consider a startup 🙂

P.S. This is post number #78 in a 100 day blogging challenge. See you tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter @alexshye.

Or, check out my current project Soulmix.

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