New York Times on Japan Declaring War on United States and Britain

How to write a news post?

How to Write a News Article

Follow this step by step guide to a good article:

a. Decide what your article will be about.

b. Research (gather the materials on the topic of your article).

c. Write your article using the template below.

  • First paragraph: In the first few sentences, answer these questions! 
  • Grab the reader’s attention by using an opening sentence which is a question or something unexpected!
  • Now, give the details. It is always a good idea to include one or two quotes from people you interviewed. Write in the third person (he, she, it or they). Be objective. Use active verbs so the reader feels things are really happening!
  • Last paragraph: Round off your article. Try ending with a quote or a catchy phrase!

d. Decide what appropriate illustrations/pictures will be placed.

e. Spell check your article!

f. Proof-read your article and edit where needed.

NEW: Video Tutorial

How to write a news headline

The following are guidelines and tips for writing news headlines:

  • News headlines should be descriptive, interesting, and concise.
  • Headlines should include a noun and verb.
  • Keep the headline as brief as possible. Headlines should be short enough to fit on one line.
  • Only the first letter in the first word of the headline is uppercase. All other words in the headline are lowercase, except for proper names. Examples of proper names are “Roderick Fraser,” the “University of Alberta,” or “Edmonton.”
  • Headlines do not need to be sentences.
  • Headlines can contain punctuation, but a period should never end a title. (Question marks, if relevant, are OK.)
  • Never use “all-caps” for a title.

How to Write Headlines that Work!

Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a headline or post title that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist.

But a headline can do more than simply grab attention. A great headline can also communicate a full message to its intended audience, and it absolutely must lure the reader into your body text.

At its essence, a compelling headline must promise some kind of benefit or reward for the reader, in trade for the valuable time it takes to read more.

In the Copywriter’s Handbook, Bob Bly sets forth eight time-tested headline categories that compel action and rake in sales:

  • Direct Headlines go straight to the heart of the matter, without any attempt at cleverness. Bly gives the example of Pure Silk Blouses – 30 Percent Off as a headline that states the selling proposition directly. A direct blog post title might read Free SEO E-book.
  • An Indirect Headline takes a more subtle approach. It uses curiosity to raise a question in the reader’s mind, which the body copy answers. Often a double meaning is utilized, which is useful online. An article might have the headline Fresh Bait Works Best and yet have nothing to do with fishing, because it’s actually about writing timely content that acts as link bait.
  • A News Headline is pretty self-explanatory, as long as the news itself is actually, well… news. A product announcement, an improved version, or even a content scoop can be the basis of a compelling news headline. Think Introducing Flickr 2.0 or My Exclusive Interview With Steve Jobs.
  • The How to Headline is everywhere, online and off, for one reason only – it works like a charm. Bly says that “Many advertising writers claim if you begin with the words how to, you can’t write a bad headline.” An example would be, umm… oh yes… the title of this post.
  • A Question Headline must do more than simply ask a question, it must be a question that, according to Bly, the reader can empathize with or would like to see answered. He gives this example from Psychology Today: Do You Close the Bathroom Door Even When You’re the Only One Home? Another example used way too much in Internet marketing guru-ville is Who Else Wants to Get Rich Online?
  • The Command Headline boldly tells the prospect what he needs to do, such as Exxon’s old Put a Tiger in Your Tank campaign. Bly indicates that the first word should be a strong verb demanding action, such as Subscribe to Copyblogger Today!
  • Another effective technique is called the Reason Why Headline. Your body text consists of a numbered list of product features or tips, which you then incorporate into the headline, such as Two Hundred Reasons Why Open Source Software Beats Microsoft. It’s not even necessary to include the words “reasons why.” This technique is actually the underlying strategy behind the ubiquitous blogger “list” posts, such as 8 Ways to Build Blog Traffic.
  • Finally, we have the Testimonial Headline, which is highly effective because it presents outside proof that you offer great value. This entails taking what someone else has said about you, your product or service, and using their actual words in your headline. Quotation marks let the reader know that they are reading a testimonial, which will continue in the body copy. An example might be “I Read Copyblogger First Thing Each Morning,” admits Angelina Jolie.

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

QUICK DOWNLOAD: Check out the English version of the COBRA Handbook for Practitioners.