Sharethrough grades your headlines with its new Hemingway tool

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 9:06 AM

It’s not simple to arrive up with something exciting and attention-grabbing that also conveys the necessary information about a legend in just a few words.

Sharethrough grades your headlines with its new Hemingway tool

Ask most writers and editors and I’ll bet they agree: Writing headlines is hard. It’s not simple to arrive up with something exciting and attention-grabbing that also conveys the necessary information about a legend in just a few words.

Meanwhile, brands and marketers are creating more of their own content, so they've to worry about this, too. Native advertising company Sharethrough is trying to assistance with a new, free product called Hemingway, which will see at a headline, grade it and proposal suggestions for improvement.

Sharethrough CEO Dan Greenberg told me that the aim isn’t to create sure every piece of marketing and content suddenly comes with a cookie-cutter, Upworthy-style headline. Instead, he suggested that we’re entering “this new era of straightforwardness,” where “a excellent headline isn't a headline that hints at something, it’s one that says what it wants to say.”

After all, those “You won’t believe what happened next!” headlines are really designed to drive clicks — but even then, only a tiny percentage of people who look them are actually going to click through. So doesn’t it create sense to write a headline that gets your message across, even if people don’t read the article or look the video? And that’s particularly true if you’re a marketer trying to promote a brand, rather than a news publication trying to create money from ad impressions.

“If I’m Tesla or Volvo, I can live in the headlines,” Greenberg said. “I don’t care if someone comes to my website. I wish people learning things about me and coming up with new opinions about my products.”

That all sounds excellent in theory, but how does Hemingway apply that in practice? Greenberg said it’s applying the research that Sharethrough has done to measure the effectiveness of mobile ads and basically translating that into best practices and a score. (There are also sub-scores, one focusing on engagement and one on maximizing brand lift for people who look the headline but don’t click.)

Naturally, I'd to attempt this out for myself. I ran my latest few headlines through the system. The results weren't flattering, with every single one of them graded as “average.” (I suppose there are plenty of TechCrunch readers who’d be on-board with that assessment.)

I even tried out the headline for this very article. It got a score of seventy — in the positive column, Hemingway well-known that I didn’t utilize too much positive sentiment, did mention a brand and used active language. On the negative side, it suggested that I expand the headline length, utilize more “context words” and hey, why not toss a celebrity in there?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of the right celebrity.

Featured Image: Robert Moran/Flickr BELOW A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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