A good headline can make or break your story. People want to know what they are going to read when they see the headline of a story. The headline also needs to be realistic and they need to trust it. For example a headline as “This is how you make $ 100,000 in 1 minute” will not convert as much as “How I made $ 100,000 in 2 months”. This line also attract some doubts, but it is more realistic and trustful than the first one.
You should check your headline again after you wrote the content and look at it as you are a visitor. Is the headline good? Do I know what to expect in the content? Is it a catchy headline, but realistic? If you can answer “yes” on these 3 questions you made a good headline and your story is ready for publication.
Headlines are also an important SEO factor, so you might use some good keywords in it, which you are trying to rank high for. Of course only do this if it fits in the headline and matches the content.
Good and catchy headlines also attract attention on social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious etc. Without a good headline people are not going to click the story to read it and vote for it.
I am trying to say that a good headline can make or break you. You are holding out visitors and money when you don’t give proper attention to your headlines.