ComicBookMovie101: How To Write Proper Headlines And Teasers

If you enjoy contributing to CBM, then there are a few guidelines which you have to meet in order to not have your article deleted and for it to be moved to the homepage. Here, we guide you through what you need to do when it comes to writing proper headlines, teasers and more.

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By Josh Wilding - 7/28/2014

Occasionally, we get some complaints here on ComicBookMovie.com about an article being deleted and replaced or moved from the homepage despite it getting the required number of "Thumbs Up". Many of you assume that it's a member of the editorial team doing it for selfish reasons, but the truth is that the majority of these posts are so bad that they can't be edited; they would have to be rewritten from scratch to come anywhere near the basic standard expected!

This site is here for everyone and anyone to sign up and enjoy posting articles, whether it's breaking news, reviews, fan fiction or editorials. However, if you want to see your content featured on CBM's homepage and would like to become a "Trusted User" or even editor, there are a few standards which you have to meet. After all, we are perhaps the biggest website of this type, and in order to maintain a good reputation with our peers and the studios who provide us with exlusive content and interviews for you to enjoy, how CBM looks is vitally important. Plus, do you really want to visit a site that can't even spell Guardians of the Galaxy or Spider-Man? 

We're not trying to put anyone off from contributing...just the opposite in fact! After all, if you submit a quality post that needs only a few altertions, then the chances of an editor making those and moving it to the homepage are close to 100%. If not? Well, in this new series of ComicBookMovie101's, we'll be explaining everything you need to do to make sure that one of those dreaded deletion emails don't land in your inbox anytime soon...

Headlines

Have you noticed that all of the articles on CBM's homepage put the titles of movies in CAPS? Well, there's probably a good reason for that! Despite this, here are a few real examples of headlines which have recently been submitted and how they should look: 


SDCC '14 "Air" Teaser Trailer     =     SDCC '14: First Teaser Trailer For AIR Released

Evil Dead TV Series is Happening     =     Sam Raimi Confirms That An EVIL DEAD TV Series Is Happening

Sinister Six cancelled? TASM 3 in doubt?     =     Has SINISTER SIX Been Cancelled? THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3 Also In Doubt? 

You'll notice that each letter beginning a word is in CAPS and that only the TITLE should be in CAPS, not the names of actors or anything other than the categories we use to distinguish movie news from COMICS or VIDEO GAMES (or even "REVIEW" and "EDITORIAL" if you want them to stand out). Proper spelling is also a must as is a headline which actually makes sense!  Colours should only be used in headlines where you are posting an EXCLUSIVE or UPDATE. Also, if you find an exclusive (not "exlusive") on another site, you don't use that in a headline as it is NOT a CBM exclusive.

Teaser Text

Each article should have at least 2 - 3 lines of teaser text. Here are a few visual examples of what you SHOULDN't do. All of these are examples from the past couple of days! 




Can you see the problem here? They're too short, too long or full of spelling and punctuation errors. Sentences end with a full stop and new ones begin with capital letters. Movie titles should be in italics (not bold or CAPS) and you should use this opportunity to tease readers with what waits for them when they click through to read your article. Don't give all the information away and don't say nothing at all. "check out a new poster for guardians of the galxy" will entice a lot more viewers and not risk deletion if it reads, "Marvel have released a new teaser poster for James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. Which of the characters have been given the spotlight? Find out here!"

Teaser Image

If you try and upload a giant photo as a teaser image which you've just randomly found on Google Images, they're going to come out a little something like these. Ugly, right? 



You don't need to be a Photoshop expert to crop an image to be a suitable teaser (if you are though, they're 60x60 pixels in size, so feel free to play around with them). In fact, if you own a Windows computer, a basic programme like Paint is all that's required, while there are many free online tools which can be legally downloaded as well. It's not something which takes a lot of time, but perhaps the worst thing you can do is not include a teaser image at all! 

We'll be back a little later this week with a guide on how to produce the right sort of content for articles, but for now, you can review CBM's Style Guide by clicking here. If you have any further questions, let us know in the comments section below and we'll do our best to help.

Thanks for reading! 
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
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110 Comments
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Pasto - 7/28/2014, 2:40 PM
It's amazing how some people find it so hard to make a proper article...

*Stands on sand*
MrBlackjack - 7/28/2014, 2:48 PM
^^^Didn't you make an article originally titled "ScarJo is Preggers"?
Arrow96 - 7/28/2014, 2:49 PM
^Dyin'
MrHighway - 7/28/2014, 2:52 PM
^ #ShotsFired
OmniBear - 7/28/2014, 2:54 PM
Rekt
TheBuoyWonder - 7/28/2014, 2:54 PM
Well at least we know how to make sausages now.
Pasto - 7/28/2014, 2:54 PM
@MrBlackJack
I guess my joke went over your head.
StarYeezus - 7/28/2014, 2:55 PM
@Pasto

Nigrutin - 7/28/2014, 2:55 PM
ScarJo is Preggers LOL
Ranger14 - 7/28/2014, 2:55 PM
Lol...Yes, let's make sure that format is perfect, but feel free to over-sensationalize, bait and post misleading titles and descriptions to get more hits. That is perfectly acceptable! :-p
ManofSteel23 - 7/28/2014, 2:56 PM
I personaly have a suspicion that some people will make an article and save it that says for example ''avengers age of ultron trailer'' released days/weeks/months before it gets released, that way all they have to do, is maybe change a few words, add a link of the trailer, and post, rather than wait for the news to come out and bash the article before someone else does, thats a guess anyways
SuperDude001 - 7/28/2014, 3:01 PM
@Josh Wilding Brilliant article dude! Been hoping someone would post this kinda stuff! I'm sure this will help a lot of people, lately some articles while cool are just too poor these days (even if it's not intended for Main) and I know this would've been a lot of help to me when I started writing those few proper news articles I did long ago.
MrBlackjack - 7/28/2014, 3:02 PM
I doubt that comment was originally intended to be a joke...
DaVinci31 - 7/28/2014, 3:03 PM
My article count may be low, but damn it are they pretty!
MantiniumBorn - 7/28/2014, 3:03 PM
Pasto

This ones for you baby...
Pasto - 7/28/2014, 3:04 PM
@MrBlackJack
No it was, I guess you missed the part that says *Stands on sand*. My clever way of saying 'I've got no room to talk'.
boboMELOSHE - 7/28/2014, 3:04 PM
LOL I've seen some of the most dreadful articles make it to the front page. Solid effort with the article but it won't make a difference.
gambgel - 7/28/2014, 3:05 PM
shouldnt this be private?

like a private message to the reporters? I know this is a page made of comic fans, but to write an article telling your reporters how to write is..... weird to say the least. In any case, makes your site to look less proffesional.
MrHighway - 7/28/2014, 3:06 PM
some_text
IAmNotGroot - 7/28/2014, 3:09 PM
This article is probably meant for me since I just posted my first article ever a few hours ago. lol. That Doctor Who picture above is mine.
McNyagano - 7/28/2014, 3:10 PM
@StarYeezus

Lmao xD
PAF - 7/28/2014, 3:10 PM
YES. School the lessors!
GiantNerd - 7/28/2014, 3:10 PM
It's Josh's world we're just living in it.
Pasto - 7/28/2014, 3:11 PM
@StarYeezus
Well played sir...
JoshWilding - 7/28/2014, 3:12 PM
@gambgel: No, because CBM is not like any other site. We're probably the only one of this size which allow users to contribute in such a way, something which makes us particularly unique. This article isn't aimed at "reporters" (by which I assume you mean the editorial staff), but the fans who want to sign up and post news, reviews, etc. as they're perfectly entitled to...as long as they can meet the basic standards set out on CBM's style guide.
DaVinci31 - 7/28/2014, 3:13 PM
@gambgel

Professional? CBM?

GiantNerd - 7/28/2014, 3:13 PM
exlusive content is the bestest btw.
Pasto - 7/28/2014, 3:14 PM
@DaVinci
LMFAO! That gif is PERFECT!
DrLove1023 - 7/28/2014, 3:14 PM
@gambgel

You know that anybody, even you, can submit an article right?

You know it's even mentioned right in this article right?

This site is here for everyone and anyone to sign up and enjoy posting articles, whether it's breaking news, reviews, fan fiction or editorials.

If you're just going to skim articles, don't comment on them.
BatmanFTW - 7/28/2014, 3:16 PM
@gambgel I would have to disagree. It comes across more as a public service announcement type deal that's designed to help the new comers to the article posting world. Especially since the site is open to anyone posting things.
JoshWilding - 7/28/2014, 3:17 PM
This article isn't directed at any one user. It's for everyone and anyone who wants to contribute to CBM! We posted a number of these a few years ago and it helped many users, some of whom went on to become editors. Nobody expects perfection when somebody starts (feel free to go back and look at some of my contributions from 2009), but these articles are designed to help those of you who wish to post on a regular basis.

Thanks to CBM, I've interviewed people I never thought I'd get the chance to get anywhere near and have sat feet away from people like Robert Downey Jr. and The Rock. That doesn't even begin to cover the opportunities this site has given me in fact! There's nothing stopping any of you guys doing the same, but that isn't going to happen if you can't even master basic headlines and spelling. :)
Pasto - 7/28/2014, 3:17 PM
You should next make an article on how to make content look attractive. You know, HTML, image editing, the works.
DCGuy - 7/28/2014, 3:18 PM
LOL my articles are there xD
GamerKT - 7/28/2014, 3:19 PM
Next step: don't put [frick]ing spoilers in the title or thumbnail.
DCGuy - 7/28/2014, 3:20 PM
>Article is not directed at anyone
>uses DCGuy as Example....

LMAO

Honestly I'm new and lazy so I'll try my best can't promise shit specially when I am trying to break the news LOL
PAF - 7/28/2014, 3:21 PM
@JoshWilding

Will you be showing us the Do's and Don't of Editorials?
MrBlackjack - 7/28/2014, 3:22 PM
Fine Pasto...
Enphlieuwince - 7/28/2014, 3:23 PM
Wilding seems to be able to get ppl riled up for just about anything. LMAO! That kind of talent you don't learn; you have to be born with it.
GliderMan - 7/28/2014, 3:24 PM
@JoshWilding Thanks!!
JoshWilding - 7/28/2014, 3:24 PM
@DCGuy: Then don't be surprised if your articles are regularly deleted. "I'm new and lazy so I'll try my best can't promise shit," is the kind of approach to articles that this tutorial is trying to get rid of.

@Pasto: That's definitely the plan, especially since CBM changed the way articles are submitted lately and I know a lot of people are still struggling with that. Feel free to list a few things here you'd like to see covered and I'll make sure they're included!
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