Experimenting with headlines: the Burning Man blog

I have been working harder as of late to come up with creative or unique ideas for articles I write. Part of the job is to cover what other people are covering but I try to carve out time to write one or two posts a week that are just – different. One of those recently was about arrest and citation numbers at Burning Man. It wasn’t a big fit on the news section of our website but it seemed perfect for the blog.

But instead of just throwing up the statistics I added some photos and even called someone from the Bureau of Land Management for some extra federal perspective. I debated what the headline should be but I decided to give the “Upworthy” style headline a shot. And boy did it work.

 How many people get arrested at Burning Man? The answer will surprise you.


The post got more than 2,500 Facebook likes – more than any other post in Federal Times history. Now I know that the success of the post was a combination of the subject matter, headline, writing and even the timing, but I am hoping to replicate its success in future posts.