12 Ways To Write Awesome Headlines So You Can Skyrocket Your Traffic

As a blogger and marketer, your headline is one of the most important pieces of your content. Nobody will click and read your message unless they are intrigued by the title.

In this article, you’ll learn 12 ways that you can create awesome headlines so you can increase your traffic and conversions. Who knows, perhaps this post will enable you to get your first viral post.

1. Add a benefit

One powerful way of increasing your click-through rate is to add a benefit to your headline.

Why should your potential readers read your message? Imagine that all of the people that you reach out to have a sign that says “What’s in it for ME?”

The hard truth is that most people don’t care about you and your credentials. They want to know what you can do for THEM. That’s it.

Here are two examples of headlines that contain a benefit. Feel free to use them to your own advantage.

11 Ways To Increase Your _____ (Sales, Learning Ability, Income, etc.) So You Can _____ (Grow Your Business, Become a Genius, Live a Life of Freedom, etc.)

The Ultimate Guide To _____ (Losing 10 Pounds, Meeting The Love Of Your Life, Overcome Depression) In Just 5 Weeks

A word of caution, though; you need to make sure that you can fulfill the promise of the headline. Otherwise, you’ll leave the reader with a feeling of disappointment. And that’s not the impression that you want people to have of your brand.

2. Be mysterious

Everybody loves to receive gifts. The reason for this is that there is mystery tied to the present. We don’t know what we’ll get, and that gives us a feeling of excitement.

So my recommendation is that you add a little bit of mystery to your headlines so you can give the potential reader a sense of excitement.

Here are some examples of headlines that are mysterious:

12 Things Nobody Tells You About _____ (Marriage, Running, Gaining Muscle, etc.)

The Brutally Honest Truth About _____ (Writing, Marriage, Making Money Online, etc.)

A lot of your readers will want to know what those 12 things are. Just like most people who are interested in your niche will want to know about the brutally honest truth.

I recommend that you send yourself an email with your headline. If you were a subscriber to your list – would you be curious to open the email? If so, you’re probably on the right track to creating a mysterious headline that can skyrocket your traffic.

3. Add a warning

Just like you’ll slow down or even stop at warning sign when you’re driving – a headline that contains a warning will make you stop in your scrolling. For example, if you were to share an article on Facebook, I recommend adding a big red and bold text on the picture that says WARNING!

Here are a two examples of what could follow a warning text:

WARNING: Don’t Read this Article Unless You Want to (Get a Raise, Become Financially Free, Increase the Passion in Your Relationship, etc.)

WARNING: Are You Making This Colossal Mistake When _____? (Writing, Dating, Trying To Sleep, etc.)

Here is an example of how Tim Ferris added a warning text to the back of his book.

Warning headline

As you can see, this how the big boys do it – and there’s no reason why you can’t do it too.

4. Become a thief

Thief

This subheadline caught your attention, didn’t it? What do I mean with becoming a thief? Well, have you heard the saying from Pablo Picasso; “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

Pablo Picasso was not alone with this concept of taking ideas from others. In fact, Tomas Jefferson virtually plagiarized the Declaration of Independence from Mr. Locke and Shakespear made his plots from the Roman and Greek plays.

If you are a content creator that is constantly trying to be original; you’ll struggle. You’ll continuously bang your head against the table, trying to figure out something creative to say. Let me ask you why?

Don’t you see that there are people who have already paved the way for you? They have already proven that a certain headline grabs attention. Just look at the number of shares on the post. So, therefore, unless you like the painstaking feeling of guilt that procrastination gives; I recommend stealing ideas.

Now, does that mean that you should violate copyright? Of course not. Use your common sense and add some creative spice of your own to the headline. Play the video below if you want to know what Steve Jobs had to say about stealing ideas.

Speaking of stealing, I can’t tell you how many times a story has gone viral on Reddit – and a few minutes later appear on the Yahoo news front page or other major news sites.

5. Add numbers to your headline

List based headlines are one of the most famous headline types out there. They are being used by small bloggers as well as huge players. The reason why is because they work like magic to increase traffic.

Now you might be thinking, but why do list headlines work so amazingly? I mean, for example, 10 ways of doing things isn’t what I’m looking for. I want one definitive way so I can be focused.

If the truth be told, you clicked on this title that contained 12 ways of writing an awesome headline. I believe that one reason why you amongst several other people did this is that subconsciously people aren’t expecting every single “way” to work. But, by providing a number like 12, people think that they’ll at least find ONE that will.

Furthermore, a list headline will provide the reader with a less scary piece of content. They don’t want to read something that can waste their time. Therefore, a list offers organized material that they can scroll through before they decide to read.

Some people might not read the entire text below the subheadline that contains a number. But they might find at least one that is intriguing enough to start reading.

So in conclusion, readers love list headlines because it tells them what they will get when they click through.

List headlines are also perfect for you as a content creator since there is practically no topic that can’t be handled via a list.

Here are five examples of list headlines that you can copy and paste:

Top 10 Most Influential _____ (Life Coaches, Bloggers, Marketers, Football Players, etc.)

7 Ways To Cure _____ (Writers Block, The Biggest Mistake Married Couples Make, Binge Eating, Smoking Addiction, etc.)

15 Things I Wish I Knew About _____ (Marriage, Making Money Online, Dogs, etc.) Before I _____ (Got Engaged, Bought My First Course, Purchased My Puppy, etc.)

5 Most Useful _____ (Internet Marketing, Computer, Leadership, etc.) Skills To learn in 14 days

10 Things You Need To Know About _____ (Making Money Online, Getting Your First Client, Getting Married, etc.)

6. Write how to headlines

How to headlines are called the granddaddy of all headlines for good reasons. This headline has been used in famous books like How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Heck, we even used this headline type for our latest book called How to Use Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business. The reason why this headline is so irresistible is that it yells “Get here YOU, and I’ll teach you something valuable.”

The how to headline is hard to resist, perhaps because it’s so straightforward and practical. It tells you exactly what you’ll learn and if it’s something that you’re interested in; you’ll most likely want to know more.

Now, there are different variations of the how to headline. I want to share a few with you here, so you can steal them from me if you want to:

How to Be Something

How to Be _____ (More focused, Interesting, Energized, Motivated, Productive Amongst So Many Distractions, etc.)

How to Do Something Fast

How to _____ (Write a book, Create a blog, etc.) in _____ (48 Hours, 5 Minutes, etc.)

How to Use Something to Benefit

How to Use _____ (Social Media Marketing, Your Phone, etc.) to _____ (Grow Your Business, Make $5000 per month, etc.)

How to Do Something Without

How to _____ (Lose Weight, Get Someone to Fall in Love, Make Money, etc.) Without _____ (Having to exercise, Saying a Word, Lifting a Finger, etc.)

I hope that you will make use of these headlines. They have benefited us immensely, not just in blogging but also in book publishing.

7. Add powerful words

Certain words will awake emotions within us. These emotions can be anger, fear, love, curiosity, happiness, etc. And we all know the power of emotion.

Sometimes, you won’t be able to reach your readers via their brain, i.e., through logic. WordsInstead, you must speak to their heart by evoking emotions within them.

As a writer, the only weapon that you have is your words. You can’t change tonality, but you can replace the words that you use. Instead of writing a headline that says:

One way to get a job

You could write it like this:

One Sneaky Trick That Will Make Recruiters Flock Around You

The second headline creates an image that will make the potential reader stop. The first headline, however, just adds to the noise.

Here are some powerful words that you can add to your headlines:

Forbidden, Disgusting, Clever, Backstabbing, Blissful, Jaw-dropping, Miraculous, Obnoxious, Shocking.

Let’s see if these headlines will give you certain emotions:

7 Forbidden Words That Can Make You Stunningly Successful

How to Create a Sensational and Life-Changing Speech

The Shocking Truth Behind These Mighty Historical Figures

So in conclusion, start adding words to your headlines that will evoke emotions.

8. Ask a question

I’m sure that you’ve come across a lot of these types of headlines in your life. These headlines are not just simple and to the point. For example, they are NOT supposed to be like this:

Do You Want To Join My Course?

No, no, no. Instead, if the headlines are supposed to create click-throughs, they are like this:

Do You Want To Earn an Extra $5000 Per Month?

Or like this:

Would You Like To Increase Your Popularity Amongst The Other Sex?

So just like we talked about in number 1, you need to add a benefit for THEM in the question. Just asking them if they would like to join a course, doesn’t give them anything, does it? Their response to that headline might be “Oh, so you can make money off me?”

Instead always focus your attention on the reader. Use the word, you at least 10x more than you use the word me.

Do you want to learn how to write awesome headlines? Click To Tweet

9. Make your headline newsy

People like to buy new things. That’s why people line up when a new iPhone is released. To make your headline newsy, you need to add descriptive words.

So for example, you could use words like introducing, or announcing.

Here are a few examples of newsy headlines:

NEW DISCOVERY: Read How This Man Lost 100 Pounds Through This Simple Method

Discover How To Make Your Marriage Solid

Announcing: A New Technique That Gives Mind-Blowing Results For Patients

I like the word Discover. It’s a very powerful word in my opinion. What’s your favorite?

10. Be different

There is a powerful marketing strategy called “Us versus Them.” I’ve written an article about it that you can read here if you more in-depth information. This strategy has been used all throughout history and is still present in modern religion and politics.

This marketing strategy has a goal of creating trust. It’s us against them. We must unite as one. Now, how can you use this strategy to differentiate yourself from the rest?

Well, here are a few examples of headlines that will spark curiosity and also have the potential of creating a loyal follower:

One Little-known Secret That The Make Money Online Gurus Don’t Want You to Know About

7 Reasons Why The Politicians Don’t Have Your Best Interest at Heart

One Colossal Mistake That 99% Of Dog Owners Do

You don’t want to be apart of that 99% don’t you? You better click through and read it so you can avoid that mistake. That’s the whole idea behind the “us versus them” strategy.

Use it with caution, though; you don’t want to alienate a particular person and show ill will. That’s not cool!

Another way that you can differentiate yourself is by using certain words. For example, if you’re marketing to the affluent, you might want to use words like Exclusive or First Class.

11. Try the “who else” headline

Humans have natural tendency to want to be included in things. I believe that this springs from our dangerous history. Our ancestry might have been eaten by a big animal if they did not belong to a group. However, that’s not the case now, but the fear of not belonging is still present in most people.

To benefit from this need to be a part of something, you can write headlines that simply asks the people if they want to belong. But in other words, of course. So for example, take advantage of the “Who else headline”:

Who Else Wants To Try This Insanely Easy Method of Making Money?

Who Else Thinks That This Friendly Lady Deserves An Epic Prize?

Who Else Needed To Hear This Controversial Message From The Pope?

12. Take advantage of the weird trick headline

The weird headline has recently become very popular. Huffington post has even added a section called “Weird News.” That alone says a lot about this headline. It works, and it has the possibility of increasing your traffic.

Here are a few examples of how to use the weird trick headline:

9 Weird Conversational Starters That Will Make People Adore You

One Weird Method That Has Made This Man A Millionaire

One Weird Trick To Get An Obedient Dog In Seconds

Alright, so that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Remember that comments are welcomed and appreciated. Take care!

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Peter and Jenny are the creators and authors of Freedom Based Businesses. Their passion revolves around online marketing and financial freedom. Make sure to read their free ebook to find out more about their story and how they became full-time entrepreneurs.

24 COMMENTS

  1. These are some excellent tips on how to write awesome headlines. I also like how you gave examples on how to do it. That was extremely helpful. Getting people to click on your link can be a challenge. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. Nowadays, it seems like everyone is doing that. Also, I know many blogs/sites use Outbrain, hence when I go to sites like CNN and others, they have sections that shows links to posts delivered by Outbrain.

    Anyway, all these posts do the very things you are suggesting.

    Do you feel that the time will come when people sort of gets immune to these types of catchy titles?

    • Yes, that’s true. I believe that a lot of the sites do it because they see that it works. I’ve also noticed an increase in the use of Outbrain. Some people might already be immune to these types of headlines. However, I still believe that they will continue to work for a long time. It’s just a matter of not misusing them. For example, if a person clicks on a link that has a catchy headline, and then they get disappointed because of bad content. Then I believe that the individual will avoid that website in the future no matter how catchy the headlines are.

  3. This post is what I really need. Thank you for the great tips in helping me improve our marketing campaigns. I am trying to introduce home-based jobs in our local area (which is still not popular) so I believe that an awesome headline can do the trick.

    Once again, thank you so much!

  4. This post is really helpful. Creating catchy headlines makes people click the link. I’ve bookmarked this on my computer, so I’ll be using your tips whenever I need to come up with titles for blog posts. Thank you again for this. Hoping we’ll stand out because of this.

  5. This is exactly what I need right now. I have been searching for this especially after I applied to write for a travel group as a contributor. I love your tips a lot. What I don’t like about other bloggers or writers do are the clickbait titles. Not my cup of tea if I may say so.

    • Perfect! We are glad you found this post and that you loved the tips. I agree, it’s not cool to do that at the expense of quality or accuracy. Thank you for your comment KT.

  6. These are brilliant! As much as i wanted to do that sometimes in my own blog, im afraid i cannot be consistent. I still wanted to feel like its my diary, coz it is really my online journal and very personl sometimes. But ive been planning to create these on my other blog which is more proffesional..catchy titles are really impressive! 🙂

  7. This trick seems like very common nowadays.. sometimes, the authors make their title quite deceiving and misleading like “10 Reasons Why You Should NOT visit this place” but then if you read the article, the author is actually admiring the place .. so yeah, considering the fact that it catch the reader’s attention easily is indeed a proof how effective this trick is.. I might apply it in my blog soon and see how it works haha

    • Yes, it’s common. I don’t think that the title should be deceiving – I believe it should reflect the content. I’ve seen such a titles as well – and yes they do catch one’s attention. Yes, try one of the tips in this post and see if you notice a difference! Thank you for your comment.

    • Yes, that’s possible. It’s nothing wrong with trying one of the tips – I say go for it! Thank you for comment, Alyssa.

    • We all suck at something in the beginning. As Brian Tracy says: everyone in the top 10% of your field started in the bottom 10%. Practice, and you’ll eventually become great at writing compelling headlines. It’s not something that some people are born to do better than others. It’s a formula that almost can be copied and pasted as I’ve shown in this post. I’m glad that you’ve bookmarked the post and I hope you’ll read it again. Thank you very much for your comment, Bernadette.

  8. This is a really amazing list! Not only are you helping out other bloggers you’re also sharing with us how you have succeeded in bringin in so much followers and readers. Great blog and article. I love how you didn’t stick with traditional tricks already flooding the net. Cheers!

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