9 Simple Formulas to Create Killer Headlines

create killer headlines

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. – David Ogilvy

You want your headline to stand out and make people click. Here are nine formulas that help you write headlines that make people pay attention and read more. Yes, they sound a bit “yellow” at times but they work.

1. Who else wants [something]?

A classic headline format, that is built on social proof. By beginning with “who else wants” you show that people already do want.

  • Who else wants to work les and get paid more?
  • Who else wants a free social media marketing training?
  • Who else wants to work from home and get $500 per day?

2. [Number] Secret(s) of [something]

Another great headline formula is playing on your curiosity. Who wouldn’t want to know the secret? Reader assumes that they get access to inside information and this makes the headline work.

  • Secret of sucessful blogging
  • Secret of effective time management
  • 10 Secrets of better search engine rankings

3. Here’s how [somebody] [does something]

Simple and straightforward. Replace somebody with your target audience and something with what they want to achieve and you are done.

  • Here’s how do marketers get results from social media
  • Here’s how women can look younger
  • Here’s how you can get more leads.

4. [Number] Little known methods [to do something]

Similar to the “secrets” and “how to” but works on the idea that if it’s little know then you may get advantage over the people who do not know.

  • Little known methods to gain more followers
  • 8 little known methods to avoid stress
  • Little known method to reduce your gas consumption

5. [Number] quick solution (or way) to [something]

Instant gratification! We all want things to happen yesterday and headlines that promise fast results get our attention.

  • 5 quick ways to fix your search engine rankings
  • A fast solutions to your money problems
  • 10 quick methods to get rid of spam comments

6. Now you can have [one good thing] and [other good thing]

These are two good things that have not been previously possible together. Who wouldn’t want the cake and eat it, too?

  • Now you can have your Mac and use Chrome
  • Now you can eat more and lose weight
  • Now you can beat the pros without hard work

9 Simple Formulas to Create Killer Headlines7. How to [do something] like [world class example]

Identify what your target audience wants and combine that with the best example. You can also use number in this headline to give list more than one way of doing things.

  • How to blog like Seth Godin
  • How to dominate the market like Microsoft
  • How to sing like Robbie Williams

8. All that you need to know about [something]

This headline implies that theres not much effort involved and intrigues people to find out more.

  • All that you need to know about Facebook advertising
  • All that you need to know about getting fit
  • All that you need to know about writing headlines

9. [Number] [superlative] [something]

People love lists! Lists are easy to scan and read. List of x best things works like a magnet if you know what your audience is interested in.

  • 6 Insightful Social Media Video Interviews
  • 22 Inspiring Examples of Facebook Page Designs
  • 15 Must See Interactive Youtube Ads

10. Add You!

Here’s a bonus idea that will make all these headlines even better: make the headlines personal by adding just one little word – you.

If you need more examples and formulas to create catchy headlines check out this article 7 Easy Tricks to Write Catchy Headlines

Image credit “Funny Camden Chronicle headline MACHETE ATTACK MANIAC HUNTED” by Cory Doctorow

Priit Kallas

Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.

3 Responses

  1. John says:

    Excellent and well post. You had shared something that will not only help starter but even some experienced bloggers to grow their readers . It is really important to have a killer title and so your content on the post in order to attract readers. From my personal experience i will say “how to” and “list of something” drives more traffic in comparison to other topics.

    Great writing.


  2. awesome stuff! social media is such a hiue part of what photographers like me do that it is important to grab the reader’s attention very quickly

  1. March 21, 2012

    […] Su Twitter ci sono solo pochi caratteri per catturare l’attenzione e far sì che le persone clickino su un vostro contenuto. E’ indubbiamente la parte più complicata da spiegare. Personalmente, credo sia un dono che hanno alcune persone e altre no. Si capisce facilmente anche guardando gli account di vostri amici (quindi parliamo di profili non brandizzati). Avrete sicuramente notato che ci sono persone in grado di postare status/tweet che generano un gran numero di commenti/like/condivisioni. Altri invece non se li fila nessuno e passano inosservati nella nuova spirale del silenzio rappresentata dalla timeline. Date un’occhiata a quest’articolo per approfondire l’argomento su come scrivere headline di successo. […]

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