17 Easy Tricks How to Write Catchy Titles and Headlines

how to write headlines

Catchy headlines can make or break you content. There are infinite ways to write a headline. You can combine the principles of headlines to get even more possibilities. In the following post I will give you tips and tricks have proven themselves for many years. Next time you have to write a catchy headline, use these easy and powerful headline formulas.

Great headlines give you an edge and convince your audience to read and respond to your copy. These examples will inspire you to get creative and write headlines that work for you.

Good headlines will make people click your content, read longer, and make them share even without reading.

On the average, 5 times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar. – David Ogilvy

First I will start with seven general principles:

1. Keep it simple and direct

Direct headline goes straight to the heart of the matter without trying to sound intriguing or clever. They don’t try to explain, play with words, or make a joke. Get to the point! Use for strong offers bringing out clear benefits of products and services.

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Catchy Headlines
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2. Clearly state what’s the big benefit

Write Catchy HeadlinesAlways transform the benefit that your post offers into a headline. The readers want to satisfy certain need. The promise in your headline motivates them to click and read. Headline has to convince them that tour content contains the answers. Put the big benefit in your headline and they will read your copy. To create a headline like this you need to know your target audience. The result is that even if they don’t visit your website they’ve at least seen your best selling point.

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3. Announce exciting news

It’s in our nature to be curious. Bring the exciting news to your readers in the headline and it will grab their attention. What you discuss in the post doesn’t have to be a new topic it can just be a new way of presenting existing material. Cover recent events, with images, take outs, interviews, etc.

The same applies when writing headlines for product or service advertising copies. You can introduce new options, offers, discounts, and pricing strategies. Write attractive headlines that imply news to the reader.

  • At Last, The New iPhone 7 Is In the Stores!
  • Introducing the newest idea in distant learning from X
  • Top SEO Trends from the Past 6 Months

how to write headlines4. Appeal to you reader’s “how-to” instinct in the headline

Most people want to improve their life in some way. You can write a headline that focuses on these needs and wants we have and promise to fulfill them. Make sure the headline highlights the final benefit or result.

Do not include the process into the headline since it tends to sound like a lot of work. Target the end result and reader’s real motivations.

For example, instead of How to start a full-time home job? write How to make money while working from home?

  • How to stop smoking right now and never start again
  • How to Profit from the 3 Best Service Businesses of the Decade!
  • Write headlines that make people share your content

5. Ask a provocative question in the headline

Questions get your readers involved. Using questions in a headline can’t be random or clever. Question in headline should realte directly and to the story your post tells. In the case of products and services you offer the question needs to tie into their major benefits.

Questions in the headline should make the reader answer with Yes!

  • Do you want to know the top 5 mistakes most bloggers make?
  • Your boss wants to see you in his office? Read this!
  • What to do with your dog on a rainy day?

6. Tell your reader what to do

Catchy HeadlinesCreate a head line with a command in it! Be direct, provide a benefit, and tell your readers what they need to do in a way that’s acceptable for them. These headlines aren’t conversational and have proven very effective. Commands make people ask “why”. So you have to command the to do something to get a benefit.

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7. Offer useful information

You might think that people are eager for more information. This isn’t completely true. What readers want isn’t more information. They want results and solutions to the issue at hand. Tricks, steps, hints, rules that lead to results, a sense of order and predictability. Something that will help them reach their goals.

Your readers will appreciate if offer this in the headline and deliver the promised in the content.

  • 10 Most Important Steps to Living Longer
  • The best kept secrets of cooking
  • Ways to end your money problems for good.

One more thing before we continue! There’s an awesome tool from coschedule.com that helps you hone your headlines to perfection: Blog Post Headline Analyzer. But that’s not all! If you want concrete examples and formulas to create catchy headlines I will show you 9+1 simple formulas to create killer headlines that work every time:

create killer headlines

9 Formulas to Create Awesome Headlines + You

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, read more, and share.

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, straightforward, personal. Make readers recognize themselves by replacing [somebody] with your target audience. and Make sure [something] is a benefit they want to achieve and you.

  • Here’s how 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 ways) to [something]

Instant gratification! Most people 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 [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 a list of 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 you need to know about [something]

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

  • All you need to know about Facebook advertising
  • Everything 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.

Find out more about headlines and titles here:
How to Create Engaging Titles and Headlines [infographic]

Image: The Anxious Type JD Hancock
Image: “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. The post gives a complete guide in creating catchy headlines or titles for a post. But I think there’s a room to share tools that are available online for free to help and assist us in doing that!

  2. You got it right that direct headline goes straight to the heart of the matter without trying to sound intrigue or clever. I’ve been in writing for almost a year now and I remembered back when I started that it was really hard for me to create one remarkable and catchy headline or title. It took me a lot of patience and of course tons of revisions until I finished an outstanding content. Also, this post http://blog.tryadhawk.com/content-marketing/headline-checklist/ will help you getting started with one amazing headline and noteworthy content.

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