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HOW TO: Write Mind-Blowing Headlines


Writing a successful headline is more important than ever in today’s web savvy world of prolific sharing and social media.

David Oglivy is often described as “The Father of Advertising” and shared this wisdom about 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. 

If your headline is compelling it might make even a mediocre post go viral.  If your headline is mediocre it might turn an awesome post you wrote into a waste of time.

When your headline promises a compelling benefit for your readers it will get clicked and shared like crazy.

Here are 10 mind blowing methods for helping your headline plenty of clicks, tweets, shares and success:

1. Be All About the Benefit


Your readers are constantly tuned into WIFM (What’s In it For Me) so if your headline is not playing on this channel your readers will switch the station.

2. Model Magazines

Spend a few minutes checking out the magazine rack at your local bookstore.

A few compelling headlines is often the difference between a magazine that sells and one that ends up in the recycling bin without ever having  been opened.

3. Write an Ultimate Headline

See what magazines catch your eye, try and figure out why, and apply similar strategies to your own headlines.

Writing a headline that promises an “Ultimate Guide” with a prolific post to match is a winning combination almost every time.

4. Headlines: A Formulaic Approach

A formula for headline success I have discovered is the Topic: Buzz formula.

The Topic: Buzz style tells the reader what the post is about and makes a grand promise about what the body of the article will deliver.

Of course the Topic: Buzz method is just one of several sure fire headline formulas that can convert to clicks.

5. “How To” It Up

Writing how to headlines is a smart tactic.  When you are telling your readers how they can discover interesting new knowledge the value is inherent.

6. Evoke Curiosity

Curiosity cam make your post compelling.  Promise secrets for success in your headline and it will speak volumes.


7. Make the Most of Metaphors

Practice writing kick ass headlines that pack more punch than Bruce Lee.

With the right metaphors in your headlines your posts will soar to success like rocket into space.

8. Write Several Headlines Before Choosing One

If you make a habit of writing five headlines you will have five times the chances for writing a headline that succeeds.

Even though you can ultimately choose only one headline for your post the other headlines you wrote often work great for re-tweeting the same content on Twitter and making it seem fresh every time.

9. Split Test Your Headline

If you use the core keywords in your URL then you can be flexible with the ultimate choice for your headline once you have tested a few variations.

If you use Aweber Email Marketing you can split test your headline as the subject line of the email you send to your subscribers to tell them about your new post.

Once you get the results determining the winning subject line you will know which headline is best so you can edit and set this as the permanent headline for your post.

10. Write Next Level List Posts

List posts always work.

The value in a well written list post is hard to resist when the topic is compelling to the reader.

To make your list post even more irresistible go to Google and do a quick search for your topic.  Make sure that your headline promises a larger list than any other post on the first page and you’ve got a recipe for a winning post.

Less is More

From an SEO perspective the maximum length of a title tag to be displayed is between 60-70 characters. If your title tag is over 70 characters, your title will be cut off around 70 characters on the search results page.  So keep your headlines short and sweet.

What is your favorite headline style?

What is your favorite headline style, or your favorite tip from the list above.  Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Responses to HOW TO: Write Mind-Blowing Headlines

  1. conder December 26, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    I think this is where the big corporations win out over SMEs. They can afford the best copywriters.

    • Garin December 26, 2011 at 8:35 am #

      @conder Good point, hiring the best talent will always be a very real advantage. Yet even the best copywriting in the world is available for all to see so a determined SME business owner can model the greats and create copy that converts for a fraction of the cost.

  2. cmichaelcroston December 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Great information, as usual. Thanks. @BigChefJC should see this.

    • Garin December 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      @cmichaelcroston Glad you like the post Michael, I just circled you on Google Plus! Cheers.

  3. Fiverr Clone January 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Its very apt title to this post…

    Definitely the headline should be catchy and clear then only the readers spends some time to read the article….

    Really these are 10 mind blowing methods….

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