You spend hours on writing great blog posts and content. But do you spend time crafting a good headline? Probably not.

Why write good headlines? Because without attractive headlines, that gets clicks from readers, nobody reads posts no matter how great it is. A headline is what people see first in any form of media, from articles, blog posts, YouTube videos and more.

So now you know headlines are important. So what makes a good headline for your type of blog post and how to write a good one? It’s your lucky day today as I’ll be sharing some tips on writing great blog headlines like a boss! Also, check out the headline cheat sheet PDF I’ve included at the end of this post to use whenever you’re writing a post.

Writing Headlines People Can’t Help But Click

People only care about themselves. Ok maybe not all the time, but usually. Imagine yourself as a reader. Scrolling in Facebook or Google, you see article headlines & click on them to read its content, because you think you can get some value out of it.

Bottomline is, you have to write like you’re addressing your readers. It’s never about yourself or your business. Keep that in mind, let’s go into some headline hacks I’ve prepared for you.

1 – How To Headlines

How to type of headline

How to type of headline example from Entrepreneur.com

How to headlines never fail to get good clicks. This technique has been used for over decades. As beginner writers, this is a good headline to start off. As readers, we are often biased towards articles that help us do something and improve ourselves. Opinions and ideas are good, but how to do them practically is more valuable.

Here are some examples:

How To Get Six Packs in 30 Days
How To Impress Your Wife On Bed
How To Make RM100,000 In 3 Months – 
(I actually ran an event before with this title and turnout was massive. Some people perceived it wrongly, though.)

How To [Desirable Skill]

Figure out what your reader’s desires are and put them in the headline. As mentioned, we humans are constantly looking to get better at what we do, so the curiosity to click on an article that promises that simply works.

Examples:

  • How To Be A Great Salesman
  • How To Save Money At Home
  • How To Become A Successful Lawyer

How To [Desire] Without [Objectionable Action]

Psychologists call the effect of this type of headline a cognitive dissonance. Most of the time we want something but don’t want to do what it takes to get it.

For example, most men want to impress women with a good looking body, but find it difficult to hit the gym and get in shape. The desire doesn’t go away, even though he believes it’s impossible. This tension is called ‘cognitive dissonance’ and most experience it.

So this kind of headline reliefs that pain by showing you how to gain without doing the other.

Examples:

  • How To Attract Girls Without Having To Buy Expensive Clothes
  • How To Make Money Without Working
  • How To Get Slim Without Exercising
  • How To Be Fit Without Dieting

How To [something] & [something]

One of the best book written, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie uses this headline. And who don’t know about this headline right?

If one benefit isn’t enough, double up the benefits! This sort of headlines can sound impossible, but if your content is strong enough to back it up, it’s a very effective headline to use.

Examples:

  • How To Work Only 4 Hours A Week and Become A Millionaire
  • How To Get Smarter & Wiser
  • How To Build A Business and Sell It For Millions

2 – List Headlines

Looks familiar? These headline should!

Looks familiar? These headlines should!

You’ll never miss this sort of headlines. The simple reason why this list type of headlines work is because it’s easy to digest.

We humans are lazy and like to get over things fast. With a list post, content is being broken down into quick bite sizes. However, the internet is saturated with this type of headline. It still works and you should use it. Just be careful of not repeating the same headline week after week in your blog or content.

7 Ways/ Tips to [Do Something]

Why promise 7 ways to do something? In fact, it can be a bigger number, 10, 50 even 88. It’s all about perception. This type of headline normally attracts people who want to find a range of ideas in a particular subject.

Examples:

  • 7 Side Income Hustles You Can Try
  • 10 Party Decoration Ideas for Teenagers
  • 8 Productivity Tips for Self-Employed Business People

The Top 10 [something]

This is seriously popular and sometimes people want straight to the point articles & content they can quickly scroll through. They simply want the best and the most effective.

You’ll find the examples below really familiar.

Examples:

  • The Top 10 Places To Visit in Japan
  • Top 10 Cafe To Go in Kuala Lumpur
  • Top 10 Gifts For Your Wife

8 Surprising Reasons [something] 

Wow, what did I miss? What do I not know?

This is designed to make the readers curious. It’s a simple trick to get readers to click on your article or blog post. To satisfy their curiosity, provided that they are curious about that particular subject, they’ll click to read your article to satisfy that curiosity itch.

Examples:

  • 6 Surprising Reasons You Are Overspending On Petrol
  • 8 Surprising Reasons You Hate Your Job
  • 10 Surprising Reasons Your Son Is Disobedient

7 [something] Secrets Every [Someone] Should Know

Again what secrets are you missing? This inflicts curiosity as well.

Examples:

  • 7 Dieting Secrets Every Woman Should Know
  • 10 Attraction Secrets Every Gentleman Should Know
  • 8 People Management Secrets Every Manager Should Know

3 – Mistakes Headline

This headline should be familiar to you too

This type of headline should be familiar to you too

We don’t like making mistakes and feel challenged or depressed when someone points out our mistakes. Thus, the human tendency to quickly fix them. As a content writer, this headline hack puts you as an expert by portraying you already know what your readers are going through. One of the most popular headline to use when addressing beginners and people looking to start out in an area.

Don’t Do These 10 Things When [something]

This headline isn’t too alarming and is good in a way that you don’t threaten your readers. It sounds like something your parents would teach you as a child.

Examples:

  • Don’t Do These 10 Things When Going Out With Your Crush
  • Don’t Do These 5 Mistakes When Starting A Business
  • Don’t Do These Things When Traveling To Korea

Do You Make These 8 [something] Mistakes?

This includes a list post and a mistake. The result is a powerful headline that not only addresses the mistake but also keeps it in easy to consume bite-sized content.

Examples:

  • Do You Make These 8 Eating Mistakes?
  • Do You Make These 10 Mistakes As A Business Owner?
  • Do You Make These 7 Mistakes Raising Your Kids?

10 [something] Mistakes That Make You Look Like A [something]

Nobody wants to be a loser, jerk or wannabe. This is why this headline works so well. It directs them the value to steer away from being an a**hole.

Examples:

  • 5 Personality Mistakes That Makes you Look Like A Jerk
  • 8 Fashion Mistakes That Makes You Look Poor
  • 10 Writing Mistakes That Makes You Look Like A Complete Amateur

4 – The Easy Life Headline

'Get rid of this and live an easy/better life' headline

‘Get rid of this and live an easy/better life’ headline

Who doesn’t like and want an easy life? People are getting stressed up every day in this fast-moving world. So simplify things and make things simple. This headline hack works emotionally and attracts readers who want things easier and have a peace of mind.

5 Shortcuts to [desire] in [time]

People love the easy life and want things easy. Who doesn’t like shortcuts and hacks these days? This headline promises to make our life simpler and implies you’ll get an unfair advantage at it, while your peers are taking a much longer route.

Examples:

  • 5 Shortcuts To Financial Freedom in Just 3 Weeks
  • 6 Pack Shortcuts in 1 Week
  • 8 Shortcuts To Getting Good At Golf in A Month

Get Rid of [problem] Once And For All

Simplifying things are nice but what if you could get rid of the problem once and for all? Pretty amazing yes?

This type of headline promises to show readers how to do it. This headline is best aimed to address and recurring problem.

Examples:

  • Get Rid Of Flue Once And For All
  • Get Rid of Headaches Once And For All
  • Get Rid of Acne Once And For All

5 – The Danger Headline

A danger type of headline

A danger type of headline

We are all victims to unexpected problems. We don’t want to lose a person, an asset, money and many other things that we value. If you can pinpoint on the thing that keeps your reader awake at night, this headline is very effective. You’ll have to be very specific when using the danger type of headline.

7 Warning Signs That [something]

This headline hack sounds like hearing from an expert or doctor. We listen for symptoms to a problem and we think,”Oh my, that describes me”. Lots of fortune tellers and horoscope readers also use this technique to get at you.

Examples:

  • 8 Warning Signs That You’re Infected with Ebola
  • 7 Warning Signs That Your Business Is Failing
  • 5 Warning Signs That Your Wife Is Leaving You

The Shocking Truth About [something]

This is a classic headline that works on newspaper headlines and blogs. Traditional media uses this a lot. It suggests an insider knowledge about something without telling it to you just yet. Do you want to know what it is? Then click on the headline and read the content.

Setting you up as the ‘first’ to read this shocking news, it also leverages on your ego that you’re going to expose this exclusive news to your peers later on.

Examples:

  • The Shocking Truth About Government Schools
  • The Shocking Truth About Yoga Teachers
  • The Shocking Truth About How Banks Make Money

Warning: [something]

This headline aims to warn readers about something and how they could avoid it by reading the article. Nobody wants to ignore a warning.

Examples:

  • Warning: Doing This Can Make Your Business Go Bankrupt in A Month
  • Warning: These 5 Foods Are Harmful to You
  • Warning: If You Don’t Learn About Big Data, Your Startup Will Be In Jeopardy

6 – The ‘Parasite’ Headline

Example of leveraging on people's names

Example of leveraging on people’s names

It’s scary to know how brands are able to control how we think. If you think burgers, you probably think about McDonalds or BurgerKing. If you think of business leaders, you probably think about Bill Gates, Seth Godin, Steve Jobs and more.

Why do you think of these brands or people? That’s branding. The ‘parasite’ headline hack leverages on well-known brands and people. With an authority in your headline, readers are more susceptible to click on it for its value.

10 [desire] by [well-known name]

Barrack Obama, Kobe Bryant, Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson. We all know these people because they are top at what they do. When we see these names, we get an immediate sense of respect for this people. So leverage these names in your headlines.

Examples:

  • 10 Top Business Tips by Steve Jobs
  • 5 Business Ideas Given by Richard Branson
  • 5 Life Lessons Taught by Li-ka-Shing

What [well-known name] Can Teach Us About [something]

This headline is pretty versatile and can be used to ‘parasite’ on many different types of brands, groups, companies and names. It’s important to creatively change the headline too, as ‘teach us’ can sound too academic. Use this headline when you want to bond with your readers as though you’re all in the learning together.

Examples:

  • What The 9/11 Incident Can Teach Us About Team-Building
  • What Bill Gates Can Teach Us About Perseverance
  • What Nokia’s Downfall Can Teach Us About Business Innovation

Secrets of [well-known name]

There are even books with this headline name. Putting the word ‘secrets’ in your headline immediately power ups your headline. If you have a secret to give away, why wouldn’t your readers want to learn about it?

Again this headline hack leverages on suspicion and curiosity.

Examples:

  • The Secrets of Apple’s Success In the Computing Industry
  • 10 Secrets of Hollywood Superstars
  • Secrets Behind The Success of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

Conclusion – Download a Cheat Sheet

Phew, it took a little of time writing this article and I still didn’t cover many other great headlines yet.

There are no rules to writing a compelling headline that would make your readers read. And like you, I’m constantly learning new headline hacks and ideas. The headline hacks I mentioned in this article are best used as guidelines when you write your next blog post and headline.

If you like more ideas, I’ve prepared additional 300 headlines for you to refer.

Download the PDF here:

If you liked this posts, please share it. What other headlines you have used when writing blogs and content? Let me know in the comment section below as I’d love to hear from you.

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