How to Create Killer Headlines For Your Business’s Blog

How To Create Killer Headlines For Your Business's Blog

It turns out that while taking a look at my latest blog posts, for this past year, I realized that I didn’t have a recent post about headlines.

So much so, that I wasn’t able to find the last one I wrote, even though I know I did.

Which gives me a valid reason to write a brand new article about the importance of creating strong killer headlines, and how to do it.

The truth is that a high percentage of the people who will find the link of your blog post, will read ONLY the headline, while some will share your post on their social media platforms based on attractive your headline is.

If your headline sucks, not only you are greatly decreasing the chances of your blog post being read, but you are also decreasing the chances of your post being shared by those who won’t read it, but will share it on their social media, which of course, will increase the chances of your post being read by some of their followers.

Bad headlines are still out there, no doubt. I see them every day.

But what does it take to create an attractive headline that will make people want to click, or at least want to share your blog post?

Well, it’s really easier than you think, but if you ignore those points, your headlines will keep on being plain and unattractive.

So, keep on reading and make sure you apply those tips on the nest blog post headline for your business.

 

The 2 Basic Must Have to Create a Great Headline

There are 2 elements you should always be aware of when you create your headlines.

1) Add emotional words

2) Be Specific

Simple enough, no?

1 – Add Emotional Words

Here is a real headline from an employment business blog that is missing few important ingredients, including an emotional word.

Here is the original headline:

6 Things You Can Do Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job

Let’s focus on the word ‘things’ here.

The problem with word like ‘thing’ is that it’s as vague and as unemotional as they make them. And while at times I know that’s it hard to use any other better word, you should try any time it’s possible.

In this case, for example they could have use the word ‘actions’ instead of things.

Or the powerful word ‘secrets’, or even ‘tips’.

Any of those words are more powerful and emotional than things.

Let’s see how…

  • 6 Actions You Can Take Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job
  • 6 Tips You Can Apply Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job
  • 6 Secrets You Can Apply Every Night Before Bed to Find a New Job

Using emotional words will increase your chances of getting your article clicked on, shared and read, many times over.

2 – Be Specific

Here is another headline that lack specific elements to make it a good to a great headline.

How To Get More Followers Fast

This headline is so vague that it might even provoke more questions than answers, right?

Followers where?

How many?

In how long?

What about…

How To Get 50% More Followers On Twitter In 2 Weeks

Now, while this might not be the best headline yet, you’ve got the where, how, and where.

Which headline would you me more willing to share, or click on?

No brainer.

 

The 3 Best Types of Headlines

If you were to browse around business blogs headlines, you would see that some of them like more flashy headlines than others, but no matter what your preferences are, at the end of the day, it’s not what you like, but what your readers like that counts.

Now, if your prefer more subdued headlines, that’s OK, as long as you understand the basic types of headlines that work best.

There are really 3 main types of headlines:

The HOW TO headlines, the LIST headlines, and WHY headlines

Now there are many variations of those headlines that you can create, and I will show you some inventive creation styles in this article, but they are all within the how to why, or list style types.

 

The Creation Formula of Powerful Headlines

How to Headline Types

How to (Blank)

How to (Blank) and (Blank)

How to Use (Blank) to (Blank … Something)

How to Be a (Blank…Desirable Quality)

How to (Blank) Even if (Blank… Some kind of Obstacle)

How to (Blank) without … (An Objectionable Action)

How to (Blank…do Something) While You (Blank… do Something Else]

List Headline Types

[X] (Blanks) for (Blank)

[X] (Blanks) to find more/get more/achieve more (blank) that you have to know

[X] Ways to (Do Something)

[X] (‘Strong Adjective’ Reasons) to (Blank)

[X] Steps to (a goal of some kind)

[X] Tips to (Do Something)

[X] Resources (to find or achieve something)

Why Headline Types

Why (Blank) doesn’t mean (Blank)

Why you should (Blank)

Why you need to know (Blank)

Why (Blank) and (Blank) doesn’t mean (Bank)

Why (Blank) when you could (Blank)

 

How to Transform a Bad Headline Using this Powerful Method

Now let’s look at a very plain headline I found on a recruitment business blog, and let’s see how it could have been if they had use any of those powerful headline methods.

Their title is a plain as we make them: ‘Protecting Your Resume From Identity Theft’.

Why is this headline so unappealing?

Well, it’s got nothing… no how, no why or anything else that will make me want to click on the link of this post. No chance someone will click on it if there happened to be another article that gives the same information but with a much more appealing title.

Let’s say they had made the effort to use the simplest How to (Blank) form for their boring title, and this alone would have helped the headline tremendously.

Let’s see how we can improve it…

  • How To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft

Saying ‘how to protect’ is much more powerful than saying ‘protecting’ which is a boring progressive tense that doesn’t work very well in headlines.

Now let’s say they wanted to give away a little more about the content of their article in the headline, they could have use the… How to (Blank) and (Blank) format.

  • How To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft While Using Easy Information Security

This is a much more powerful and specific headline than its original, isn’t it?

Now, let’s say they want to be a bit more creative here and use the… How to (Blank) without … (An objectionable Action)

Their boring headline could sound something like this:

  • How To Create The Perfect Resume Without Revealing Identity Theft Sensitive Information

Wouldn’t you admit that any of those 3 choices would have made a heck of a better headline then the one they’ve chosen?

I think it’s a given.

Now let’s play with the LIST type headlines, and see what they could have come up with.

Let’s use the…[X] (Blanks) for (Blank) type headline.

In their blog post they are using 6 points to help their readers protect their resume against fraud.

However, it’s not announced in the headline.

Here is how it could have sounded if they had used that information to create their headline.

  • 6 Ways To Protect Your Resume from Identity Theft

Much stronger than protecting your resume… isn’t it?

They could have use the word ‘tips’ as well instead of ways, or any other fitting word.

To go even a step further, they could also have added an emotional adjective between the number and the ways/tips.

  • 6 Secure Ways To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft
  • 6 Proven Tips To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft
  • 6 Ironclad Ways To Protect Your Resume From Fraud Or Identity Theft
  • 6 Easy Tips To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft You Need To Know

I could transform this headline into a hundred different ways, which would still mean the same thing, but in a much more attractive way than the one they’ve chosen.

Now, for the fun of it, let’s see what would happen with the WHY type headlines. Could they have use that too?

  • Why You Need To Know To Protect Your Resume From Identity Theft
  • Why You Shouldn’t Reveal Certain Type Of Information In Your Resume
  • Why You Should Make Sure Your Resume Is Identity Theft Proof
  • Why Knowing About Identity Theft Will Help You Protect Your Resume

Now, those headlines are not necessarily the best, they are just examples that came out of my mind while writing this article, but had the writer of this post chosen any of them, their title would have been so much more powerful.

Wouldn’t you agree?

I hope this post was helpful to you in realizing how easy it really is to create killer headlines that work.

What you need to always remember is that if your headline is not a good hook, people won’t bite and land on your post.

So, follow those simple tips and be creative, and I’m sure you will experience the difference in your blog post success.

 In the meantime, let me know what you think in your comment below.

 

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29 Comments

  • CarartaTwitter: ArtaGene says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Awesome tutorial.

    It is so easy to get involved with creating Keyword and SEO friendly Headlines
    that informing and enticing Readers sometimes gets overlooked or just
    plain ignored.

    Thanks for the reminder that Headlines (as in article titles) have a job to do
    and we should never lose sight of making it as easy as possible by doing our homework.

    C.
    Cararta invites you to read..Puttin’ On The RitzMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Cararta,

      I’m so glad you appreciated the information on this post.
      Actually, we can both make sure our headline is SEO friendly and work for the human brain as well. I don’t think that’s difficult at all to take care of both at the same time.

      Thanks for coming by and see you around, as always 🙂

  • Corina RamosTwitter: notnowmomsbusy says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. Creating effecitve headlines is something I could use improving on. I usually start with one title and by the time I’m finished writing my post, I tend to change it.

    And when I really get stuck, I use the topic generator Adrienne shared in one of her posts a while back.

    I love the examples your provided here, they were certainly very helpful. Now I undertand the elements I need to include to make a killer headline! I’ve bookmarked this post and passing on to share your advice! 🙂

    Thanks for thinking of us while you’re traveling! Have fun and be safe!

    Cori
    Corina Ramos invites you to read..It’s A Win Win iPad Mini 16GB Wifi and Apple Watch Sport #GiveawayMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Corina,

      When it comes to headlines, once you’ve got the process down, and remember the 3 must have for your headline to be a hit, you may come up with good to even great headlines more easily. It’s like everything in life, the more you work on headlines the easier you’ll get at it.

      In a follow up post I will write about the what NOT to do when you create headlines. I was going to do it here, but then thought that’s a whole post topic of its own.

      Thank you for coming and for sharing.

      Appreciate you 🙂

  • ikechi says:

    Hi Sylviane

    I love the examples that were used in this post. Creating killer headlines is an art and you have revealed cool ways to turn a boring headline to a killer one.

    Thanks for sharing. Take Care

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Ikechi,

      So glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for coming by and sharing my post.

      Have a wonderful day!

  • Donna MerrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    This is one eye opener for me. I’m not doing well with my headlines. But what I can see is that every time I do a “how to” or list a number like “6 ways to..” there IS an increase in readership.

    I’ve been working my list and focusing on headlines there for open rates. That’s all fine, but when it comes to my blog, I do need to pay more attention to my headlines.

    Now all I have to do is see those open rates from my email and apply that to my headline on my blog posts.

    Hmmm….Time to focus and I thank you so much for this post that has given me what I exactly needed to hear.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill invites you to read..The 20 Percent SolutionMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      Well, I’ve never thought that your headline weren’t good, may be you’re a bit hard on yourself 🙂 But the truth is that, as you said, your opening rate will tell you when your headline is really good.

      The reason I’ve written this post is that I’ve followed a course about headlines and there really is a science to this thing. Now we may or may want to follow it, but what works is what works, there no denying it.

      Thanks so much for coming by. I came to your blog yesterday, but your post was not up yet. Will be there in a few minutes.

      Take care and thanks for sharing.

  • Don PurdumTwitter: unveiltheweb says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I love this topic! Headlines are as important as the content itself and I agree completely that there has to be an emotional element to them.

    They can be really tricky but a LOT of fun.

    Just today I had someone say in the comments; “Articles about web design usually don’t catch my attention, but this one is certainly interesting.”

    I get comments like that frequently now or on social media and it’s pure validation that what you’re saying works!

    It comes back to one person, with problem and one solution…

    If you can hit those elements in your headlines then the attraction meter in my opinion can go so much higher.

    Great article Sylviane and much needed subject.

    I’m off to share. Have a great week.

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum invites you to read..How a Web Designer Can Make a Profound Difference for Your Business!My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Don,

      Yes, as I was just saying in my reply above, you may or may not want to follow the pattern of the type of headlines that works, but there is a science to it, and a pattern that seem to work every time.

      At times I wish I could write more cryptic headlines, but cryptic headline are known NOT to work, so I tend to stick to what I’m explaining here. In a follow up post I’ll write about what NOT to do when it comes to headlines.

      Thanks for coming and for sharing.

  • Anant Patel says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I learn from my personal experience that If your blog title is eye catchy or informative or suspense or emotional words then it will definitely get maximum visitors. I agree with your 2 Basic elements to create headline.

    I have written so many content till now and i found that whenever i use How, 5 or 6 tips and Why in headline that content is get maximum shared and lots of feedback through comments.

    Thanks for sharing great insight on your post!!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Anant,

      I’m glad that you have noticed the difference when you use the basis fundamentals of a good headline.

      Thank you for your feedback, and have a great day!

  • Luna Darcy says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Yes! Thanks for the very specific examples of killer headlines! I know these matters so much nowadays in the blogging world as our headlines would determine whether a reader will be interested in reading the rest of our post or not. The headline is our chance to get their attention and if the headlines suck, then we missed the opportunity of getting a regular reader or a potential subscriber.

    Bookmarking this page for future use.

    Have a beautiful day!

    Luna

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Luna,

      Yes, if we miss out on the headline, well we miss out on getting readers as well. Headlines are very important for sure.

      I’m glad you really enjoyed this and bookmarked it.

      Thanks for coming and for your comment. Very much appreciated.

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    Yep, another great message here for your readers that headlines are an area we do NOT want to take for granted.

    I know that I use to have more of an issue with them then I do now. People really do pay attention to the headlines so if we can’t grab their attention then there is a good possibility that we’ll lose them forever.

    Those that know us will read our posts anyways because they know we deliver but those new readers we’re all wanting to get may not stop and take a second look.

    I think the “how to’s” and the “list posts” will never die. People are always wanting to learn and get their questions answered so they’re always popular.

    I love how you taught us about the emotional words we need to be using as well. I just have all my swipe files and I keep referring back to them. They’re like my lifeblood now.

    Thank you again for another wonderful lesson and you have a great rest of your week.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne invites you to read..How to Have Massive Success With Your BlogMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Indeed, our friends would probably read our post no matter what the title, but at the end of the day, we don’t want to write for our friends, do we? Even though we love that they do read our blog posts and comment on them.

      I noticed that a lot of business blogs have very plain headlines, such as the one I took as an example here, thus the idea for that post, plus it’s been ages since I’ve written about headlines.

      Today as I was walking around London, and was thinking about all the places I’ve been these past three months (already) I mentally wrote a post as I was walking “15 + 1 Reasons Why You Should Visit Europe”. At times I create entire posts in my head like that, and a list headline came to me. I thought that 15 + 1 was more intriguing than 15 or 16. We need to pick the interest, the curiosity in people to make them read the stuff we write.

      I think that your headlines are way better than they used to be, Adrienne. I know you’ve made a serious effort in that area my dear.

      Thanks you so much for coming and sharing. And you have a great day!

  • Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    This is like Blogging 101, coming up with Engaging Headlines!

    I really like the fact that you simplified enough for everyone to instantly use. You broke it down to two things that should be included in a headline which are emotional words and to be specific. A lot of us get this idea that you need more than this, but in actuality you don’t. Just using these two will suffice enough for you to get more clicks.

    I also like the fact that you broken down of what type of headlines get the most click. And from my own experience it is the How To’s, Lists, and Why’s. Even if I was a newbie and didn’t connect with any bloggers, I know if I use any one of these types of headlines I would still get clicks.

    Thanks for the share Sylviane! Have a great one!
    Sherman Smith invites you to read..Why Your Blog Traffic Generation Strategies SuckMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sherman,

      That’s right, while our headline needs to have the MUST have ingredients, it doesn’t need to much details either. Actually Jon Morrow says that if your headline is too clever, for example, people might simply not getting it. That is so true. So we need to find the right balance with this.

      Thanks for your input.

  • Jonathan says:

    Great post Sylvia. I agree with you completely on the importance of a good title. You can spend all the time you want writing the most incredible post, but if you can’t entice people to click in and read, it won’t matter.

    Thanks for sharing those creation formulas. I think people underestimate and under appreciate the power of killer headlines.

    Jonathan
    Jonathan invites you to read..When Ecommerce Support Crosses The Line, It’s AnnoyingMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      That’s exactly right, and I was just saying that you may even do an experiment in writing a jewel of an article and give it a very bad title, and I promise you that your experiment would be successful, meaning your article will get nowhere.

      Thanks for coming by.

      PS:Lots of people call me Sylvia, but my name is Sylviane. Kinda very partial to it 🙂

  • Christina Maria says:

    Great post Sylvia. I agree with you completely on the importance of a good title. You can speed all the time you want writing the most incredible post, but if you can’t entice people to click in and read, it won’t matter.

    Thanks for sharing those creation formulas. I think people understimate and under appreciate the power of killer headlines.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Christina,

      Yes, that’s totally right. We could even do an experiment by writing at top notch article that would otherwise bit a hit, but tag it with a very bad title, and I promise you it won’t be read. That’s just a matter of fact that we need to understand and play with.

      Thanks for your input.

  • Jane says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    That’s a wonderful topic indeed. We bloggers and headlines are so inseparable. We use them everyday and pretty much with every piece of copy we write.

    And with so much noise out there in the web, headlines are the ones that help get people’s attention. It doesn’t matter how great the content is, if a casual reader doesn’t find the headline impressive he/she isn’t going to check out the “great” content.

    Thanks for the awesome and generous tips on creating headlines that does the purpose – make the readers click through and read the post.

    I’ve found “how to”, numbered headlines work great for me. It is also important that we use specific words rather than vague ones 🙂

    Thanks once again and have a wonderful week 🙂

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Jane,

      Yes, there’s no denying it, the head line has got to be what brings someone on a post, then they may decide to stay or leave, but that’s what bring them in the first place.

      Thanks so much for coming and I appreciate your input.

  • Greg says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    Thanks for this article. I did know more or less about it, but it is nicely made. I would just tell that, the time going on, I am more and more bored about superlatives like “awesome” “astonishing” “wonderful” in the headlines and prefer your “secure” “ironclad”…
    Thank you!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hey Greg,

      You have a point. I am too not crazy about those superlatives, but the thing is that they still do work. It’s like commercials, you know, everyone says they don’t like them, but they do work 🙂

      But I get what you’re saying, and appreciate your feedback.

      Thanks for coming.

  • Jerry Everett says:

    Hi,

    Great article and helpful tips.It is really easy to understand your article .every line have something new to learn and implement the steps.A big thanks for such wonderful article .Keep it up 🙂

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