How to Write Powerful Headlines [Ultimate Guide]

By: | January 10, 2016 | Tags: , |

Effective #Headlines will increase #blog trafficHow frustrating!

You spend all that time researching, writing, and promoting your article just to end up confused as to why your page views are rock-bottom low.

Sound familiar?

Can you enter a house if you don’t open the door? Of course not!

In the same way, readers can not read your posts if they don’t click on your link.


Even if you send your article to their Email box, the headline is their first indication of whether they will be interested in your post and want to read it.


So many tools and tips are at your disposal today to enable you to write headlines that do get clicked, so your articles get read.

According to CoSchedule,

[bctt tweet=”Your #blog traffic could vary 500% depending on the effectiveness of your headline.”]

 Therefore, it is worth spending the time it takes to perfect it.

How to Write Irresistible Headlines That Draw Your Readers In

  1. Write headlines containing a number. List posts lend themselves to this type of headline. Use digits, not words. The OnceUponYourPrime blog actually recommends going back through all your old posts and converting them to list posts. According to research, readers engage 36% more often with headlines with numbers in them.
  2. Write headlines containing an odd number. My most successful post had the number 71 in it.
  3. Write headlines containing a high number. Ideally, that number should be 11 or greater to help you get found by search engines.
  4. Write headlines that beat your competition. Google your headline to find how many tips other blog posts in your niche have.
  5. Write headlines that contain a promise. Make sure your post keeps that promise.
  6. Write headlines that make readers’ wishes come true. What do readers wish for? Everyone wants things that are free, easy, quick, foolproof, and effective. Put those words and synonyms of those words in your headline.
  7. Write headlines that contain names of famous people. How to Meet Oprah was about how to reach goals, but it became a more interesting headline with Oprah’s name in it.
  8. Write headlines that are short. A 65 character count is an average length.
  9. Write headlines that solve a problem. (Example: How to Be Memorable in a Sea of Bloggers)
  10. Write headlines containing the words “How To”.
  11. Write headlines containing the word “You”.
  12. Write headlines containing the word “Ultimate”. (Example: How to Write Powerful Headlines [Ultimate Guide])
  13. Write headlines containing adverbs. When do readers want things? Now? Today? Immediately? Put these words in your headlines.
  14. Write headlines that start strong and end strong. Research shows only the first and last three words will be read.
  15. Write headlines that match the content of your post. If you try to deceive people into reading your article with a misleading headline, you could lose credibility with your readers.
  16. Write headlines that contain negative words.  Try using words like Never and Stop.
  17. Write headlines that arouse your readers’ interest. Words like Secret and Little-Known will do this. (Example: 3 Lies Your Children Tell You)
  18. Write headlines that contain power words.
  19. Write headlines that contain words found in viral headlines.
  20. Write headlines that contain uncommon words. My guest author sent me this headline: 5 SEO Tips to Double Your Blog Traffic. It had an odd number and a verb, but to my surprise, it scored low on the CoSchedule headline analyzer (listed below). One of the words found in viral headlines was “new,” so I changed the headline to 5 SEO Tips To Double Your Blog Traffic in the New Year, and this time, the headline got a higher score. Apparently, “new” is an uncommon word.
  21. Write headlines that ask questions. This technique is so underused, yours will stand out.
  22. Write headlines that follow this formula:  The formula is number + adjective + keyword + promise.  For example, 13 Foolproof Ways You Can Stop Writing Ineffective Blog Headlines dissected is #- 13, Adjective – Foolproof, Keyword – Ways, Promise – You Can Stop Writing Ineffective Blog Headlines.
  23. Write headlines that follow the SHINE Formula. Headlines should be Specific, Helpful, Immediate, Newsworthy, and Entertaining.
  24. Write headlines that use brackets. They draw people’s attention. (Example: This is the Way to Quickly Increase Your Blog Traffic [Blogger Collaboration])
  25. Write headlines that are entertaining. Linda Bethea, a client of mine, considered changing her Shoe Fly Pie post to Shoe Fly Pie that Even People on Facebook Would Like.
  26. Write headlines that are shocking. (Example: 8 Types of People Who Should Not Be Blogging
  27. Write headlines that are inspirational. (Examples: Should You Have a Popular Blog? and 3 Reasons You Should Not Immediately Want Blog Followers)
  28. Write headlines that indicate you are writing about case studies. (Example: How to Make 1,406 People Look at Your Site in 1 Day indicated it was going to be a case study about someone who had experienced that success.)
  29. Write headlines that contain your keywords in them. Whatever keyword you tagged your post should be a word in your headline.
  30. Write headlines that have the same keywords as your subheadings. What if you don’t use subheadings? Start using them! It will help people looking for articles on your keyword find you in search engines.
  31. Write headlines that model previously successful headlines. Go to your stats page on your blog dashboard to see all-time high page views.
  32. Write headlines that address your readers’ concerns. You know their concerns because of the questions they asked in the comments section.
  33. Write multiple headlines for one article. Ask a blogger buddy which one to pick.
  34. Write headlines your ideal reader wants to read. My ideal reader is looking for blogging tips.
  35. Write headlines that you assess at Advanced Marketing Institute.
  36. Write headlines that you assess at CoScheduleWrite to Done‘s Mary Jaksch actually holds a content to see how high a score people in her Facebook group can get on CoSchedule.
  37. Write headlines that you assess at TweakYourBizTitle.


Do You Have More Ammunition To Write Headlines that Attract Readers?

Danielle of Three Peas Services compared your blog post to a dollar. If your post were a dollar, she explained, your headline would be .80 cents of it. That is how important your headline is. If Danielle is correct, 80% success of your post is riding on the success of your headline.

No pressure, though. And, there really is no pressure. Now that you have these tips, you are sure to rock your headline writing.

Before you go compose your headlines, please share, so other bloggers get this list to follow.

Did I miss any? Do you have any other tips for successful headline writing? Which are you already using that you find the most successful? I look forward to your views.

Note: If anyone feels they need additional information and further help implementing these tips, sign up for my Headline Writing Service to receive one-on-one coaching. If you are subscribed to this blog, you will get a limited-time VIP 25% off subscriber discount.

Related Posts:

13 Foolproof Ways You Can Stop Writing Ineffective Blog Headlines

3 Amazing Shortcuts for Writing Headlines in Record Time

How To Write Headlines Guaranteed to Bring a Wealth of Traffic

30 Tools You Need to Create a Successful Blog

6 Best Ways Bloggers Can Save Time with Templates (Discusses headline templates.)

How to Create Blog Content Your Readers Will Love




  1. Robin khokhar

    Hi Janice,
    Headline for any article or blog post is important. We will only get clicks if we will write an attractive headline. And i must say that you have shared many important points which could help to get an attractive headline.
    thanks for sharing.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Robin,
      It has been such a pleasure getting to know you over the last few days. Your comments are kind, complimentary, and detailed. Thank you again for the praise, the visit, and writing.

  2. John Doe

    Great post. The headline is the key to getting someone to read your blog. You are amazing. You have said you are a teacher and you teach us every day. You should get the blog teacher of the year award of they had one. I am sure all your followers agree.

  3. Mona AlvaradoFrazier

    I use approx. 5 of these ideas (I know dismal) ;( but, if I implement half of your great tips, I’m sure I’ll increase my readership.

    The headline analyzers are good sources of ideas for posts. One that isn’t listed which I began using recently is Portent’s Content Idea Generator:

    Enter a subject and click on the button for several unique titles. Many of them are funny, but they do stimulate creativity and useful ideas for a post.

    • Janice Wald

      Thanks so much for contributing to the discussion. Portent, a tool for brainstorming headline ideas, is valuable, and as you point out, fun to use. Thanks for the idea and for writing.
      PS Your comments were so kind. I may add them to my Testimonial page. Thank you Mona!

  4. Lee MacArthur

    I absolutely love all your helpful suggestions. I almost have to keep bookmarking your work so I can go back to it. I really appreciate the way you put together these helpful entries.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lindsey,
      Thank you for writing here and on Facebook. I am so glad you found my headline writing tips helpful. Nice to meet you this weekend.

      • Janice Wald

        By the way, I tried to visit your blog too, but I got an error message.

  5. Carolann

    This is a great source of information! I am always struggling with headlines and this really helps to clear things up. I’ve got this bookmarked right where I can get to it easily. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Carolann,
      So great to hear from you! Thanks for clicking my link and visiting.
      I am glad you liked the ideas for help with headline writing. I was confident people would find 37 tips helpful. I am glad you found it valuable enough to bookmark. Thanks for writing.

  6. Wandering Soul

    Hi Janice,
    could you please mail me an excerpt of this article so I could put it up on my blog (with due credit to you of course) under my ‘From Around the World’ Category.
    I will only put up part of this post and then link the rest to this post of yours. 🙂
    It would be an honour for me if you would grace my blog.
    here are more details about what this feature really is –

    I have also recently revamped my blog. Please let me know what you think of it 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Wandering Soul,
      I am sending you two separate Emails in response. I am so honored you want to feature my writing on your site.

  7. Pingback: My Article Read (1-10-2016)
    • Janice Wald

      Hi Kathleen,
      Thanks for the link. I’m glad you enjoyed my headline guide. I hope your readers find it valuable. I am glad you did.

  8. Patrice M Foster

    I am Bookmarking this one….My favorite comprehensive has all that I need written here *headline with famous people name a first for me! Portent use at times. Great resource thanks.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Patrice,
      I am so glad you found that tip, and the article in general, valuable. You are such a supportive reader. I am truly grateful.

  9. Pingback: 37 Ways to Amazing Headlines – Wandering Soul
  10. Anonymous

    Thank you for the helpful advice, or should I say … thank you for 37 AMAZING NEW IDEAS FOR ULTIMATE BLOGGING! 😉

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you so much! I would thank you by name, but you are coming in as “Anonymous.” So, whoever you are. Thank you so much for the kind words about my headline guide!

  11. OBEYA Friday

    Many thanks for this great post. Appreciate your unceasing efforts on this blog. Keep it up

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Obeya!
      How great to see you here, my new subscriber! Thank you for the kind words about my headline article!

  12. OBEYA Friday

    Many thanks for this great post. Appreciate your unceasing effort on this blog.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi OBEYA!
      It is always my pleasure to help! Thank you again for your nice comments and for writing me.

  13. Pingback: How to Write Powerful Headlines [Ultimate Guide]
  14. Katy Kozee

    These are great tips. I’m really working on improving my headlines for both past and future blog posts at the moment so this article was especially timely. Found you via #PitStop.

  15. dawn

    Thank you for the tips! I am starting to pay more attention to my headlines so they will be helpful.

  16. Pingback: 79 of the Most Effective Ways to Get Free Blog Traffic
  17. Sandy KS

    I love all your ideas. I write my headlines with numbers. I have seen an increase with that. I will be trying your others.

  18. AArti

    Excellent post! Definitely will take some of these pointers and put them to work. Headlines are crucial for converting well!

  19. Sapna Choudhary

    I must say great points you have added. Thanks for such a post. Great effort

  20. Chota Bheem

    Excellent post! Definitely, will take some of these pointers and put them to work. Headlines are crucial for converting well!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Chota,
      Thanks for commenting on my article. I agree with you about the importance of headlines– they need to click the link for the page views and the conversions to happen.

  21. Esferasoft

    Hello Janice!

    Hope you are well.

    I would like to mention here a tool ‘Seopressor’ which helps to generate effective headlines. I have tried it a number of times and found it worth discussing. Must try it once.

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