As a copywriter, headlines are some of the most important words you write. They are so important, in fact, that if you spend more time copywriting headlines than you do the articles that go with them, you are probably doing it right.
It is easy to see why. In our connected world, we see thousands of headlines every day. Every blog post, e-mail, social media update, and every article in every newspaper and magazine begins with a headline. The competition for attention is steep.
- The Secret of [_____]. Everyone loves being in on the secret. If you are reading this article, chances are you want to be in on the secret to copywriting headlines, so a good headline for this article would be "The Secret to Copywriting Headlines." Of course, we do not want to stop with good. We could probably do better with something like "The Secret to Copywriting Great Headlines," or "The Secret to Copywriting Headlines that Really Work."
- Little Known Ways To [_____]. "Little Known Ways To Have Great Sex," "Little Known Ways To Make Great Brownies," "Little Known Ways To Save on Car Insurance." Anything that promises to let the reader in on something most people do not know is going to work well.
- Who Else Wants [_____]. "Who Else Wants Great Abs?" "Who Else Wants Great Cookies?" The “Who else” subtly suggests that there is some social proof that the information in the article is already working for many people. If people really want great abs or great cookies, they are missing out if they do not click.
- This Technique is Helping [_____] to [_____]. "This Technique is Helping People Copywrite Headlines," "This Technique is Helping Shoppers Save Money." This style headline has the same sort of implied social proof of the “Who Else” headlines but helps zero in on the target audience more.
- They are Short. If someone has to stop to read your headline, you’ve probably already lost them.
- They Ask Questions. There is something about questions that seem to draw people in like their lives are not complete until they have the answer.
- Lists. I know, I know. List posts are some the most clickbaity nonsense on the internet, but that does not mean your list post has to be clickbaity nonsense.
You can also spend a little time every day paying attention to the kind of headlines you click on and look for similarities. Think about the things you like to click. You will probably find that a lot of the headlines look like the ones suggested here. Compare what you like to what your test results show, and you will have a winning strategy for copywriting headlines.