How To Write Great Headlines | 5 Tips

Catching the attention of potential visitors and customers to your blog is vital.  In fact, 8 out of 10 people read headlines, but just 2 out of 10 will actually continue reading the rest of the content, according to Copyblogger.

This is important, so I will restate how important a headline is:  “Out of all the folks who read your headline, only 20% will read the article.”  You need a powerful, sexy headline to make readers swoon.

Modern online article headlines are tricky – they need to be SEO keyword friendly, but also should be unique and creative. The end result needs to be super clickable, irresistible headlines.

If you’re like me, you encounter nearly a hundred headlines before you’ve finished your first cup of coffee. What makes you read one story over another? It’s all about the headline – that magical string of words that allures and excites.

Your blog needs to have an attention grabbing headline while the content needs to be strong – in a way to ensure that your visitors and customers will read and stay on your blog.

Headlines are the most important aspect of any piece of content. It’s the first thing—and often the only thing—users will read.

The bottom line? The better the headline, the better your chances for actually getting interested readers on your content—with the caveat that you have a solid and engaging piece of content to back your headline up.

A good attention grabbing headline is often your first and only chance to attract people’s attention and encourage them to read your content.  By carefully considering the language you use and relevant keywords, you can create powerful titles and headings with ease.

Your blog post headline needs to clearly articulate what you’ll be covering in the article. No one is going to click a vague headline.

  • Bad Headline: Write an Article
  • Good Headline: How to Write a Great Article That Will Get Read.

Why Headlines Are Important

It’s likely that you’ve read thousands of headlines in your lifetime. However, you may not have appreciated their importance until it came time to write your own.

While at the grocery store, look at the magazine rack.  What headline grabbed your attention?  Did you pick the magazine up to read the article?  Or did you glance over the headline and chose another?  Do you see how important headlines are?  You want your reader to pick-up your article, not to glance over it and move on to another.

Top Internet marketers consider creating headlines to be the most important part of the writing process. This is because without a strong headline, the rest of the content is simply not read. Remember as previously stated:  “Out of all the folks who read your headline, only 20% will read the article.”

Visitors decide almost instantly whether a blog is worth their time – in fact, the decision can take as little as a Half Second. Therefore, it’s vital to entice your audience and capture their attention, if you want to keep them on your site.

This means your headline can play an important part in the overall success of your website. There are a number of factors that go into building a successful headline. First, however, there are a few example of Do’s and Don’ts:


  • Too much focus on selling
  • Unclear information
  • Overly-lengthy headlines
  • Vague boring headline
  • Promise something that you can’t or won’t deliver


  • Target keywords with High Search Volume
  • Include numbers in your headline
  • Provide intriguing headline
  • Create a Sense of Urgency
  • Make a Bold Statement

These factors can instantly make people switch off or continue reading your content.  Fortunately, actually improving your headlines is a fairly easy task.

One final tip and in my opinion the most important suggestion in creating a great headline is to make it irresistible to the point that they MUST look at it.

Creating A Great Headline Is A Process!

Take the time to write out a number of contenders and keep tweaking until you get it right. For example, here’s the evolution of the headline for this article:

  1. The Dos and Don’ts Of Creating Great Headlines
  2. How To Create Great Headlines
  3. How To Write Killer Headlines That’ll Get Your Readers Attention
  4. How To Write Compelling Headlines
  5. Your Blog Needs Great Headlines
  6. 4 Suggestions To Create Compelling Headlines
  7. 4 Ways to Create Attention-Grabbing Headlines for Your Website’s Content
  8. How To Write Great Headlines – 5 Tips

A strong headline can lead to numerous benefits, such as higher site traffic and improved conversions. Therefore, it’s important to consider what makes one effective.

Here is the process I use in crafting an attention-grabbing headline or 5 tips you should consider:

1. Include Numbers and List

People love ‘numbers or lists’– articles that include number sections or steps. A list lets the reader know exactly what to expect, and offers a rough idea of how long the article will be.

This tip may seem obvious, but I couldn’t leave it out because it’s proven time and time again to be effective. People are inherently attracted to numbers and lists. They’re easy for the brain to process, and they ensure your reader that the format is going to be easy to digest.

“Numbers work well in headlines because humans like predictability and dislike uncertainty,”

A list also gives readers a clearer idea of what to expect in your post, as well as promising a quick, scan-friendly read.

Examples of suggested headlines with numbers:

  • 15 Facebook Advertising Tips for Busy People
  • 5 Things You Should Never Say When Asking for a Sale
  • 10 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Successful Marketing

List-based articles are also highly shareable via social media, and give you an easy way to link back to your own content. Including relevant data is another great way to spark interest – which you can do by finding percentages and statistics that relate to your chosen topic.

However, you don’t just want to include these numbers in your content. Instead, you can feature them in the headline itself. A headline like “Advice for Segmenting Your Email List” is vague, but “5 Ways to Segment Your Email List” is clear, actionable, and compelling. 2. Avoid Using ‘Salesy’ Language

Nobody likes the ‘hard sell’. Of course you need to generate sales, but it’s best to try and make your desired message clear rather than pushy. Similarly, you should avoid overcomplicating the headline or making it too ‘salesy’.

This is evident in headlines such as: “Ultimate Guide to Making Money Reveled.” Here, it’s evident that the author is just trying to sell you something. Instead, you’ll want to make the benefits of reading your article clear, but let your readers draw their own conclusions.

For example, you could rework the above headline to read: “10 Ways A Work From Home Program Will Make Money.”  Always remember that the purpose of a headline is to encourage people to read your content, rather than to tell them that they have to.

3. Deliver on Your Promises

It would seem like there’s little point in crafting an exciting, engaging headline if your content can’t back it up. Regardless, the use of ‘clickbait’ is becoming more frequent online – and has become a surefire way to turn potential customers away.

Don’t get too carried away in your attempts to create an interesting headline, and disguise what your article is actually about. This might create more traffic initially, but people won’t take kindly to being tricked, and your reputation will likely suffer.

An example of this kind of headline would be: “This Product Will Make You Millions of Dollars”. Not only is this incredibly vague, there’s a very good chance that it drastically over-promises on what the article will deliver.

It’s okay to promise your audience something exciting, such as the chance to learn a new skill. Just make sure that your content clearly delivers.  An example of a good headline might be: “10 Tips To Healthy Aging.” This headline is far more honest, and makes a promise that’s easy to live up to.

4. Incorporate Relevant Keywords

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always important, but can be particularly effective when used in headlines. To improve the chances that your articles will be seen in search engines, you’ll want to consider what terms readers will use to look for content like yours.

You can include one or more of those search terms within your headline. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard with this strategy.

The use of trigger words like, “what”, “why”, “how”, and “when” is also particularly effective, as these terms directly appeal to people’s need to find out more. Therefore, try to create headlines that make it clear you’ll be answering the reader’s question, such as: “How to Increase Your Blog’s Conversion Rates”.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing, and it works tremendously well when writing headlines.  Instill a sense of urgency by giving a date when a special offer expires.  In the JetBlue ad, it clearly states that by booking now you receive an extra $15 Off.  Then JetBlue uses the urgency word…Hurry!

headlines with urgency

By using the word “Hurry!” you’re urging the reader to click-through and take advantage of this limited-time offer.

You can see this type of urgency in everyday business ads.  Bed Bath & Beyond uses statements like 10% discount ends (date) xx/xx/xxxx.  Burger King uses urgency by Buy One and Get The Second at Half Price.  Subway’s ad says, for limited time buy xxxxx sandwich.  Holiday’s you see urgency ads everywhere.

Give your readers a sense of urgency that will drive them into action.

Common words used to express urgency:

So how do you add urgency to your sales promotions? Here are a few common words and methods used to express urgency.

  • ONLY
  • RUSH


Write Multiple Headlines and Vote on the Best

This is a strategy I’ve used ever since I started writing headlines for articles.  Do a complete brain dump of all the headline ideas you have. Think about ways that you can mix and match them together.

In this example, I will write 6-7-8 even up to 10 different headlines.  Many times, I will even set them aside for a day while I continue to create an article.  When the article is completed, I will go back to the headlines and review them to see how they match the ideas in the article.  I will then pick the top three headlines that best fits the completed article.

Please note: If an advertisement or a content piece lacks a great headline, it doesn’t matter how good what’s inside is. You might as well toss out the effort you spent writing it and setting up your campaign.

There’s no sense in dedicating any time to creating content or running ads if your headlines aren’t compelling. It’s like writing a wonderful book and giving it an awful cover. Potential readers won’t click to read more if there’s nothing to pique their interest.


If you want to attract a lot of website traffic, your content needs to demand attention.  In a crowded market, this may be difficult. Through the use of effective headlines, however, you can improve the chance that your content will make an impact on the readers.

In this article, I’ve covered some of the best ways to craft headlines that get you and your website noticed:

  1. Include numbers and relevant data
  2. Use easy-to-understand language that doesn’t focus on selling
  3. Ensure that your headlines deliver on their promises
  4. Incorporate relevant keywords
  5. Create a sense of urgency

Write multiple headlines and then pick the one that best fits your article.

Headlines are the life blood of your articles.  Without a great headline no one will take the time to read it.

About the Author


Bill Fletcher is a long time marketer and coach. My goal is to help anyone who is interested in building a business through a systematic approach to success. Affiliate Marketing 100 will guide you with the help of some of the best articles and coaching program available anywhere. We train you in all categories of business building and success management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *