13 Basic Tips to Write Better Headlines

Write Better Headlines - Header Image

“If you’re  a beginner, you should know these. If you’re an expert, you should know these.”

Some headlines work better than others.

There’s a reason.

Your headlines are the doors to your content – they decide how likely your readers are going to pay attention to your hard work.

You may be phenomenal. Your words, prodigious. But unfortunately, you readers don’t have X-ray eyes. They see the headline first and decide whether they should read further after that.

Writing better headlines doesn’t have to be tough. You can learn it. Right now.

Here are the basic rules to write better headlines

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy

Note: These are some simple and straightforward rules. No fancy stuff or unethical ideas to manipulate your readers. I believe there’s still some place left for honesty in the marketing industry.

1. Use the right adjectives

Using the right adjective in an headline can instantly leverage its value, and create a better impact.

Headline: How to Create Sketches

Better headline: How to Create Beautiful Sketches.


2. Arouse mystery and curiosity

Don’t write your headlines like statements. Keep them relevant, but adjust them such that your readers would want to look at the whole post.

Headline: Donald Trump Won the Election 

Better headline: Why Donald Trump Won the Election 

3. Stir emotions

You write content because you wish to express certain feelings, right? You can express the same thoughts through headlines to connect better with people. Make them feel through words.

Headline: Makeup Tips to Make You Look Better

Better Headline:  Makeup Tips That Can Make Heads Turn

In the second example, it’s easier to make audience imagine the actual outcome.

4. Be succinct

Can the headline you wrote it be shortened further? People read snappy headlines. They’re easy to read.

Headline:  5 Ways for Fat People to Become Very Fast Runners

Better headline: 5 Ways for Fat People to Run Faster

5. Be honest

Make promises in your headlines only when your content would deliver the expected value. Don’t fool people with alluring headlines and then present average content. Respect their time.

Deceptive headline: ShOcKiNg Invention Which Allow Humans to See Through the Walls!!

Actual Content: The name of that invention is … a window.

Don’t do that.

6. Don’t clickbait

Unless you’re a spammer who has no principles, avoid clickbaits. Not only they’d harm your brand, but also degrade audience perception.

Clickbait Batman Meme

7. Be precise about your audience

It pays off to be precise about an audience segment when crafting headlines. This makes them feel like the content is customised for them.

Their expectations are met.

Also, make sure that your content is actually for the audience you’ve mentioned in the headline.

Headline: Grammatical Mistakes Writers Make

Better Headline: Grammatical Mistakes Non-native English Writers Make

8. Keep them short

Just in case your content covers a lot of topics, and represents a broad subject, then highlight only the important part.

Skip the rest, as search engines hide about anything beyond 70 characters.

Headline: How to Earn by Using Small Business to Live a Life Working on Your Passion to Be Happy

Better headline:  How to Start a Business to Happily Follow Your Passion

9. Be artistic

There are no hard rules. No conventions. You have the freedom to write your headlines you own way. You’re free to create magic. Create magic!

For instance, there’s a post on Copyblogger by Fake Grimlock called “BECAUSE AWESOME!

10. Avoid complicated words and jargon

Headlines are for people.

Write the language they understand. They don’t expect you to impress them or flaunt your rhetoric. Good headlines explain more, and are easy to understand.

Headline: Why WordPress is the Quintessential CMS

Better headline: Why WordPress is the Ideal Blogging Platform

11. Write what you’d google

Do keyword research, or use the queries shown in related search suggestions. Though, a natural way to create a search friendly headline is to search like your audience would.

12. Don’t rely too much on automation

Tools like the Hubspot Idea Generator and Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer can help your craft perfect headlines.

That doesn’t mean you can’t write impressive headlines manually. In the end, it’s about humans. Be original and trust your instincts.

13. Forget this advice

Write the way your heart asks you to.

The internet is too chaotic. While it can make you smarter, it will snatch your identity. It will turn you into someone else if you’re easily manipulated, or if you’re a beginner.

So the best way to get better at writing headlines is to rather learn the rules before you break them, and then genuinely come up with your own style.

Here’s a simple template of evergreen headlines to get you started

At the initial phase of content marketing, you might often struggle to come up with relevant ideas in your niche.

I created a template which works for almost every arena, you name it. It’s a simple PDF document which contains all ideas along with example. I had created it to help (myself) and others.

Request: You can directly get the PDF document here. Though, I’d be thankful if you download it by subscribing to the newsletter below to show your appreciation for my work.


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