Would you like to master the art of writing hot blog headlines? After all, there's no doubt your headline is the most important part of your blog post.
While honing the art of writing hot headlines may take a while the good news is there's no need to reinvent the wheel.
In How to Write Hypnotic Headlines I recommended five highly successful headline formulas. If you haven't read it you should check out the post but to sum up the five headline formulas are:
- Numbered list;
- How to;
- Best or Worst;
- Asking a question.
Just using those five formulas there will be hundreds of different possible headline permutations for your blog topics.
Many small business bloggers may never need to go beyond those headlines and some blogs (and their readers) are so enamored with list headlines that's all they ever use.
But if you're getting bored with those formulas your readers might be too and, if you're blogging to showcase your writing skills, you'll want to be more creative. So get ready to branch out and experiment more with your headlines.
Here are five more hot headline writing formulas for you to play around with and you'll see that some of the examples are a potent combination of two different headline formulas.
If you want to expand your headline horizons further check out Copyblogger's blog headline tips but if you just want to make sure your headlines attract the right readers to your blog here are five ideas to get you started fast.
1. Famous Example Headline
There's nothing like a big name to draw the crowds. The secret here is to take a well-known person, movie or TV series then find the overlap with you topic. A few examples:
- 10 Blogging Lessons From the Dalai Lama
- In Bed With Seth Godin
- How to get more attention than Lady Gaga
- Pooh Bear's Guide to Living a Long and Happy Life
- Luke Skywalker's Parenting Tips
2. Top 10 Headline
A slight variation on the numbered list this arouses curiosity by making people want to see what makes the grade, what doesn't and, above all, if they agree with your choices. For example:
- Top 10 Tips for Traveling With Kids
- Top 10 Blogs With Blogging Tips
- Top 10 Reasons Blogger Do It Better
- Top 10 Holiday Hot Spots for 2012
- Top 10 Toddler Taming Tricks
3. Buzz Words
There are a few words that people can't resist like new, secret and odd. It's strange but true that headlines with these words in will have a higher click-through rate than the same headline without them.
Other powerful words are killer, essential and free but use the last one carefully. Emails with a subject line including the word “free” often end up in the spam folder and, of course, you don't want to mislead your readers. Some fun examples:
- 21 Killer Gift Ideas for Bloggers
- How to Fly Anywhere, Anytime Free – Guaranteed
- Odd Ways to Travel, Eat and Sleep Free
- 21 Essential Tools for Bloggers (That Don’t Cost a Bean)
- 5 Secret Sydney Beaches
4. You or Your Headlines
These headlines speak to your readers directly and let them know that your post will solve their exact problems.
- How Will Blogging Help YOU?
- Live Your Dream in a Material World
- 9 Twitter Tactics: What Works for You?
- 7 Secrets for Changing Your Life
- Can You Make Money From Blogging?
5. The Hot Content: Reason You Can't Miss it Headline
- My First Kiss: Love Lessons Learnt in France
- Blogging Tips A-Z: B for Branding
- Video Book Review: Uncertainty By Jonathan Fields
- Blog Design for Authors Case Study: Seana Smith
- 9 Twitter Tactics: What Works for You?
So channel your inner tabloid editor, have fun when you write your blog headlines and remember these two things:
1. You don't want to mislead readers so make sure you deliver the goods your headline promises in the body of your blog post.
2. When you're learning anything there will be failures along the way – the art of writing hot headlines takes time to master so start practicing now.
What's your most successful headline ever? It's probably the blog post which had more retweets, Facebook shares or comments than any other post. Please share it in the comments, we'd love to know.