It's 11 am on Monday and your blog post needs to be published by 1 pm. Need some headline inspiration?
Don't use these ideas just for posts – you can use this cheat sheet for any headline you write– email subject lines, blog post headlines, social media posts, etc.
HINT: You can also use them when you're stuck for ideas of what to write about!
1. Call Out Your Reader – Is your reader somehow missing the boat? Call them on it in the headline.
2. Offer a Proposition – If you give me 5 minutes, I'll show you how to erase 10 years from your face.
3. Be Shocking – This one is a little risky but the benefit can be tremendous. Note: Be sure you're not using shock value simply for the sake of shock – it's also got to tie directly into your message.
4. Be an Advocate – Your reader has enemies, so take the position of advocate for your reader. For example, if you're offering natural remedies, the enemy might be profit seeking drug companies pushing pills to make a fast buck.
5, Curiosity – The more curious, the better. People have an insatiable need to KNOW, so if you can make them curious enough in the headline, they won't be able to leave until they find the answer in your copy.
6. Odd Cause and Effect – Can you erase acne with your product? Or maybe show someone how to increase their income by spending MORE? Then you have a great headline.
7. Let’s Make a Deal! – Are you making a dynamite offer that gives tremendous value for a relatively low price? Or offering tremendous benefits just for reading your blog post? Then state it right there in the headline.
8. Offer Revenge – Who doesn't want to get even with the person who did them wrong? Promise them in your headline that they can, and they'll read your copy to the end.
9. Tell a Story – No, you won't tell the whole story in the headline, but you can get a good start on one. What happens when someone says to you, “Once upon a time…” You're riveted, right? It's in our programming to listen closely to stories, and they are still one of the best, yet least used tools in our marketing arsenals.
10. Ask a Hot Question – “Do you know 4 ways to make $1000 cash in the next 3 hours?” “How can you get people to obey your every wish?” You get the idea.
11. Do the “If” or “When” Shuffle – “If you like ___, you'll love ___.” or “When you take these 3 steps, you'll get this benefit.”
12. Do the “If” and “Then” Sequence – “If you do x, then you'll get y.”
13. Show Frustration – “Don't you hate it when you spend an hour writing the perfect email – and no one responds?”
14. Name Drop – “Jon Morrow confided to me that…”, or, “JLo says the best weight loss product on the planet is…”
15. Hit The Emotional Button – “Stop living in fear of…” Few things grab your readers' or prospects' attention like accessing their emotions.
16. Use a Startling/Bizarre/Attention Grabbing Photo/Picture – Have you seen those posts that use weird faces? Usually, the picture has nothing to do with it, but you look anyway. If you can find an attention-grabbing photo that DOES go with your writing, by all means place it at the top. Photos that need explanation are the best since people will read your copy to find out what's happening in the picture.
17. Use Urgency – Setting a deadline in the headline eliminates the reader's desire to procrastinate reading what you've got to say. “World Ends at 5 p.m. Today!”
18. Be Scandalous – Can you create a scandal or expose one in your niche? Then you may have the hottest headline yet.
19. Confirm Their Fear – if your readers already hold a fear or a suspicion, go ahead and confirm it – they'll appreciate the validation and be open to what you have to say.
20. Debunk a Myth – Is there a common line of thought in your niche that just isn't true? Debunk it and you'll be the instant authority in your reader's eyes.
21. Make a Bold Prediction – go out on that limb to make a startling prediction and not only will people read your writing – they're also more likely to remember what you say.
22. Break News – being one of the first to report a new development makes for a great headline and excellent reading. And you'll get more eyeballs coming back to your site.
23. Attack – Your readers don't like something or someone – maybe it's as mundane as housework, or perhaps it's the government, the media, banks or the drudgery of answering emails. Whatever it is, attack it head on and then offer a solution.
24. Offer a Cheaper, Easier, Faster or Better Solution – Your readers have problems and you've got a superior solution, so let them know that in the headline
25. Use an Off-The-Wall or Compelling Quote – “You Can't Handle The Truth!” or “I Buy When Other People Are Selling” come to mind.
When you write a good headline, it taps into the psychological triggers that are hard-wired into the human mind. Click To TweetStudy great headlines. Practice and play with the ones you see in magazines and ads and come up with some new ideas.
So, the next time you're stuck for a title, just refer back here to get your creative juices flowing. Or even better, download this post as a PDF and save it for the next time you need an idea for the post that's due in 2 hours!