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How to Write Hypnotic Headlines That Drive People to Your Blog

blog headlinesLast Update December 14th, 2014

People will never read your blog posts if the headline is more fizzle than sizzle.

Even people who've subscribed to your blog by email will read the headline first to decide if they want to read the post or not.

Sadly, if your blog headline doesn't seem to help with their problem, or doesn't arouse their curiosity, they'll never read the post at all. You can put those violins away though and make sure your blog posts get read by learning how to write hypnotic headlines that people actually click on.

I can't teach you how to write good headlines, give you any set formulas or wave a magic wand to turn you into a top writer overnight, but I can give you some ideas, resources, and motivation so you can learn the art of headline writing for yourself.

A blog headline should immediately tell people what the blog post is about and give them a  great reason to read it. If you write a hypnotic headline, you'll:

  • Get more readers
  • Win incoming links
  • Gain new subscribers

Hypnotic Blog Headlines to Get You Started

Some of the most popular types of blog posts and are easily translated into great headlines. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Ask a question - Questions are a good way to arouse readers' curiosity, make them want to find out more and give them a pressing need to go ahead and read the full story.

  • Is starting a blog the hardest part?
  • Are anti-wrinkle creams all they're cracked up to be?
  • Confused by affiliate marketing?
  • Would you Travel 1,846 Miles for this Man?
  • Do you know why networking's crucial for blogging success?

2. Ask Why - Try to solve a common or persistent problem your readers have.

  • Why you need to write killer headlines for your blog
  • Why I got headhunted for a vacation
  • Why do people love to travel?
  • Why time management is dumb
  • Why I'll always back up my work from now on

3. How to – Help your readers do something better, faster, in simple steps or with confidence.

  • How to work out what your dream is fast
  • How to break the blogging rules with panache
  • How to sleep soundly
  • How to stay focused in 9 words
  • How to use Twitter as a motivational tool

4. Numbered lists – A popular staple for a reason because people love numbered lists. I was scathing of this when I started blogging and wrote 101 ways to feel happy as a joke because I hated the idea of list posts. The joke was on me as it went on to become one of the most popular posts on my blog at that time. List posts are also a great fall back plan if you're in a hurry. Compared to other types of blog posts they can be written quickly and easily.

  • 10 ways to get the life you want
  • 3 keys to living your dream life
  • 101 ways to feel happy
  • 5 instructions for better writing
  • 7 good reasons to go for a walk

5. Best or worst – Make your readers curious and give them a handy reference they'll keep coming back to.

  • Best and worst things about living in Australia
  • Worst blogging mistakes and how to fix them
  • Best blogs to go for blog writing tips
  • Worst blog designs ever
  • Best ways to network using social media

Advanced Headline Honing Techniques

If you've read this far, great!  You must have liked the post headline and you deserve to know that I had fun brainstorming and wrote over 30 headlines before picking the one I thought would work best. Here are a few other headline techniques I've experimented with:

  • Court controversy with your headlines - "Why time management is dumb"
  • Experiment with rhyme - "Don't delay, subscribe today"
  • Use alliteration – "Best business blogs"
  • Use buzz words like 'killer' or 'awesome' that will appeal to your readers - "Killer ways to travel for less"
  • Cite celebrities or popular culture - "A surfer's guide to success" or "In bed with Seth Godin"
MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  How DO You Write a Blog Post? The Ultimate Guide

Those are just a few ideas for writing hypnotic headlines. Now you just need to practice.

Lot of practice.

Remember that even top copy writers like Brian Clark,  Roberta Rosenberg, and Sonia Simone have spent years practicing and improving their writing skills.

If you want more ideas for writing blog headlines I recommend Copyblogger's Magnetic Headlines series.

Another great resource is Sean D'Souza's report: "Why do most headlines fail?"

Last Word on Blog Headline Writing Tips

  • Focus on creating headlines that show you give useful value to your readers.
  • Get in the habit of scanning newspapers and magazines to see which headlines stand out. Make a note of great headlines and see how you can customize them to make them work on your blog.
  • Plan your attention grabbing headlines first then write the post to fit them.
  • Try to keep your blog titles short but if they have to be long don't worry, just bear in mind that people may not see the whole headline so get the most important words in first.
  • Make sure the font size for your headlines is big enough so people know they're headlines. You've spent time creating headlines you can be proud of, now make sure people can read them.
  • Finally the most important tip of all is to have fun writing your blog headlines.

Remember those top copywriter I mentioned before ~ Brian, Roberta and Sonia? They didn't get good at writing by reading about writing. They didn't get good at headline writing by thinking about writing. They got good at headline writing just like you will: by practicing it lots and accepting that it's never going to be perfect but can only get better.

Blog Headline Writing Practice

1. Come up with 5 headlines for your blog from the styles above: How to, why, question, numbered list and best or worst. If you've got categories on your blog, come up with 5 titles for the headline styles above that you could actually use on your blog.

For example, if you have 5 categories on your blog that will be 25 headlines. Don't worry if you don't have all the information you need to actually write the post. Just try to come up with titles your readers should find interesting.

Have fun with it, channel you inner tabloid newspaper editor and concentrate on writing as many titles as you can. You can always edit and refine them later.

2. Go back through your blog archives and see if there are any boring headlines. If you find some improve them or come up with better headlines on the same topic that you can write about another time or just change the headline so more people read it.

3. Leave a comment with your favorite headline from your blog and or any other blog or if you need help with a blog post headline, tell us the original fizzer headline, and we'll see if we can come up with ways to make it sizzle. Let's use the comments to workshop blog headlines and help each other hone hypnotic headlines.

Don't Delay Subscribe Today

If you like what you see here remember to subscribe so you don't miss out on the rest of the Blog Writing Magic series. In the weeks to come I'll tackle:

  • Blog content writing
  • Post layout
  • Editing
  • Writing practice

I look forward to seeing you here again soon. Thank you for reading and happy writing!

Click here to get your free "Blog Writing Magic" eBook.

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85 comments on “How to Write Hypnotic Headlines That Drive People to Your Blog”

  1. Hi, thank you so much for your posts. I have thought that my posts were too long and filled with too much inspiration and now you've inspired me to continue giving information that will help them improve what they do. I signed up this morning and received great content. Lisbeth

  2. Been through this process over and over again myself. In the past didn't used to give the headlines of my articles a big thought not until I started reading about their importance. As you've rightly pointed out, it's not something you can master in a day, it's a never ending process of trying and refining. These days I go over three to four different headlines before eventually settling down for one and it doesn't end there, a couple of days, weeks or months later, I tweak one or two post's headlines again. In all, I just think it's the practice of the habit that leads to mastery in anything.

    Great Post as expected. Thanks!

  3. Hi! Thanx for another great post - and so relevant to my blog (as always). I aim to make my blog posts - about my adventures in Australia - unique, helpful, informative, inspiring ... but also humorous. While I think they're catchy, I struggle with balancing my headline info between being too informative (boring), too unique (so esoteric no one knows what it's about) and too humorous (can come across as flippant).

    I'll be using your tips to strike that balance!

    Thanx again for a great post.

    Marion

  4. This is an awesome article. I struggle the most with headlines. I think it’s a little bit of the “testing” syndrome. KWIM? When you know that a test really counts for something, you freeze. Like SATs! I know the headline is so important so I overthink it.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my site. Am slowing working my way through your "newbie" archives. This is the best post I've seen across the web on writing headlines, hands down!

  6. Hey, thanks fo the informative article. I took notes on this. Funny thing I always thoght you should write the article first then add the headline afterwards. I will have to try it way and see the results.
    Suzanne

  7. The best way to write online headlines is to give your reader some sort of news that they will benefit from, but also make them feel as if you've left something out so they want to find out more.

  8. So many great suggestions. Another helpful tip is to mix things up. Try not to use the same type of headline two or three times in a row. Using different styles of headlines keeps things fresh and interesting....the last thing you want is a boring blog.

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