Headlines have often been described as the “gatekeeper of your content” and this is absolutely the case. Anytime a visitor considers reading your post, the first thing they see is the headline, and they will only click if it grabs their attention and promises to teach them something or solve a problem they have.
Epic headlines do not come in one single form. Instead, there are multiple types of headlines and best practices you should follow to create incredibly alluring titles for your posts. Today I will show you characteristics of a great headline, and the top five formats that always win results.
The Characteristics of a Great Headlines
Headlines come in all shapes and sizes, but if we’re talking about the basic characteristics of one that works and provides results, this is what you should be seeking to accomplish:
These “four’s of headlines” aren’t something you can accomplish with every headline you write, but you can seek to target a few of them for every headline you write as a baseline for your headline format.
From here, you should consider headline structures that produce the best results and find out which one is best for your topic.
5 Headlines Formats That Earn Clicks
If we stop to consider the definition of a blog, we see that it is merely a collection of posts, all of which have headlines. These headlines are what make or break the success of a blog. Let’s explore the five most popular types of headlines that you can use on your own website.
One of the most common types of headline used is the How-to headline. This headline type is important because it helps readers solve a problem. By providing the readers a solution to a problem you are offering them valuable content for their time. Readers are always searching for tutorials or how-to guides online to problem solve.
Examples of How-to-Headlines:
- “How to Change Your Car’s Oil”
- “How to Successfully Start a Blog”
- “How to Plan, Cook, and Host a Holiday Dinner Party”
- “How to Start Your Own Business Online”
- “DIY – The Art of How to Do It Yourself”
- “How to Properly Dress for a Job Interview”
- “How to Make Your Proposal Unforgettable”
- Numbered Lists
Numbered Lists are another popular type of headline because they are so successful. This type of headline offers the reader a specific expectation of what is to be expected from the content. With a Numbered List, there is a quantifiable return for the time of the reader. This type of headline also provides an effective and attention grabbing headline for your content.
Examples of Numbered Lists:
- “8 Ways to Cut Cost for Your Wedding”
- “5 Amazing and Inexpensive Places to Vacation”
- “10 Ways to Boost Your Online Business”
- “7 Ways to Getting More Traffic to Your Blog”
- “15 Ways to Declutter and Reorganize Your Workspace”
- “3 Signs You May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep”
- “30 Ways to Organize Your Life”
- Pose a Question
This type of headline is a great way to engage readers. By posting a question, you engage the readers and grab their attention. Most people will read a question and want to know the answer to the posed question. The Pose a Question Headline type is also a successful way to build traffic by posting a debatable question, and asking the readers to share their own thoughts in the comments.
Examples of Pose a Question:
- “Can a Blog Really Increase My Online Business?”
- “Is There Health Benefits to Having Pet Around?”
- “Which Candidate Is a Better Choice for President?”
- “Are You Truly Eating Healthy?”
- “Should You Create an LLC or a Corporation?
- “SEO, Are You Using It Effectively?”
- “Can You Live On the Road and Still Make Money?”
- Negative Headlines
Negative Headlines engage readers with content that helps them avoid mistakes. This type of headline offers readers preventative knowledge.No one wants to willingly make mistakes, therefore, readers are likely to read content about how to avoid downfalls and errors.
Examples of Negative Headlines:
- “Avoid These Fatal Blogging Mistakes”
- “The Worst Colors and Fonts to Use for Your Blog”
- “Avoid These Mistakes When Naming Your Business”
- “Don’t Make These Common Mistakes While Cooking”
- “Stop Using These Outdated SEO Tactics”
- “Don’t Ever Do This While On a First Date”
- “The Worst Foods to Eat While Trying to Lose Weight”
- Explantation Headline
Explantation Headlines is another common headline type that offers readers the “why” to a stated question. This type of headline is successful because it creates an open loop to the reader’s mind. By creating this openness and curiosity readers will read your content to find out the explanation.
Examples of Explantation Headline:
- “Why Most Marriages Don’t Last”
- “What Causes Most New Businesses to Fail”
- “Why Drinking Coffee Could Increase Your Productivity”
- “What Successful Writers Did When They First Started”
- “Why Bloggers Are So Successful”
- “Why Virtual Reality is the Future of Gaming and Entertainment”
- “Why Your Should Delete Your Facebook”
Headlines are perhaps the most important part of your content. When you’re creating them, always consider how you can best entice the reader to click and read your content.
How do you craft irresistible headlines?
Let us know in the comments!
This is a Guest Contribution.
Kevin Kilgore is an experienced blogger with over a decade of experience. He knows that headlines are at the heart of every successful post and seeks to help others write their own.