How do you write effective headlines?
The truth is, how well your writing performs is directly correlated to how effective your headline is at STOPPING the reader in their tracks, getting them to pause, think, “I need to read this,” click, and give you their attention. If your headline does not accomplish this goal, you do not have an effective headline.
So, before we dive into headline templates anyone can use, let’s recap what makes a good headline in the first place.
The first question all writers ask when they hear our methodologies on writing effective headlines is, “Isn’t that clickbait?”
No—and here’s why.
It’s only clickbait if you fail to keep your promise to the reader. If you write a really compelling headline and then the content doesn’t deliver, it’s clickbait. You baited the reader with a big promise, and then failed to deliver on that promise.
However, if you write a headline with a big promise and then KEEP your promise, the reader isn’t going to sit there and think, “Meh. This piece was really helpful but I don’t like that I got clickbaited into reading it.” No, they’re going to think the opposite. In fact, they’re not even going to remember how or why they clicked the headline. They’re going to be too busy sharing the piece with 3 of their friends, saying, “You have to read this.”
There is almost no finer example of this on the Internet than Naval Ravikant’s Twitter thread, “How To Get Rich (Without Getting Lucky.”
By every definition, this title should be considered “clickbait.” It follows that tried-and-true formula of creating a Curiosity Gap for the reader, is clear about WHAT it’s about, WHO it’s for, and makes a pretty big PROMISE (“Get rich without being lucky? I’m in!”).
And yet, to date, it has 53,000 Retweets, 9,000 Quote Tweets, 168,000 Likes, and too many comments to count.
Now, did Naval’s iconic, Twitter-breaking Twitter thread rack up all those metrics simply because it “clickbaited” readers? Of course not.
This Twitter thread accumulated tens of millions of impressions, sparked conversations all over the world, and continues to circulate within the Twittersphere because the headline makes a big PROMISE and the content delivers on that promise.
So remember, headlines have formulas for a reason.
However, your content has to deliver on the promise you make in your headline.
A great headline with sub-par content will attract a tiny bit of attention for a short period of time (and then readers will catch on—and hate you for it).
But a great headline with legendary content will continue to circulate on the Internet, get bookmarked, saved, referenced, and linked to over and over again—long into the future.
We break down the 10 most important headline formulas in detail in our Headline Mastery course (with 5 bonus headline formulas if you really want to *stand out*).
But here are 25 headline templates to help you get started.
Are you struggling to write compelling headlines?
We have created a whole mini-course called Headline Mastery 100% dedicated to learning the art of writing clear, descriptive, high-voltage headlines.
Watch the preview below to get a sense of what we cover in the mini-course.
You can sign up for Headline Mastery here.