6 Principles That Helped Me Write Effective Headlines - Deepstash
6 Principles That Helped Me Write Effective Headlines

6 Principles That Helped Me Write Effective Headlines


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6 Principles That Helped Me Write Effective Headlines

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No one will read your articles if your headline is not good enough

You drive the audience into your writing through the title. If no one clicks on your heading, you won't have any readers.

However, headline writing is a skill you can master.


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Write clearly for the benefit of your readers

Online readers need prompt satisfaction and quick solutions. Great headlines focus on the reader's benefit.

When you write a new story, ask what specific benefit it has for the reader? For example,  "The Feynman Technique Can Help You Remember Everything You Read."


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Find an angle that attracts a broad audience

If you’d like to attract a broad audience, consider what other people might find interesting about your chosen topic.  The title should be specific yet appeal to a large audience. For example, "If You Want to Be Rich, Spend Your Time Buying Assets."

When you write your headline, ask:

  • Why should many readers care?
  • Who is this relevant for?
  • Is my topic broad enough?


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People only share stuff on the internet that makes them look smart or helpful. 

Think about which angle is share-worthy for your readers in your article. To make your readers look smart or helpful, create headlines where you solve a specific problem for them. If they find the solution useful, they'll share it.  For example, "The 7 Emails You Should Send Every Week to Get Ahead in Your Career."


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Don’t copy past headlines

Old headlines lack novelty. What was popular last year won't go viral this year. Instead, people want to read stories with a spiky point. A spiky point of view is someone's unique and slightly controversial perspective that brings fresh ideas to the conversation.

To discover a spiky point of view, ask:

  • What is something I strongly believe but others might disagree with?
  • What do most people like but I can’t stand?
  • What is something that I stand by but isn’t (yet) accepted by society?
  • Most people think X, but it's really Y.
  • How I got a good result without conventional advice.


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Readers who notice a well-known name in a title are more likely to click because those people already have expertise in their fields. If you have a particular experience that can be useful for others, you can add self-proof to your heading.

For example:

  • Tim Ferriss’s Recent Change of Heart Shows How Self-Improvement Can Fail You
  • 12 Months Ago I Drank Ayahuasca — Here’s How My Life Has Changed Since


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People click on headlines that cause specific emotions

If you can make others feel curiosity, anger, or joy when they read your headings, they'll click. However, be aware that half of your readers will dislike it if you share something controversial and might leave angry comments.

Examples of  how to awaken emotions: 

  • An Elderly Mathematician Hacked the Lottery for $26 Million
  • Today I Learned Something About My Boyfriend That No Girl Should Ever Have to Discover


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