The Secret Anatomy of a Good Headline

March 6, 2019
The Secret Anatomy of a Good Headline

If you’re reading this, I’ve inevitably caught your attention and my headline “worked.”

How did I do this? What caught your eye and made you click?

For starters, words on a page are more than just descriptors. Copywriting is the cornerstone of effective marketing.

The right choice of words have the power to compel a person to action.

When you use your words effectively, prospects are converted into customers, who will continue to come back and bring their friends.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional copywriter to create effective content and hook your reader.

Start with the basics:

  • Create a strong headline
  • Attract your reader
  • Keep them coming back for more

Why Are Headlines So Important?

Headlines are the core message of your content.

  • Summarize an idea
  • Convey a message
  • Put forth a theory

Your headline should be given as much, if not more, consideration than your content.

Our Tried and True Methods for Headlines

1. Solve a Relatable Problem

Readers love when you solve a problem for them– especially when the problem is highly relevant and the solution is valuable.

“How To” posts cut straight to the chase, and let your reader know exactly the problem your post solves.

2. Reveal a “Secret.”

Who doesn’t love to be “in the know?” Offer a fresh perspective or never-before-seen idea.

Readers seek out information, which will set them ahead of the curve.

3. Point Out a Problem

And, make them crave a solution. This tactic is especially effective when pointing out a problem that the reader did not otherwise recognize.

Thanks to you, they’re able to nip the problem in the bud, before it even manifests.

4. Guarantee Satisfaction

As humans, we are natural pleasure-seekers — we like to feel good.

Use your headline to promise positive, appealing results that your reader just can’t deny.

5. Ask a Question

By nature, questions demand answers.

When you pose a question to your reader, they will innately yearn for an answer. Ever heard the phrase, “curiosity killed the cat?” Provoke your reader’s instinct to seek information and explanation.

6. Offer Social Proof

Lead your reader into the “inner circle” of your topic.

People like to feel part of a community. Leverage the tactics of the “elite” (billionaires, happiest/healthiest people, etc.) to display how your reader can achieve specific ideals or goals.

7. Above All, BE HONEST

There is nothing worse than offering a promise that you CAN’T keep.

Your headline should never mislead or lie to your reader, for the purpose of “click bait.” If your content doesn’t deliver on your promise, your reader will inevitably feel cynical and distrusting.

Once you’ve lost credibility and trust in the eyes of your reader, it’s near impossible to gain it back.

Remember, the relationship between author and reader is one of value exchange. The reader offers their time, and you offer value. Make good on your end of the bargain by showing you value your reader’s time!


Need a refresher on good page titles for your website as well? Check out this recent post!

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