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10 Clever Headline Writing Hacks I Learned From Neil Patel That Doubled My Click Through Rate


The headline is the first part of the blog post or ad that people will see. The quality of your headline will  determine if viewers will click through to see your ad or blog post. 80-85% of people will read headlines compared to only 20% who will read your article. So having a headline which intrigues viewers to click through to the article is of utmost importance!

When it comes to social media the headline is most crucial. Most people will share you post based on the headline not the body of the blog post or ad.

Of course if you do not have any social media followers or if nobody even sees your headlines your blog posts will not get shared very much. However, it is always good to start with solid basics and maximize the views you do get. And one of the best places to start is with a great headline. Here are 10 tips to help you write headlines that get people to click through to your articles.

1. List Posts

10 ways to do this, 11 reasons why you need that. You see lists posts everywhere on blog. This is a list post. People LOVE list posts. The most popular post on this blog is a list post.

List posts are easy to read. People can jump from one point to another and get the benefits of your article right away. List posts make specific promises and the reader knows what to expect when reading the content. Here are the basics of a great list post title.

You need to start with a number. This indicates the number of points or benefits the reader should expect to get when reading the actual post.

Then you need an adjective to describe the benefit. For example you can say “11 Stunning Changes in Local SEO for 2016  That Matt Cutts Says Could Turn Your Business Upside Down.”

Stunning is an adjective which describes the noun “Changes.”

Next you need a keyword or keyword phrase. In this example “Local SEO” is the keyword phrase.

You are going to get 11 what in this title? You are going to learn 11 “Changes.” For other posts it could be “ways”, “reasons”, “secrets”, “methods” etc.

The next element is the promise. The promise is you are going to learn the changes that are going to “turn your business upside down.” The benefit is that you are going to be educated on the new changes in SEO so you can react and NOT have your business turned upside down.

These are the fundamental elements of a good list post title. List post really work well.

2. How to headlines

How to headlines that solve problems also work very well.  A good How to headline includes the action and the desired benefit. For example I could say.

Example “How I Learned to Rank for Any Competitive Keyword in Less Than 30 Days”

The action is “learning how to rank for competitive keywords.” The special benefit is that I learned to do this in less than 30 days. It is also interesting to point out that the post is in a testimonial format. I find testimonials work extremely well because they are believable. I am not just telling YOU how to do something. I am showing you how I already learned a skill. There is a big difference. People want to hear real actual experiences more than abstract theory. Testimonials sell.

Is there something you learned how to do? Share that story and you have the basis of a great headline and blog post.

3. Mistake headlines.

This really surprised me. Mistake headline work extremely well. I was looking through some of my email broadcasts and I noticed the huge open rate for headlines like “10 SEO Mistakes That Most Beginners Make.” Combining the list post with mistakes is a double whammy. Don’t you want to avoid mistakes? I sure do. I check out mistake post because I want to learn how to avoid pitfalls.

4. Asking your reader a question and directing it directly at them.

Here is an example. “Cat person or Dog person. Which one are you?” or  “10 Characteristics of a Obsessive Soccer Mom. Is This You?” Remember to ask the question directly to the reader. Do not say “What Are The Characteristics of a Crazy Soccer Mom?” Say “Do YOU Know The Traits of A Crazy Soccer Mom?”

5. Emotional headlines lead to action.

The more emotions you can trigger in a headline the better. Here is an article by somebody who analyzed 1 million headlines. Here is a tool which will help you analyze the emotional content of your titles.

6. Name dropping.

Anytime you can drop a famous name in the title this can only help. Of course, the name has to mean something to your audience.

7. Promise simple solutions.

“A simple way to make money while you sleep.” We all want simple easy solutions. Keep this in mind when you write your titles.

8. Combine standard headline with sub headline.

Example” Get more out of Twitter 12 Ways to get more Retweets on Twitter.”

9. Newsworthy headlines.

I had a video which went viral for it’s niche. The title was “How to: Make a Video Autoplay On Your Channel (QUICK TUTORIAL! 2014)” I basically copied a title from a video that was getting major views even though it was a quite poor video. I did a better video with a similar title and it really took off. Now that I analyze it at the time it was timely or newsworthy because I was given a solution to a 2014 problem. The same would apply if I found a “new way” to do something or an “updated” version. Timely and newsworthy headlines will get people to click through. It worked for me.

10. Does the title sound fun?

Attractive, clever, fun, inventive are all good adjectives to add a little spice to your titles. I am sure you can come up with more.

I learned most of these techniques from Neil Patel. You can see his detailed blog post on the subject here.

Here are some more top articles on writing effective headlines.

5 Easy Tricks to Write Catchy Headlines – Jeff Goins

How to Write Headlines That Work – Copyblogger

Writing Effective Headlines

How to Write Better Headlines [Infographic] – Hubspot

33 Easy Ways To Write A Headline – CoSchedule

19 Headline Writing Tips for Viral Blog Posts | WordStream

10 questions to help you write better headlines | Poynter.




After a career as a professional musician and band leader in the Miami South Florida Area I decided to see if I could make some money with this new internet thing. After years of trial and error I started to get the hang of it and now I am completely financially independent because of my various online businesses. The goal of this blog is to chronicle my continued marketing experiences. I focus on real examples of what works and what does not work. Google does not give us a recipe for getting our sites ranked. We have to use our own experiences to see what actually works rather than theory. I hope you enjoy the blog. Please let us know what you think in the comments area. We appreciate your feedback.