7 Ruthlessly Manipulative Techniques Grifters Use to Get You to Click On ANY Headline


Your headline is more important than even your content. The headline is the first thing people see when deciding to click on your YouTube video, blog post, article or classified ad.

(Note: I realize this headline is a bit over the top but I was trying to make a point through some exaggeration and hyperbole. Remember, do as I say not as I do!)

If your headline or title does not arouse enough curiosity in the reader they will not click and never see your content. It is  huge mistake to not spend time writing a provocative. headline.

Your Headline Is The First Thing Your Reader Sees. It Had Better Grab Their Attention or They Will Never Even See Your Content!

It does not matter what the content is. If people do not have enough interest to click through then your message will never be viewed, read or heard.

I have compiled some techniques from various masters of copyrighting to help you write fantastic, irresistible headlines.

#1 Use Specific Numbers and Data in Your Headline

Researchers have found that content that uses numbers get shared far more frequently. Our brains are attracted to numbers because they help us immediately organize the information. A single small odd numbered digit like 7 is just easy for our minds to latch onto.

How many blog posts have you seen like this: “7 Ways to Make Money From Home” or “5 Ways to Lost Weight Quickly“?

There is a reason savvy copyrighters use this format it works!

  • A number is catchier than a word
  • Small numbers are more easily accepted than large numbers
  • Odd numbers are more credible than even numbers.

7 seems to be a magic number. People just like clicking on it. Make sure you use the actual number 7 not seven. Tests have shown that we need to see the number itself.  The brain has a hard time handling more than 9 items at a time. So targeting 7 specific items may be more effective than talking about 101 different points.

#2 Give Compelling Reasons For Clicking on Your Content

Did you know that most people share content without even reading beyond the headline? Here are some good reasons for people to share and read your content:

  • Tips
  • Reasons
  • Lessons
  • Tricks
  • Ideas
  • Ways
  • Principles
  • Facts
  • Secrets
  • Strategies

Here are some examples:

5 Tips on How to Write Irresistible Headlines Even if You Are Barely Literate

7 Lessons I Learned The Hard Way While Hitchhiking Through North East Afghanistan

17 Universal Principles Agreed Upon By The World’s Best Copywrighters

9 Legal Facts You Need to Know Before Writing Potentially Manipulative Headlines

5 Secret Strategies Professional Copywriters Will Never Tell You

#3 Get Their Attention

You are competing with 1000’s of other articles, blogs, videos, and advertisements. Your headline must grab the attention and curiosity of your prospect.

Your entire goal should be to get the reader to read the first sentence of your article. If you can get the reader to click the headline and read your first sentence you are 90% the way there.

Here are some tips on how to get your reader’s attention.

  1. Make the title unique. 
  2. Be super specific
  3. Create a sense of urgency
  4. Provide valuable, practical or useful information.

For example the title of this blog post could have been “17 Ways to Write Better Headlines.” This is actually not bad because I am using the number technique and I am offering useful information.

Your Entire Goal is To Get Your Reader To Read The First Sentence of Your Content.

However, there are many bloggers with similar blog post headlines out there. However, there is nobody with this headline: “7 Ruthlessly Manipulative Techniques Grifters Use to Get You to Click On ANY Headline”

So this headline definitely scores points on originality and uniqueness.

2. If I wanted to take the same title and be specific I could say: “7 Ruthlessly Manipulative Techniques Tony Robbins Uses to Get You to Click On ANY Headline”

On this headline I am speaking about a specific person, Tony Robbins. If my blog is a self help motivational type blog this title will appeal specifically to my audience. 

The idea is to write content specifically for my niche and audience and tailor the title exactly for this audience.

Tailor Your Content As Specifically As Possible To Your Audience

3. It is hard to include all the elements in one title. There is no sense of urgency in any of my headlines. If I was to focus on a sense of urgency I could say: “7 Ruthlessly Manipulative Techniques Tony Robbins Uses to Get You to Click On ANY Headline (Available for 24 Hours Only”

By writing “Available for 24 Hours Only” I am putting a time limit on the content therefore creating  a sense of urgency. Another example is when you shop on Amazon and you see a product marked “Only 3 left in stock!”

If we are considering a purchase and we potentially could miss out we are more likely to take action.

4. Providing something useful is always an effective way to get people to click on your headline. Here are the titles of some email broadcasts that I have done recently which had a high percentage of opens.

3 New Free Classified Ad Submitters

Osclass Submitter Updated Submits to 19 High Traffic Sites on Autopilot!

The first headline offers something very practical and it was for free. This headline was simple but extremely effective. The YouTube video with this same headline also has been receiving a good amount of organic views.

The 2nd headline is specific to my audience. Notice I put “Updated.” The reason is that many in my audience are familiar with this software. I am letting them know this is a new version. Also the software is obviously very practical and I am using the number technique by mentioning “19 Sites.

I could have improved this title by writing “Updated 2022” instead of just “Updated.” Using a specific number helps focus the reader’s attention. Another improvement would be to say something like “Only 7 licenses left!” This would have created a sense of urgency and would also have used the magic number 7.

#4 Flag The Reader

Marketer Dan Kennedy discusses this technique. It simple refers to using “You” in the headline. For example “7 Ways You Can Learn To Write Irresistible Headlines Quickly.”

When you use “You” in the headline you are calling out the reader and this creates more engagement. You are getting personal with your reader.

#5 Get Emotional!

Arousing emotion is an excellent way to motivate your reader. Power words are words that arouse emotion in your reader. Here is a list of 401 power words you can use in your headlines:

Power Words

You can download this list of power words in pdf format from Sumo here.

Power words charge your headlines with emotional energy. The more emotional energy in your headlines the more chances your reader will click and read your first sentence.

Warning! Your power words have to make sense with your content. You cannot just load your headlines full of emotional charged words that have nothing to do with your content. You will lose credibility with your audience if your headlines make no sense.

Here are some examples of headlines with Power Words:

7 Ridiculous Techniques I Used to Get Rid of Writer’s Block

5 Odd Copywriting Techniques for Lazy Writers

Should I Feel Guilty by Divulging These 3 Highly Controversial Copywriting Tricks? You Be The Judge.

#6 Name Dropping and Trend Surfing

Who are the most respected and popular people in your niche? Is there any way you can include them in your headline. Notice before I mentioned “Tony Robbins” in the headline. If my content was about personal improvement it might not hurt to relate my content to Tony Robbins.

Prospects in your niche are undoubtedly searching for the top people in your niche. If you can tie your brand to them somehow and “surf” on their popularity why not?

Again it has to make sense and be valuable for the reader.

#7 Using Formulas

If you are really stumped you can use various set formulas to create headlines. Here are a few examples:

Little Known Ways Formula.

7 Little Known Ways to Make Your Headlines Hilarious

5 Little Known Secrets Used By Neil Patel to Make You Click on Headlines

3 Little Known Lessons On How to Write Amazing Headlines

Using “Little Know” adds some cache and curiosity to your headlines.

The Get Rid Of Formula

How to Get Rid of Your Weak Headlines And Write Headlines That Convert
Get Rid of Your Lousy Headlines Once and For All With These 7 Copyrighting Techniques
Get Rid of Your Low Converting Ads With These Amazing Headline Writing Tips!

If you can “get rid” of a problem you are providing useful information and solving your reader’s problem. Anytime you can identify and solve your reader’s problem you have a much better chance of getting their attention.

I hope you found this article helpful. If so please share on social media. Also, if you have your own ideas on how to write great headlines please let me know in the comments section.

Here are more articles on writing great headlines:

17 Headlines Spammers Used to Trick Me Into Clicking!

How to Write Headlines: a Step-by-Step Guide- Neil Patel

How to Create Winning Headlines in 9 Simple Steps – Crazy Egg

Headline Writing: 19 Ways to Write Irresistible Headlines


Much Success,

Matthew May






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.