The Ultimate How-To Guide for Creating Awesome Headlines

It is a bit of a conundrum that we live in a world where information is only a few clicks away, yet the average internet user has an amazingly short attention span.

In fact, while longer and more in-depth content performs better from a SEO perspective, the truth is that people typically only skim the headlines and headers.

Since the headline you choose may be your only chance to impress a perspective reader, it is actually one of the most crucial parts of your writing.

Yet, what constitutes an amazing and spectacular headline that generates traffic?

Knowing What Types of Content Perform Best

While you may wonder what the type of content has to do with writing amazing headline, the fact is that some types of content undoubtedly perform better than others and it shows with the headlines.

When the headline contains something that indicates what type of content the reader can expect, you can expect readers to click-through more and share via social media more often.

Some of the most popular content types have headlines that include a reference to the content type:

  • Pictures
  • Quotes
  • Facts
  • Tips
  • Habits
  • Mistakes

Some headline examples using content types include:

  • 10 Pictures that Will Make You Cry
  • 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Dogs
  • The Most Common Habits of Successful People

Using the Best Performing Formats

There are some formats that consistently perform better than others. Readers are often looking for specific information (such as a How-To article) and prefer to have the information they consume broken down into easily digestible bites (such as a List).

As we have discussed before, many people are simply looking for answers to common questions.

Post format types that can be contained within in the headline include:

  • List
  • How To
  • Quiz
  • Question (What, Which, When, Why)
  • Curated Posts
  • FAQ
  • SlideShare Post
  • Infographic Post

Using Uncommon, Emotional & Powerful Headline Words

Anyone who is already using the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is familiar with using words that are common, uncommon, emotional and powerful. However, if you’ve never used it before, then let me explain…

A traffic-generating and sharable headline should contain 10 words or less (or 56 characters or less), and contain a good balance of common, uncommon, emotional and power words.

The recommended balance consists of:

  • 20%-30% Common Words
  • 10%-20% Uncommon Words
  • 10%-15% Emotional Words
  • At Least 1 Power Word

Create Your Own Viral Headlines

With these few tips, you can easily work your way towards creating traffic-driving headlines that get results. However, it is important to remember that some headline types can become overused and less appealing to readers. It is always best to figure out what your audience prefers and connects with.


Article by

Lola Decker first discovered her love of written language as a young child. Throughout the years her thirst for knowledge has led her to obtain an Associates degree in Early Childhood Development and Education, and her current pursuits of becoming a content marketing expert.

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