How to Quickly Write Intoxicating Headlines [VIDEO]September 28, 2016 December 14, 2018 /
I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I realized I had some artistic talent.
When I think back to elementary school, probably around 4th grade, I can remember that projects involving creativity were easy for me. I had a knack for ‘lettering’ (who doesn’t love some bubble letters, right?) and would often get asked by friends to help with projects.
This continued as long as I was in school (I was the ‘publicity’ officer for my senior class in high school…. i.e, I got to make a bunch of cool posters & flyers). To this day people still come to me for help with creative projects (I’ve made my fair share of invitations for showers and parties).
Want to know what I did before I realized I had modicum of artistic talent?
I would spend hours in my room, drawing and creating stories in my head to go along with the pictures I was creating. Most of the time I tossed them… not because they were bad, but it was just for me.
The more I drew, the easier it got.
You see where I’m going with this, right?
The same is true for writing headlines.
I never realized how fun this could be until I made a conscious decision to go back to the fundamentals. Really start studying copy, email marketing, and content marketing (soon I’m going to dive into a solid SEO course, which you’ll be hearing more about soon).
There are plenty of formulas for writing headlines, but I’m not the person to teach them to you.
What I can do is share how I got better at writing them and what I’ve used to help me.
I’m also not the person to tell you that you need to write a ‘listacle’ post (7 ways to do x.y,z) or do massive research before you start writing (something tells me after I do the SEO course I might have a different opinion about this).
I write in my own voice and try to write headlines that would appeal to someone as well as give them a feel for who I am.
I used to write very generic headlines.
As an example… instead of using my personality in the headline for this post (using the word ‘great-ish’ instead of just ‘great’) I could have kept it simple: How to Write Better Headlines (BOR-ING). Or I could have focused on the tools I use to write better headlines (and as I’m writing this I think I may use that approach when split testing headlines).
No matter what your approach is (I’m going to jump out on a limb here and say that a lot of this may also have to do with your audience), the more you do it the better you’ll get at it.
The first tool I used that got me excited about headlines is the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
This comes built into CoSchedule (which we all know I love and adore) but it’s also a free tool you can use on their website.
Here’s how this works:
You enter your headline and click the ‘Analyze Now’ button. Then you get a score.
I was pretty pumped when I wrote the headline for this post because I got a decent score right out the shoot (I kind of thought I would… something told me it was a decent headline).
This headline gave me a score of 76 (according to CoSchedule, the goal is to get above a 70. My first run at headlines is usually in the upper 60’s, so I was pleased).
What can use some improvement is the use of ‘uncommon words’… because I have none.
May as well give it a shot at throwing in some uncommon words, right?
Where the magic will really happen is when I decide to run the headline optimizer by Thrive to see which headline actually wins out (based on visitor behavior, but we’ll show you that in a minute).
My experiment went south quickly (this is what happens for me when I try to get creative at night. Let’s just say it’s not my most creative hour).
Below are some more headlines I came up with and the scores of each (I love that my first headline is the winner).
Needless to say, I’m going to go with my first choice.
You can get CoSchedule Here
The next step is to create a test using the Thrive Headline Optimizer.
What this plugin will do is allow me to add a couple variations of the headline and then it will split test the headlines by showing a different headline to different visitors.
The beauty of this is that it’s super easy to create the experiment.
You literally add the headlines and publish your post.
Thrive Headline Optimizer does the rest.
All I did in the image above was add in the two additional headlines. Once the post is published you’ll see that the experiment is running.
I’m going to show you in the video below how easy it is to select your winning headline (you can also have Thrive select the winner for you, but I like to actually see the results before selecting the winner because I’m learning a little more about copy each time I review the results).
Get Thrive Headline Optimizer Here