5 Easy Ways to Transform Your Boring Headline into an Attention-Grabber


Stop losing out on traffic and readers.  Right now.  Keep reading to find out exactly how.

If your headlines aren’t grabbing the attention of your ideal readers on social media, in your email subject lines, and everywhere else you share, you are losing out on countless potential eyes on your blog!

Luckily, just a few extra minutes of time and attention to your headline can make a world of difference in the results you get.

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Mark Twain

Here are five quick strategies to help you take your headline from “blah blah blah bland” to “gotta click and read this one!”

1. Speak Directly to Your Audience

Who is your headline (blog post title) designed to grab the attention of?

Stop and think about your exact perfect reader, and what they get out of reading your blog post.

Call them out.

“3 Easy Tricks for Busy Moms to…”

“How Ordinary People Can Pay Off Credit Card Debit 3x Faster”

And, speak their language.  Use the same words and phrases that your audience does.  They’ll better identify and connect with you.

2. Promise a Result

Speaking of what the reader gets… how can you include that as a promise in your headline?

This blog post’s title has an implied promise that if you read it you’ll be able to quickly create headlines that get more attention.

Read your working headline and then ask yourself the following questions:

  • …so you can?
  • …which means?
  • …and if you do that what happens?
  • …because you want?

If you are writing about tips to plan a weekly menu, then ask yourself why do your readers want to plan a menu… what do they gain from it?

When I plan a menu, it’s because I want to save time (no “what should we have for dinner tonight?”, quicker grocery shopping and fewer trips to the store for forgotten items), gain sanity and organization, and have more time to spend on things I enjoy – game night with my kids or watching the sunset from my balcony.

So if you’ve got “5 Tips for Planning Meals in Advance” that might become something like “5 Super Time-Saving Meal Planning Hacks”.

Tip: Focus your headlines on SUGGESTING and HELPING.  It’s an easy shift.  Just add the words “How to…” or “The Best Ways to..” to the very beginning of your headline.

Here’s some templates you can use for promising a result in your headlines:

3. Evoke Curiosity (and Emotion)

Adding curiosity to your headlines is one of the best ways to get clicks.

Which one makes you more curious, and more likely to click?

A. 5 Super Time-Saving Meal Planning Hacks

B. 5 Super Time-Saving Meal Planning Hacks Even Betty Crocker Didn’t Know

C. Want to Save Hours in the Kitchen? (5 Time-Saving Tricks)

You can add curiosity to your headline in two simple ways:

  1. Turn it into a question
  2. Use the “even” method:
    “even celebrity X does/doesn’t…”
    “even if you’ve never…”
    “even if you always…”
    “even if you can’t…”
    “even if you aren’t…”

4. Get Super Specific

When we include specifics, readers tend to feel the headline is more trustable.  Think about these two examples:

A. Get More Clicks on Your Headlines

B. Two Surprising Ways to Get 138% More Clicks on Your Headlines

Which one sounds like someone tested their suggestions, and is more likely to be helpful to you if you try it?

So what numbers, names, and other specifics can you use in your headline?

  • How many?
  • Who?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How Long?
  • How Often?

5. Add Power Words

If your brain, like mine, seems to be missing the built in thesaurus that the best copywriters seem to have… don’t panic.  Use a power words list!

Simply review your headline to see which words you can swap out for a more powerful choice, and where you can add in additional power words.

Here’s a great list to start with:


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  1. LOve this! I’m going to try it!

    1. Awesome! Have fun with it. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Steps to Quickly Build Your Following on InstagramMy Profile

  2. I like using the CoSchedule headline analyzer and because of it my CTR has gone up considerably. I used to write all sorts of boring titles but now that I know what words I should be using I usually write much better headlines.

  3. Great CONCRETE advice, as always, Michelle!
    RAAckerman, PhD, EA recently posted… Water. Agriculture. Aquaculture. Antibiotic Resistance (3)My Profile

  4. Evoking curiosity and emotion are very important. I try to do this with almost any headline because we humans are curios people that want to know every secret there is. We also base most of decisions on the emotions we get so stirring up the right emotions can be very beneficial.

  5. Love that list of words. I feel like some of my blogs do have great headlines while others are just blah. I need to spice them up and give people a reason to want to read my articles. I never actually thought of using “even” before to direct attention but it makes sense. I see it all the time online! Great advice once again.

  6. Headlines are so important for bloggers. thanks for the awesome tips.

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