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WRITE GREAT HEADLINES EVERY TIME | GOODCONTENTCOMPANY.COM

Write Great Headlines Every Time By Dean Evans Copyright Š 2012 The Good Content Company (UK) Ltd. www.goodcontentcompany.com twitter.com/goodcontentco Notice of rights All rights reserved. No part of this ebook may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, telepathic projection, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of The Good Content Company (UK) Ltd. Excerpts may be used for the purposes of review. Disclaimer This ebook is designed to provide time-saving strategies, techniques and information in regard to writing great headlines. It does not guarantee success. While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information presented here is correct, the contents of this ebook are the views of the author and are meant for information purposes only. Acknowledgements Where possible, the original sources of the headlines featured in this book are credited in the appendix.

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For Kate, Olivia & Jacob, who make me laugh out loud every single day.

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Zombies & The Two Things That Every Great Headline Needs If part of a web headline's job is to grab your attention, then Miami Police Shoot, Kill Man Eating Another Man's Face is one that absolutely nails it. True story. So does: Two Game-Changers That Helped Transform My Online Business. And: 6 Reasons Why Bacon Is Better Than True Love. But grabbing a reader squarely by the eyeballs is only half the challenge that a headline faces. For a headline to be considered 'great', it also needs to engage and convince that reader to click through to your content. That's the whole reason for its existence. Crucially, a great headline needs something that a reader identifies with or finds interesting. This could be a relevant product, a person, a place, an event, a hot topic, or something more abstract, like a mood, an opinion or a belief system. This reader relevancy is the ATTRACTION element. But a great headline does more than simply attract attention. It needs to be clear and compelling, combining what the reader is interested in with an outcome that they want (or didn't know they wanted). This might simply be more information. Or a solution to a frustrating problem. It might also be something that will entertain them and educate them, intrigue, surprise, worry or shock them. Like that real-life zombie headline I mentioned earlier. Or this lengthy example swiped from the web pages of the Mail Online:

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Threat From New Virus-Infected Emails Which Take Over Your PC Even If You DON'T Open Their Attachments A great headline ATTRACTS, then it ENGAGES. And it's typically got to do both of these things in a single sentence with a time limit of only a few seconds.

Why You Should Spend More Time Writing Headlines I used to underestimate the importance of writing headlines. Instead, I focused most of my efforts on the content they badged; the writing and rewriting of that content; choosing the right image; providing useful links; choosing appropriate keywords; then diligently spell checking and grammar polishing. I believed that a headline was a sign post to content. But it's much more than that. It's a 'gateway'. Yes. The quality of your content is vitally important. It needs to be well-presented, useful, valuable, actionable, and as near to perfect as you can craft it. But consider this quote from advertising legend David Ogilvy: On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. In other words, while 80% of potential readers will look at a headline, only 20% of potential readers will typically click through to read the article. It's a sobering statistic. If headline is the first (and often only) chance to grab the attention of potential readers, I wasn't spending nearly enough time writing good headlines, let alone anything that could be considered 'great'. My initial approach was hit and miss. I didn't have a plan. I didn't really understand which titles worked and which didn't. All that time I was spending on creating good content was sometimes going to waste. 5


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Maybe this is where you are right now.

Writing A Great Headline Can Be Tricky Where do you start? You've got lots of options. You could try one of the more populist headline formulas like the classic list or 'how to'? Or maybe you should try posing a question? The most popular post on The Good Content Company website for a long time was Can You Ace Our Quick Proofreading Test? (As it turns out, not everybody can). To give yourself the best chance of success, it's a good strategy to write several potential titles and then pick the best one. Think of them as prototypes, necessary experimental steps on the road to your final published headline. But how many headlines should you write? (Professional copywriters often write hundreds). And should you write your headline before you create your content or afterwards? (There are arguments both for and against...) And, as we're working online, there are also keywords to deploy. Where do you put them? Is search relevancy more important than readability? How long should your headlines be? There's a lot to consider when you're writing headlines. Get it wrong and you risk readers never clicking through to read your content. This means no clicks, no views, no ad impressions, no leads, no brand building and zero sales. A bad headline can kill good content stone dead.

Even The Professionals Can Get It Wrong When The New York Times published a lengthy excerpt from Charles Duhigg's book "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business", it didn't put much effort into the headline that went with it.

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The chosen headline was: How Companies Learn Your Secrets. Although this headline hopes to intrigue you with the word 'secrets', it's a ho-hum title for what is a fascinating (and scary) story about how US shopping giant Target collects data about its customers, analyses what they buy, and uses the results to send out laser-targeted marketing messages. One statistician even worked out how to identify whether a female shopper might be pregnant. The data was so accurate that Target knew a high-school girl had a bun in the oven before she'd told anyone. So along comes Forbes writer Kashmir Hill, who zeroes in on the juicy part of this story and writes a curated/summary post with the headline: How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did Genius. But don't just take my word for it. The article has had over 1.5 million views on the Forbes website. It's also been shared over 70,000 times on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and LinkedIn. That's the power of a great headline.

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You Can Write Great Headlines Some people seem to be able to write great headlines right off the bat. Some websites consistently produce killer titles that have an almost effortless ability to attract and engage. For the rest of us, it takes a bit more work. In most cases, we just need a prod in the right direction. Or a little voice saying: "hey, why don't you try this?" This book is for anyone who needs that little voice. This book is for anyone who craves a quicker, simpler way to write better performing titles. This book is about using what already works. Over the following pages, I'll lay out a simple but effective process for headline writing. It's one that offers a systematic approach, provides a solid place to start and gives you proven ideas to work with. It's a process that can save you time and deliver better results. Here's what you'll learn:          

What makes a great headline The 12 things you can do right now to improve your headlines The amazing headline writing tactic that most people still don't use How to write great 'News' headlines How to write great 'Review' headlines How to write great 'How To' headlines How to write great 'List' headlines The one word that gets headlines clicked How to pull a psychological trigger How to check if your headline will really work

A great headline can help you get more traffic and increase engagement on your 8


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website or blog, which could lead to more subscribers, tweets, Facebook Likes and comments. In fact, you should be able to write a great headline by the time you finish reading this book. You don't need any special skills. You don't need to be an experienced writer. You don't need to work alone. Even if you're already writing some great headlines, I hope that there are some ideas and examples in this book that could inspire the title of your next article. Or the one after that. What have you got to lose?

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What Makes A Great Headline? It's getting increasingly difficult to get noticed and stand out on the web. There's so much competition; so much noise. Consequently, you need to give your content the best chance to capture someone's attention. Because you might only get one chance to do so. Ultimately, a great headline is a clicked headline. That's the only success measurement that matters. But what makes people click headlines? Content discovery platform Outbrain looked at the click-through data for 150,000 article headlines. It found that titles with eight words performed well, as did headlines next to thumbnail images, headlines written as questions and those that featured odd-numbered lists. Useful as these observations are, they still don't get to the root of why some headlines get clicked and others don't. You've got to look deeper. When you do, you'll find that the best headlines work when they tap into the needs, wants, hopes or fears of your readers. The best headlines work when they present a clear and specific benefit to your readers. The best headlines work when they inspire curiosity in your readers (and the only way to satisfy that curiosity is to click). Take a look at the title of this book: "Write Great Headlines Every Time". It projects a desired outcome - 'write great headlines'. It's specific - 'every time'. If you're not already consistently writing great headlines, "Write Great Headlines Every Time" hopefully makes you curious enough to find out more.

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12 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Headlines It's easy to write an ordinary headline. Thousands of us do it every day. But why write a straight-laced How To Boost Traffic With Slideshare, when you can bring 'specificity' and 'time' elements into play with a more exciting Attract 100,000 Pageviews In 1 Month Using Slideshare? Why settle for a no-frills How To Improve Your Memory headline, when you can tantalise a reader with How I Improved My Memory In One Evening? The best headlines often tap into passions and emotions. They collide benefits and curiosity. They tempt you to click by making you feel as though you'll be missing out if you don't. It's easy to write an ordinary headline. So don't. Don't be content with the first title that you think of. Instead, use it as a starting point. Write another headline. And then another one. Try adding 'modifiers' like time, money, 'new', 'simple' or something specific. Write 10 headlines. No. Better still write 20. Work your creativity from all angles to give yourself extra options you might not have considered. You can always deploy the headline variants that you don't use as secondary headlines, sub-headings, Tweets or email newsletter subject lines. To make things easier, there are several tactics that you can use to structure your headlines or to get fresh ideas for headlines that will get clicks. But before we concentrate on making your headlines more clickable, we've got to make sure that they are 'findable'.

When You Should (And Shouldn't) Worry About Keywords To catch the eye of web searchers you need to include relevant keywords in your

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headlines and in your HTML Title tags. Think people, products, events, companies, places or phrases... anything that your website readers might be searching for. The most effective way to use keywords in your headline is to position them up front, where they can lead the line: Gordon Ramsey Fingered in Trashy Lawsuit SpaceX Dragon Departs ISS, Heads For Earth Tim Berners-Lee: The Web is threatened Stacking the keyword at the beginning of your headline works well for news articles, product reviews and interviews. With Jakob Nielsen's writing for the web advice ringing in our ears, we know that web readers tend to scan web pages and will do the same for any headlines that appear on them. They are usually looking to latch onto keywords and phrases that are relevant to their interests. Putting these keywords and phrases first makes them easier to find, combats short attention spans and provides a greater opportunity for engagement. This assumption is backed up by Nielsen's research, which suggests that people will typically only digest the first two words of any title. Of course, it's all too easy to become a slave to SEO; all too easy to clog up your headlines with keywords that have a good search volume but don't quite fit your content. The trick is to find a balance between writing a headline that attracts readers and one that satisfies the ravenous appetite of the search engine robots. In in doubt, always favour people first. They READ your content. Robots merely classify it. It's also important to remember that search isn't the only way that people will find what you're writing. People consume content using RSS, social media channels like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, via bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit, and through content discovery apps such as Flipboard and Zite.

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Beyond using your keywords, try adding in topical words, odd facts, or humour. Try making a point or asking a question. Use a quote, try a rhyme, be mysterious or downright weird. Use a list, or opt for a classic 'how to' format. There are many good approaches, which are explored in more detail in this book. Let's start with a simple theory...

Don't Write Headlines For Every Tom, Dick & Harry Do you know who your most avid readers are? Do you know what they want? What they value? Or what problems they are suffering with? Rather than trying to write a catch-all headline, write your headline with a specific group of people or even a specific person in mind. This will obviously make it less relevant to a wider audience, but should increase its value (and its clickability) for your target readership.

Answer The Question: "What's In It For Me?" Why do the following headlines work? The 10-Minute Technique To Becoming A More Productive Writer How Content Turns Prospects Into Customers Find 2 To 10 Extra Hours Per Week With One Simple Action They work because they answer a reader's main question: "What's in it for me?" (You might see this written as WIIFM). When writing headlines, it's a good idea to think about the real benefit that your content has to the reader. What value are you providing? What does it help them to do? Why should they give a hoot about what you've got to say? People who work in sales quickly learn that there are only a few core benefits that you need to be aware of. People typically crave 'convenience' and value things that save them time or can make their lives easier. Money is another key benefit and so anything that promises to help someone make more money or save money tend to catch the eye. 13


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Other benefits you can employ in your headlines include providing security from threats and targeting a reader's sense of self or worth. Think about how you can make them better, faster, stronger, fitter, more efficient, even have more fun. By including a relevant benefit in your headline, you're giving the reader a reason to click through to your content to find out more.   

To become a 'more productive writer' To turn 'prospects into customers' To save time and find '2 to 10 extra hours per week'

Not every headline will have a stated benefit. News headlines, for example, are typically constructed as factual statements. 'This happened'. 'This did that'. The benefit they provide is to satisfy the reader's need for information and their desire to know more about something they find interesting. Ditto reviews. The benefit of a review is to give you a definitive 'yes' or 'no' to the question: "should I pay money for this?"

Write More Than One Headline (But Less Than 100) For most of us, creativity isn't like a tap. You can't just turn it on when you feel like it and expect a stream of great ideas to gush out. So it's worth acknowledging that you're not going to bring your A-game to every headline that you write. Yes, you might dream up the perfect title at the first time of asking. But there's a good chance that you won't be able to do it again. It's why it's a good idea to write multiple headlines using a variety of different approaches. Say you started with a working headline of How To Fix An Underperforming Website Today. You could write the following alternatives:  

Why Your Website Isn't A Sales Machine (And What You Can Do To Fix It) How A Few Simple Tweaks Boosted My Website Traffic And Doubled My Sales  How I Saved A Failing Website In Under 10 Minutes  How The Right Changes Can Help Solve Your Website's Traffic Problems

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  

Fix Your Website: 5 Things To Change Now The 5-Step Formula For Guaranteed Website Success 5 Mistakes That Are Stifling Your Website's Growth

Don't obsess over getting your headlines right first time out either. You can easily revise a headline later in the day if needed. Newspaper second editions often update their headlines and news priorities if their original news treatment proved to be weak. On the web, headlines can be modified (or completely changed) if they're not working as well as you'd hoped. And keep hold of any headlines that you don't use. You might find them useful later for promotional Twitter headlines or email subjects.

Make Every Word Count Embrace brevity. Write out your headline, then get rid of any redundant words, leaving the core of what you want to say. For example, The Woman's World statement headline – Prevent Cancer - With Beer! can't be boiled down any further. It's a winning blend of brevity, benefit, weirdness and curiosity. Another good argument for shorter headlines is that there's a 65-character limit for titles when they are displayed on a Google search results page. If your headline is significantly longer, it will get sliced off after 65 characters. So make every word count.

Say It With 'YOU' If your market/niche can support it, make your headlines personal. Rather than use a headline that proclaims How to make wine at home, consider that How you can make wine at home might appeal more to your potential readers.

Exploit Proven 'Power' Words Psst! Want to know something that most people DON'T know? Of course you do. 'Secret' is often considered one of the core 'power' words in copywriting circles, 15


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alongside many others that can be used to hook your readers in. These include the likes of: free, amazing, discover, how much, fact, sale, at last, improve, profit, learn, know, understand, best, bonus, guarantee, proven, results, help, easy, latest, how to, worst, ultimate, hot, first, complete, breakthrough, money, top 10, 10 ways, 10 tips and revealed. We all like to get something for nothing, so using 'free' and 'win' in a headline taps into that 21st Century urge. Here are a couple of examples: Free Seasonal Flu Vaccine Available To The Public Soon Google Publishes Free E-Guide To The Internet

Shamelessly Piggyback On A Hot Topic This is a simple one. If you can tap into a hot/current trend or topic, you can reap the keyword benefits. Find out what's hot at: www.google.com/trends. Here are two of my favourites: The Charlie Sheen Guide To Winning! At Online Marketing The Mad Men Guide To Changing The World With Words

Deploy Some Eye-Catching Stats Amaze and confound readers by trotting out eye-opening stats or numbers where appropriate. They can often make your headline stand out. For example: Teenage Boys Survive 50 Days Adrift In South Pacific Apple-1 Computer Sells For ÂŁ133000 At Christie's Oracle Wins A Whopping $1.3B Verdict Against SAP

Show Off The Biggest, Hottest, Smallest, Weirdest... Using superlatives can often be an effective approach and you'll often see headlines using words like 'best', 'hottest', 'biggest', 'smallest', 'thinnest', 'tallest' and 'cheapest'. As usual, here are some examples to illustrate what I mean:

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The Best And Worst World's Shortest Teen Dwarfed By UK's Biggest Biceps US Launches Largest Spy Satellite Ever One of my favourite headlines using this format comes from my time working on the technology website TechRadar.com. The headline 75-Year-Old Pensioner Has Fastest Broadband collides old and new to great effect and it went on to become one of our most popular stories.

Use A Threat (Or Else...) Powerful headlines can tap into a reader's fear by using language that threatens their sense of security. You can do this with a warning or by revealing a danger in your title. For example: Security Firms Issue Warning Over Email Worm Guess What, You Don't Own That Software You Bought Fake Wi-Fi 'Steals Data And Numbers From Smartphones'

Choose Sentence case Or Title Case Which one of these works better? Painting secrets the pros won't tell you Painting Secrets the Pros Won't Tell You The first example uses a typical 'Sentence' case, so only the first letter in the sentence is capitalised. The second example uses the 'Title' Case, capitalising the first letter of every word except 'the'. This non-capitalisation can also extend to conjunctions like 'and' and 'but' or to any word with less than three letters. There are also examples of the Title Case where every word is capitalised, freeing writers of any hard-to-remember rules and ensuring headline consistency. The question is whether there is any benefit for using one approach over the other? 17


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Probably not. Some big websites including The Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal all favour the Title Case for their headlines. Whereas other huge websites like the BBC, Apple and CNN stick with the Sentence case approach. If you look at the Technorati Top 25 blogs, there's a clear winner. Fifteen of the top 25 blogs use the Title Case. These include web giants Mashable, TMZ.com and Gawker. The remaining 10 blogs use the Sentence case for their headlines. These include big hitters such as Engadget, Boing Boing and GigaOm. There's an argument that capping up the first letter of the words in your headline makes it stand out. But if there was a definite advantage to using the Title Case over the Sentence case, then surely we'd see more of the bigger, high traffic websites using the Title case as a result? In essence, whether you use the Title Case or the Sentence case for your headlines it boils down to stylistic preference. Whichever one you use, make sure you use it consistently.

Practice Ethical Linkbaiting Linkbait seems to have become a dirty word. The term refers to any article that's expressly engineered to gun for popularity and attract links by the bucket load. This might be giant, list-based resource posts, exclusive news stories, funny posts, angry posts, controversial posts, tools, reports, photos or videos (of cats). But there's nothing wrong with giving your audience what they want. After all, the definition of 'linkbait' is content that people want to link to and share. A great headline is the first stage in that process. Consequently, every great headline needs to be a linkbait headline. You want people to click it, share it with their friends and build links to your website. Of course, there's a line to be drawn between linkbait and clickbait. Your copy must ALWAYS deliver on what your headline promises. It's important not to over-hype your title in an all-out effort to get that clickthrough.

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You should be ethical in your use of headlines. For example, if you claim to have An Insider's Guide To Making The Perfect Merlot, then you'd best have some knock-out insider content about professional grade wine-brewing to back it up. If you don't, you face disappointing your readers, tarnishing your reputation and eroding any authority or trust that you've built.

Should You Write Your Headlines First? If you'd asked me this question several years ago, I'd have said 'no' and been quite confident about my answer. That wasn't how I worked. I preferred to plan and write my content first and then try to come up with a headline that made the most of it. But I've since changed my mind and not in the way you might think. Now, I don't think that there's a definitive 'yes' or 'no' answer to the question. Sometimes you can see an article headline and instantly see how it could be re-engineered to work on your own website. Sometimes you'll think of a great headline first and plan an article to make the most of it. But sometimes you'll think of the content first or the format that the content will take first. So, logically, the headline gets written later in the process. Should you write your headlines first? The only answer that fits is 'sometimes'.

Is There An Easy Way To Write Great Headlines? Absolutely. While all of the tips I've mentioned in this section will help you write better headlines, there's something even more powerful that will make your headline writing even easier. And most writers still don't use it...

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The Powerful Headline Writing Tactic Most People Still Don't Use How do you write a great headline every time? Simple. You start with something that already works, you learn HOW it works and then adapt it to work for you. You 'swipe'. It's not a new idea. Johannes Gutenberg generally gets the credit for the invention of the printing press. Yet his machine was actually a clever combination of three technologies that already existed - the wine/olive oil screw-type press, Asian block-printing know-how and Chinese paper making. Gutenberg's genius was to borrow what already worked and engineer it for his own printing purposes. Not copy. Certainly not steal. Adapt. Sometimes the best ideas are built on the foundations of existing ideas. The classic Keanu Reeves movie 'Speed', for example, was pitched as 'Die Hard on a bus'. While Google's empire was built around a page ranking/link popularity idea inspired by the citation-analysis work of librarian Eugene Garfield. Think Thomas Edison invented the light bulb? Afraid not. Edison holds the patent for the electric light bulb, filed in 1880. But Humphrey Davy demonstrated incandescent lighting 78 years earlier and Edison's carbon filament was probably inspired by the work of American inventor John W. Starr. So let's not pretend that every headline you read on the web is 100 per cent original. It isn't. Nor is every story, design, blog post, movie or music track.

Being Truly Original Is Hard Because everything we do is shaped by conscious and subconscious influences. Consequently, the best ideas are often a bright and exciting collision of two or

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more older ideas. Consider this observation from Mark Twain's biography: There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages. There are no new ideas. Just old ideas recycled in new and interesting ways. Creating and managing a 'swipe file' enables you to gather these 'old ideas', so you can twist and turn them into new ones. If you haven't already got a swipe file, I suggest you start one. The next section will show you how.

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How To Start A Swipe File A swipe file is essentially an inspirational list of other people's brilliant headlines. You build one by literally 'swiping' any headlines that catch your eye. Especially if they exert such a strong pull on you that you can't fight the urge to click on them. The process of creating your own swipe file is easy. Start with a blank text file, Word document or whatever digital container you find convenient. Evernote is good. Then, whenever you encounter a great (and temptingly clickable) headline, you simply cut and paste it into your swipe file. You keep doing this. The aim is to amass a personalised library of must-click super-titles, which you can re-engineer for your own use. Whenever you get stuck for inspiration, you refer to this ever-expanding headline hoard in the hope that: (a) You can find a headline that you can instantly adapt or (b) Reading through the list will jog your creativity and get it moving Again, it's important to reiterate that a swipe file is for inspiration purposes. Swiping headlines is a tactic that many professional writers and advertising copywriters still use today. Tim Ferriss, for example, is a self-confessed swiper. As the celebrated New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestselling author writes in his book The Four Hour Work Week: Reinventing the wheel is expensive - become an astute observer of what is already working and adapt it. I keep a folder of all print and direct mail advertising that compels me to call a number or visit a website, and I use www.delicious.com to bookmark websites that convince me to provide my email address or make a purchase.

Unleashing The Full Power Of The Swipe You don't need to restrict your swiping activities to lifting catchy headlines either. You can swipe anything for inspiration - logos you like, book covers that have

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impressed you, eye-catching design elements, stirring article intros, effective bullet points, persuasive sales letters, Google ads, landing page templates, and so on. As I've mentioned, digging into a headline swipe file can give you ready-made structures that you can adapt for your own topic. This might be as easy as slicing out a few key words and replacing them. Like this: (Original) The #1 Reason Why You Should Create A Video Today (Adapted) The #1 Reason Why You Should Start Writing A Book Today Or you can play around with the headline components, remixing them and slotting in proven power words to try and achieve a greater impact. A swipe file is a shortcut to inspiration and there's no shortage of headline inspiration if you know where to look.

How To Find Great Headlines To Swipe To start with, look at what your friends and network connections are sharing on Twitter and Facebook. Note that the headline used in a tweet can often be different to the headline that appears on the article it links to, especially if the author or publication sends out multiple tweets over the course of a day to promote their content. Cut and paste any headline that successfully gets you to click through. Social bookmarking sites offer a good way to find swipe-able headlines outside your chosen niche/topic. Browse the likes of StumbleUpon, Reddit and Buzzfeed for inspiration. They cover a wide variety of topics and it is well-worth hunting outside your area of expertise for new headline templates and structures. If you're on the lookout for collectible news headlines, keep a close eye on Google News and its 'Most Popular' listing. The world's most successful blogs are another useful source of headline ideas. Construct a blog hit-list using the top 100 listing on Technorati.com and add them

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to your browser bookmarks or RSS reader. Visit these blogs every week and swipe any headlines that catch your eye. Got a smartphone? Or an iPad? Then you'll want to install content discovery apps like Flipboard and Zite. Both neatly aggregate social media chatter, RSS feeds and curated topic-based channels into personalised magazines with headlines that are ripe for the swipe. The key to using these tools effectively is to add information sources that you wouldn't usually read. Zite, for example, has channels dedicated to Food and Health. Scanning headlines from unfamiliar websites and blogs can give you lots of fresh ideas that you can adapt for your own topic.

Two Headline Goldmines You Don't Want To Miss Book titles, or rather their subtitles, can also be a rich vein of headline inspiration. Fire up the Amazon store in your web browser and spend some time sifting through the top-selling non-fiction books. Here are three I picked out at random. Check out the headline-esque subtitles on each one: Ready For Anything: 52 Productivity Principles For Work And Life Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses Similarly, magazine 'cover lines' can be another useful resource for the avid headline collector. Magazine editors don't use a 'oh, that will do' approach when it comes to creating these mini headlines. There's limited space on a magazine cover, so editors obsess about getting their wording perfect. And when they find headlines that work, they often re-use them. If you find great headlines on the front covers of magazines like Men's Health, Good Housekeeping and Woman's World, there's a good chance that they'll work for you (albeit with a little tweak here and there). With this in mind, many experienced writers swear by the 'Cosmo method', which specifically targets Cosmopolitan and other popular women's magazines for

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headline inspiration. Here are some quick examples: 10 Songs Proven To Boost Happiness How To Save Your Ass At Work 3 Questions That Get A Man To Open Up Magazines are a goldmine of headline inspiration. Best of all, you don't need to go out and browse the newsstand racks to note down effective headlines like these. You can do it from a comfy sofa via the magazines.com website. Finally, retrain yourself to take a critical look at those elements of the media you usually ignore. Direct mail is often dismissed as 'junk'. But don't throw it out right away. Take a second look at the structure of the sales headlines and the copy. You might find examples worth swiping. The same goes for print advertising. In fact, the next time you buy something or are tempted to click through for a 'free download', stop for a moment and examine the messaging that got you there. If you've already set up a swipe file, then this is an ideal opportunity to fatten it up with some more modern headlines. There might be some examples over the following pages that you haven't seen. Or swiped. Using the tips here, spend a 10-15 minutes a day looking for new titles. You won't regret it. On the other hand, if you haven't created your own swipe file yet, this book will help you get started with some great headline examples that will fit news stories, reviews, tutorials and list posts. All you need to do is swipe them.

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How To Write Great News Headlines News headlines naturally tend to be more factual and straightforward. But that doesn't mean you can't play around with them. After all, the objective of this book is to help you get the click and to make headline writing easier and faster. The key to a great news headline is to focus on the main point of the story - 'this does that', 'this happened', 'this person said/did this', and so on. News headlines are usually direct, concise, use an active voice and come front-loaded with relevant search-friendly keywords. When you dig into the structure of a typical news story, you can break it down into three main segments: [who or what] + [action verb] + [who or what]. Here are three examples: [Bizarre Arctic Discovery] [Baffles] [NASA Scientists] [Neutrino Researchers] [Admit] [Einstein Was Right] [MIT Students' Invention] [Turns] [Bananas Into Keyboard] There's also a fourth segment you can use. If there's room, you can bolt on an [extra detail] element to provide additional information that addresses the 'who?', 'what?', 'why?', 'when?', 'where?' or 'how?' of your story. For example: (What?) New Car Mirror Eliminates Blind Spots With Physics (Why?) China Cuts Lending Rate As Its Economic Growth Slows (When?) Obama, Democrats Raise $60 Million In May The structure is flexible. The [extra detail], for example, doesn't have to be tagged on at the end. As you can see in the headline below, it can work just as well deployed closer to the front: Eduard Khil, Unlikely YouTube Sensation, Dies At 77

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The News Headline Formula In Action A great news headline concisely conveys the heart of the story in a snappy, digestible and obvious sentence. A reader will typically click through to find out more if: (a) The headline references things that they are interested in (b) The headline provides more information than they've seen anywhere else (c) The headline leaves an element of the story out Consider the simple headline: Space Shuttle Sails Into New York. It's a straight bit of headline writing that describes the day the original space shuttle prototype, the Enterprise, was literally ferried up the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. It also fits snugly into our news headline formula, stacks the keywords at the front ('Space shuttle') and doesn't do anything fancy. As you can see below, other headlines published at the same time added more information: Space Shuttle Enterprise Docks At New Home By including 'new home' instead of 'New York' or 'Manhattan', this headline plays the curiosity card. New Home? Where? It also adds extra detail by mentioning the shuttle's name, 'Enterprise'. Space Shuttle Enterprise Arrives At Manhattan Home This headline adds the destination detail ('Manhattan'), but doesn't mention how it arrived there. The fact that it was sailed up the Hudson River and watched by thousands of onlookers is a key point of the story. Space Shuttle Enterprise Rides Barge To Its New York Home This third headline is much more complete and squeezes in specific detail such as 'rides barge' and 'New York home'

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NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise Floated Up Hudson River To New York Museum As for this last headline, it provides even more detail ('NASA', 'Hudson River', 'New York Museum'). But it's also the longest at 72 characters and will fall foul of Google's 65-character limit when displaying search results.

Don't Forget The 'Who' Other competing Shuttle headlines shifted the focus from the 'what' to the 'who': New Yorkers Welcome Enterprise Space Shuttle Huge Crowds Welcome Shuttle Enterprise To NYC Museum A New York Barge Pilot Smashed The Shuttle's Wing Variations on the basic news headline can give you a little more flexibility and room to add extra detail. Consider these popular approaches, which include benefits and consequences: Nintendo Announces 23 Wii U Titles, Netflix And Hulu Plus Support This is a classic 'press release'-style headline, where the 'announces' could easily be replaced with 'reveals', 'launches', 'unveils', 'introduces', 'releases' and so on. In this case, the headline delivers three benefits ('23 Wii U Titles', 'Netflix' and 'Hulu Plus Support') to anyone interested in Nintendo news. It makes use of the writing 'rule of threes', which suggests that information delivered in groups of three is more effective and impactful. Here's another one: Firefox 13 Brings New Home Page, One-Click Fix For Big Issues This headline provides a potted summary of the story to follow, starting with the subject (the 'Firefox 13' web browser) and then two benefits ('New home page' and 'One-Click Fix'). It doesn't specifically mention the fact that Firefox 13 has been announced/revealed. The news is WHAT the product delivers, rather than the launch itself.

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Manchester Airport Set To Run Out Of Fuel - Sparking Half-Term Chaos Where the previous headline used a positive 'subject + benefits' approach, this one opts for a gloomier 'subject + consequences' tack. It anticipates someone reading the first half of the headline and thinking: "yeah, so what?" By including 'sparking half-term chaos', the headline sets the tone for the story to come and makes it more relevant to travellers. The 'this did that' approaches to news headline writing are the certainly the simplest in terms of structure. But if you want to make your content stand out and appear different, you've often got to deviate from this generic approach. Here are a few tried and trusted ideas to try:

Find A Unique Angle Of Attack Most news websites write straight-laced news headlines because they need to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. If you're writing for a smaller audience and a narrower topic area, you can tailor your headline to fit your readers. Here's another take on the space shuttle story with a local business slant: Cranford Company Helps Space Shuttle Make Its Way Up The Hudson River

"Deploy A Quote", Says Headline Writer Another useful way to inject a little eye-catching interest into your headline is to drop a related quote into it. Especially if it's a juicy one. Take a look at this example from the Daily Mail, which leads with a quote: 'You'll Get Another Wife': Police Told Widower After Wife's Murder Other stories slot smaller quotes into the middle of their headline to provide official comment or to emphasise a key point: Prince Philip 'Improving Considerably' But Will Stay In Hospital Space Shuttle 'Grazes' Wing In Final River Voyage Quotes also work effectively at the end of a headline: 29


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New Curriculum 'To Make Languages Compulsory From Seven' Obama: 'The Private Sector Is Doing Fine' Of course, you don't always need to include an exact quote to get the impact you're after. Often a summary of what was said makes a more compelling headline, like this one: Facebook Will Disappear By 2020, Says Analyst

Do Headlines Written As Questions Perform Better? The key to asking an effective question in a headline is to ask one that your readers can't immediately say 'yes' or 'no' to. It's a tactic more suited to feature articles, but they can be rolled out to title a news story. Here are three examples: How Much Would You Lend To Your Friends Without Expecting It Back? Could these strange new microbes survive on Mars? Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy? As you can see, you can't answer the first headline question here with a 'yes' or a 'no'. The question demands a monetary answer instead. As for the other two headlines, the questions they ask are far more complicated and, if you want to know the answers (and what the 'strange new microbes' actually are), you need to click through to the stories to find out. Another useful method for asking a question is to give your reader two options: What's Worse: A Joint Or A Ciggie? Again, this headline can't quickly be dismissed. Even if the reader thinks they know the answer, the either/or structure of the question creates a slight doubt in the reader's mind. So there's always the temptation to click through to find out if they are right. Questions can also be deployed in a Q&A headline that first poses a question and then answers it. Like this one:

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Want a Cheap Ultrabook? Dell's New Inspiron Laptops Want You

Revealed: The Two-Parter Headline By splitting your headline into two parts (using a hyphen or a colon), you can add a subtitle, indicate something specific or establish a running theme. It's also a good way to stack your keyword up front and can be particularly effective if you're writing a news headline about a popular person, product, event or organisation. The first part of this headline type is known as the lead-in or 'kicker'. Here are a couple of examples that show this strategy in action: Attack Of The Drones: US Navy Picks Linux For Its Unmanned VTOL Aircraft Control System Like the sub-heading for this section (Revealed: The Two-Parter Headline), this Engadget headline about robotic aircraft kicks off with a magazine-style pun on Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. On its own, 'Attack of the drones' isn't effective only 'drones' is a relevant keyword. But this is the kicker, it's designed to catch the eye while the factual headline title follows - 'US Navy picks Linux for its unmanned VTOL aircraft control system'. Using a kicker is a headline strategy that works well for round-up posts too. Take a look at this headline: Sex, Scandal & Sorkin: Summer 2012 TV Preview It combines an intriguing first-half with an SEO-friendly back-end. Note the rule of threes again...

Person Talking: Says Something Newsworthy The two-parter headline approach can also be used to reference something or someone specific. Take a look at the following example:

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Osborne: Charity Tax Was Wrong The 'Osborne' here refers to George Osborne, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer (2012). Using it at the front of a news headline, with a colon, enables you to define that Osborne is the focus of your story. While 'Charity tax was wrong' isn't a direct quote in this case, it's a summary of what he said. Here's another example, where the focus of the news story is Nintendo and what the company has revealed in an interview: Nintendo: Wii U Will Be 'Hard To Understand' Until Gamers Go Hands-On Another potent use for the two-parter headline is to indicate a theme, product or an ongoing event. Here are two examples: IPv6 Launch: The Day The Internet Avoids Disaster Syria Crisis: New Opposition Leader Calls For Mass Defections Both headlines 'badge' their stories with a theme - the launch of the new Internet protocol infrastructure known as IPv6 and the crisis in Syria. The actual headlines appear after the colons in both cases. But, by giving each headline a thematic identifier, it makes it (a) easy for readers to see what the story is about, and (b) places the keywords up at the front where they will be most effective.

The Ordinary And The Extraordinary If you can find an original angle for your news headline, then it stands a much better chance of getting noticed. But not every news headline needs a clever treatment. The nature of your content will ultimately determine how much work you need to put in. If you have an ordinary story, it helps to have an extraordinary headline. Why settle for Microsoft unveils new OneNote, when you could go with Microsoft OneNote MX Has a Secret Weapon? Conversely, if you have an extraordinary story, an ordinary headline will suffice. Sadly, Gunman Kills 12 In Colorado Movie Theater, says it all.

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How To Write Great Review Headlines Just to warn you: this isn't going to be a long section. Compared to news headlines, there aren't as many review headline structures to cover. In fact, there are only a few review headline approaches that you need to follow. The first is the simplest: [product name] + 'review'. Like this: Lenovo Thinkpad X230 Review Prometheus – Review And that's it. You'll see this construction everywhere because it's the perfect combination of a product keyword and the word 'review'. It's exactly what most people search for when they want to know whether something is worth their time or money. This simple construction also makes an SEO-friendly URL, I.e. yourwebsite.com/product-name-review. Of course, it's not the only approach. You can extend this basic structure by adding a third element, such as a comment. This is similar to the [extra detail] that can be bolted onto a news headline. So the formula can become: [product name] + 'review' + [comment]. Like this: Prometheus Review: An Alien Reboot with Solid Scares Nexus 7 Review: The Best $200 Tablet You Can Buy Writing headlines in this way helps them to stand out amongst all of the other Prometheus and Nexus 7 reviews vying for attention.

Review Headlines: In Reverse You can also reverse the original structure so that you start with the 'review' element as a kicker: 'Review:' + [product name]. Like this: Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Like the original headline formula, this one can also be extended with a comment or extra detail.

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Review: 'Prometheus' Is A Visually Stunning Epic Failure Of course, there are variations on the 'review' headline, depending on what type of review you're describing. For products, you can employ 'first look', 'first impressions' or 'hands-on'. Or you can put the product's good/bad points into perspective for the reader with a 'versus' comparison headline. Here are some examples to illustrate these approaches: Google Nexus 7: First Impressions Google Nexus 7 tablet from Asus: hands-on video and photos Nexus 7 vs. Microsoft Surface vs. New iPad

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How To Write Great How To Headlines The 'how to' headline is one of the most popular headline types on the Internet. Why? Because it promises the solution to a problem. If you can match a frustrated reader to a problem-solving walkthrough then you're halfway to writing a winning headline. Some of the best modern headlines have been inspired by the work of old school direct marketing copywriters like David Ogilvy and Gary Halbert. Take a classic Halbert headline like How To Fly To Hawaii For Free! This 'how to' works because it focuses on a specific benefit ('For Free!') The most effective 'how to' headlines feature a specific benefit or a desired outcome. On its own, How To Write Blog Posts is a generic and forgettable headline, which doesn't stray from the core 'how to do [something]' approach. There's no specific benefit here. No successful outcome. Whereas How To Write Blog Posts That Get Traffic! makes a promise to teach you a way of writing posts that will get you more visitors. It's a much stronger headline proposition with a definite reason to click. That's not to say that a 'how to' headline WITHOUT a benefit can't work. But the subject of the tutorial needs to be something ultra-specific like How To: Undo "Send" In Gmail or How To Fix A Broken Zip. These two examples rely on the headline's narrow relevancy to a certain problem and so don't require any benefit-orientated modifiers like 'faster'. Headlines that cast a much wider net desperately need a benefit to attract readers and then reel them in.

How To Write A Basic 'How To' When you dig into the structure of a typical 'how to', it's as simple as 'How to [do something]'. How To Make Fried Chicken And Waffle Ice Cream

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Beyond this basic approach, there are several ways to extend and modify the structure using link words like 'and', 'that', 'in', 'with' and 'without'. These enable you to easily bolt on an attractive benefit and enhance the headline's clickability. Here are some examples: How To Win Friends And Influence People How To Start A Blog That Matters How To Lose 30 Pounds In 24 Hours How To Create A Brand With Values How To Feed The World Without Wrecking The Planet? Other useful linking words include: 'before', 'like', 'if', 'when', 'while' and 'to'. Another option is to flip the 'how to' focus 180 degrees and reference a problem or pain point rather than a benefit. Like these headlines: How To Beat Big Investors To Good Properties How To Survive A Robot Uprising How To Sell If You Hate Selling

Playing With The 'How To' Structure In most of the examples here, the 'how to' leads and is the focus of the headline. But you can also play around with the structure by pushing the 'how to' element towards the back. This enables you to create a two-part headline where the first half defines the problem and the second half promises to solve it. These two examples illustrate this perfectly: A Definitive Guide To Content Scraping And How To Stop It 21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (And How To Fix Them) Remember the lead-in or 'kicker' approach? Like the two-parter 'how to' headline, this also pushes the 'how to' element to the back, but splits the headline in two with a colon or hyphen. Like these:

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Supercharge Your Conversion Rate Optimization: How To Structure CRO & Win Facebook Just Changed Your Email Without Asking - Here's How To Fix It

Mutating The 'How To' Into Other Useful Forms These aren't the only ways to use the 'how to' format. By changing the tense, you can mutate a 'how to' into a potent, case study-style 'how I did'. Take a look at the following headlines to see this approach in action: How I Got Over the Jogging Beginner's Hump How We Built A Million Dollar Site In 4 Months How My Self-Published Book 'Wool' Became A Hot Movie Property With some more editorial engineering, the 'How to' can also become a 'How' when you switch from providing a solution to telling a story: How Hurricane Katrina Helped Save the Saints How Facebook Went From Triumph To Disaster How Gluten Impacts The Brain Or the 'How' format can be used to pose a question: How Can I Find Out How Much Bandwidth I'm Using at Home? Dear Aunt TUAW: How Do I Post A Website On Dropbox? How Do You Know If Copyright Is Working? The 'how to' format is extremely flexible.

Different 'How' Headlines In Action It's easy to stick with the basic 'how to' format. But to finish off this section, let's take a look at how one of the sample headlines (How I Got Over the Jogging Beginner's Hump) can be quickly and effectively reworked using the variations that I've just highlighted. How To Get Over The Jogging Beginner's Hump 37


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How To Get Over The Jogging Beginner's Hump And Get Fit Fast How To Get Over The Jogging Beginner's Hump With Gadgets How To Avoid The Jogging Beginner's Hump The Jogging Beginner's Hump: Here's How To Beat It How Do You Get Over The Jogging Beginner's Hump? Now it's your turn.

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How To Write Great List Headlines Ah, the list headline... The list post is Mr Reliable; a safe bet; the go-to content format when you can't think of anything better to write. Despite the fact that the web is clogged with list posts, they continue to work. There's a good reason why. List headlines ooze curiosity. What are the 10 Things To Ban From Your Refrigerator? Do I know the 7 Ways To Save Money By Spending More? (And how does that work?!) The only way for your reader to find out is to click through to the content. No wonder the list is by far the most popular, and potentially the most effective type of headline/content combo that you can deploy. There are many approaches, some of which you can see below. The simplest format is the '10 [things]' approach: 10 Things That Make You Happiest 10 Things I Hate About TV News 10 Things You Didn't Know About Sesame Street The most popular variant is arguably the 'top 10' list of 'things', which can be used in a short, straightforward headline or a longer, more expressive one. Top 10 Most Congested Cities Top 10 Gifts For Peyton Manning Fans Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods To Eat While Watching Football Note how the last of the three previous headline examples (Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods...) bolts on a specific and narrow qualifier – "while watching Football". You can use linking words like 'while', 'and', 'that' and 'you' to add extra detail to your headlines. The benefit? A specific qualifier can make your headline stand out and instantly makes it more relevant, albeit to a smaller set of readers.

When 'List' Meets 'How To' The list headline works equally well for tutorial articles. Note the construction

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here: the 10 steps or ways are followed by a specific outcome (and even an extra benefit): 10 Steps To A Healthier You 10 Ways To Naturally Relieve Allergies 10 Tips On Maximizing Laptop Battery Performance The list approach can also be used to give perspective on a topic. I.e. 10 ways [something] did/does/will do [something else]: Top 10 Ways The PlayStation Phone Can Save Sony Ericsson 10 Ways Xbox 360 Changed Gaming Tiger Woods: 10 Ways In Which The Game Of Golf Has Changed Since The Car Crash The list headline is incredibly versatile, embracing: 'things', 'reasons', 'steps', 'mistakes', 'ways', 'tips', 'sure-fire methods', 'predictions', 'facts', 'rumours' and anything else you can think of.

But Is The List Headline Getting Boring? Only if you let it. You can also experiment with the positioning of your '10 things' list within the headline structure. It doesn't always need to lead from the front. There are other options, such as leading with a kicker or a question that sets up a problem/solution structure. Memo To Guys: 7 Things Never To Say In A Fight If You Don't Want Us To Blow A Gasket. K, Thanks. Unhealthy Hair? 5 Easy Fixes Finally, don't feel as though you need to stretch your 'ways' or 'things' to make an even number. Top 10s and Top 20s are certainly neat (and we have an interminable fondness for them). But they are also overused. You might find it hard to make your headline stand out in the gush of content that hits people's RSS readers and social media feeds every day. The Outbrain research I quoted earlier recommends using odd numbers in your

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list to catch the roving eye of web readers. You can see how it works for these examples: 23 Reasons Your Blog Isn't Making Any Money (And What To Do About It!) The 3-Step Formula To Launching Anything 6 Filmmaking Tips From The Coen Brothers

Why Have A 'Top 10' When You Can Have A 'Top 1'? By concentrating on a single piece of advice, you can provide a curious headline that's an effective antithesis to the traditional list post. To finish off this section, here are some examples of what I mean: One Simple Step That Increased My Sales By More Than 4X The #1 Reason Why You Should Create A Video Today The Must-Have Social Media Tool Every Content Marketer Needs

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The One Word That Gets Headlines Clicked You've probably already guessed. The word is 'curiosity'. Curiosity is an acknowledged psychological trigger. We're hardwired to seek answers. We're curious about things that challenge our expectations and perceptions. Give us a story and we'll want to know how it ends. Show us a puzzle and we'll want to solve it. Some of the most effective headlines in this book are those that don't give you the whole story. They tease and create a sense of anticipation for what is to follow. Take a look at the following headlines: 5 Challenges Entrepreneurs Never Expect 13 Painting Secrets The Pros Won't Tell You How We Built A Million Dollar Site In 4 Months Let's say that you find all three interesting and relevant. You're attracted. To engage you, each one sets up a question. "What are the challenges that entrepreneurs never expect?" "What do professional painters know that I don't?" and "How did they build a million dollar website?"

Opening The Curiosity Loop This questioning technique is often referred to as an 'open loop'. The headline opens the loop with an intriguing statement that inspires curiosity. The loop is subsequently closed in the main copy, satisfying the promise and answering the question that you've (hopefully) slotted into the reader's mind. Here's another example: 7 Ways You Are Secretly Sold Stuff Every Single Day. You've got no way of knowing what these '7 ways' are until you click through to the content. The open loop here creates curiosity and the anticipation for an answer. The addition of the word 'secret' boosts the curiosity value.

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Some of the best headlines fuse a benefit (or desired outcome) with this curiosity-based approach for maximum impact. Consider these examples: The 4 Words That Will Get Your Email Opened This headline follows a simple formula - Curiosity + Desired Outcome. The desired outcome is to 'get your email opened' and the headline teases that success is easy and that you only need to know '4 words'. What are these words? Is it really that easy? Only a click will reveal the answers. 7 Reasons Why No One Is Reading Your Blog Instead of using the Curiosity + Desired Outcome formula, this one flips it around to focus on a problem rather than a benefit. In this case 'no one is reading your blog'. The formula is therefore: Curiosity + Problem/Threat To Desired Outcome. Writing a list headline is an easy route to creating curiosity. It's one of the reasons that the list post format continues to be so popular. If you're interested enough to be attracted by the headline, you can easily get sucked in by the open loop. What are the 7 reasons why nobody is reading your blog? Do you know what all of them are? Is there something new that you can learn here to make you a better blogger?

Who Else Wants To Write An Awesome Headline? Asking a relevant question of your reader is another excellent way of opening a loop that only a click through to the content can close. Here are some good examples: What's the #1 WordPress SEO Tactic Every Blogger Should Implement? So what is the #1 Wordpress SEO tactic that every blogger should implement? You don't know. The headline gives very little away. You might already know what it is. But what it you don't? Can you afford not to click through if it's something that everyone else might be using to get ahead? Here's another headline that works: Unhealthy Hair? 5 Easy Fixes

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This headline seeks a narrow target and if a reader can answer 'no' to the question it poses, it loses all potential clickability. There's no attraction. But if a reader can answer 'actually, yes', then the second half of the headline promises several easy solutions. Who Else Wants to Sell More Ebooks? The 'Who else wants to...' headline construction is an acknowledged classic. Yes, so it's probably been overused and some people loathe it. But it's also simple and compelling. It takes its inspiration from the classic advertising headline: Who Else Wants A Screen Star Figure? It also leverages social proof. The 'who else' component implies that the author has already achieved the desired outcome - 'to sell more ebooks'.

Why Some People Always Write Great Headlines Using 'why' in a headline is another effective way of generating curiosity and enticing a reader to click through to your content. It takes an 'I know something you don't know' approach in an attempt to attract and intrigue. The construction is straightforward: Why [something] is causing a [problem]. Take a look at these examples to see it in action: Why Bad Writers Are Eating Your Lunch And What To Do About It This headline hopes to make you wonder why 'bad writers' (i.e. Writers that aren't as capable as you) are enjoying success and you aren't. It challenges your expectations. It also makes you two promises - the first is to identify how bad writers are faring better than you, the second is what you can do to level the playing field. Why Sitting At Work Can Be So Deadly Again, this headline successfully catches the eye because it suggests that something seemingly safe and ordinary can cause you harm. In this case, sedentary behaviour, like sitting down for long periods, can increase the risk of

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dying from cardiac and metabolic diseases. Headlines with curiosity baked into them often prove to be the most effective. So it's well worth collecting and swiping every clever example that you encounter. They can be deployed in a variety of content formats too, including lists, tutorials, case studies and explainers.

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How To Pull A Psychological Trigger You can use the Curiosity + Benefit formula to your advantage when you start to understand what motivates your audience. In the broadest terms, people typically want something for nothing - it's why the word 'free' is so powerful. But they're also cautious and brutally sceptical, because they don't want to be taken advantage of. They want more money (who doesn't?), they want to be more successful and often they want achievable shortcuts to that success. And they want of all this NOW. If you can construct a headline that taps into what your readers WANT, you can follow it up with content that addresses what they really NEED. The two are usually markedly different. Try incorporating any of the following psychological imperatives into your headlines to tap into these universal desires and look out for those examples that combine two elements together. Let's kick off with...

Promise Speed Or A Way To Save Time In this fast-paced world that we live in, we crave solutions that help us to save time. Microwaveable meals give us complicated dishes in minutes. DVRs record our favourite TV shows and let us fast-forward through the adverts. Diet pills might soon help us lose weight without going to the gym. Consequently, there's a group of people who desire instant gratification and shortcuts. The following headline taps into this 'need for speed': Something I Do To Boost Traffic AND Backlinks FAST This is another effective 'how to' alternative and one that's deliberately vague to inspire curiosity in the reader. It's ideal for communicating a single tip or tactic. By using the word 'something', you're hoping that the reader is intrigued enough to

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think 'OK, what?' Adding the time modifier 'fast' at the end gives it that extra benefit. Here are some more 'quick win' examples for your swipe file: 22 Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Photography Forever How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes A Day 15 Tips For Accomplishing More In Less Time

Imply Reduced Effort And Simplification Not only do we want to do tasks faster, we want them to be easier. Don't tell me how to solve a problem in 20 steps. Tell me how to solve it in five. Tell me what tools I can use to simplify and automate difficult or time-consuming tasks... You can get a reader's attention if you make your content sound comprehensive. To satisfy this desire for convenience, you get headlines such as: The Only Guide to Online Product Pricing You'll Ever Need Want to learn more about online pricing? This headline makes you a promise - the content that follows is the 'only guide' that 'you'll ever need'. On its own, the word 'guide' implies that you'll find a meaty, info-packed article when you click through. By adding 'you'll ever need' to the end, the headline suggests that, once you read this guide, the content is so good that you'll never need to read another article about online pricing again. If you think this approach could work for you, why not add these examples to your swipe file? Find 2 to 10 Extra Hours Per Week With One Simple Action Flatten Your Abs In 4 Easy Steps Easily Hang Tricky Items with a Photocopied Template

Suggest Saving Money Or Making More Money Money makes the world go around. If we're not trying to make more of it, we're 47


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hoping to be smarter about spending and saving the money that we have. If you live in a country that's powered by a capitalist economy, the pursuit of wealth is hard-wired into you from birth. It's why headlines like this one can be effective: How A Few Simple Tweaks Nearly Tripled My Profits The main attraction of this headline is 'tripled my profits'. Who wouldn't want to make three times more money than they are making today? It's a no-brainer. This headline also teases on two levels. First, it's not telling you what 'tweaks' achieve the money-making results - you've got to click through. While the word 'simple' suggests that the solution is easy and won't take up a lot of your time. Here are some more money-based examples for your swipe file: Beware! 7 Financially Fatal Spending Traps The Truth About Making Money While You Sleep 7 Keys To Starting A Profitable Business From Scratch

Hint At Threats, Dangers And Mistakes Nobody wants to fail. We all want to give ourselves the best chance of succeeding at what we do, whether it's building a successful website, buying a new car or travelling across Europe on the cheap. So if we can learn from the experiences and knowledge of others who've 'been there, done that', so much the better. They've made the errors, coped with the threats and dodged the dangers so we don't have to. Using this information, we can approach our challenges forewarned and forearmed. Here's a headline type that glues together curiosity and the negative 'mistakes' approach, wrapping it up in a convenient list-based format: Seven Mistakes Leaders Make in Setting Goals Written with a positive spin, this headline could have read: How To Set Clear And

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Compelling Goals For Your Business. But, by using the 'mistakes' approach, you're effectively teasing every business leader who reads the headline with seven mistakes they may (or may not) already be making. How could they not click through to assess their own performance? Add these similar headlines to your swipe file: 5 Social Media Mistakes to Stop Making At Work The 7 Deadly Sins Of Software Development Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)

Stoke People's Fear Of Missing Out Ever feel like everybody knows something that you don't? Annoying isn't it? I've already touched on the power of a headline with 'secrets' in the title. But it's not the only way to tease a reader with undiscovered knowledge. Look at this headline: 8 Things People Never Tell You About Having Kids Making people feel like they are missing out on something important is an effective tactic. You want people to be thinking to themselves: "What do people know that I don't?" and "Do I already know what the 8 things are?" Again, curiosity plays its part here. Maybe you do know what the 8 things are. But maybe there's something you haven't seen, something you've missed. Once that doubt appears in your mind, it's hard to get rid of. Here are some other swipe-able headlines in the same vein: 3 Social Media Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making 8 Foods You Should Not Refrigerate 50 Things You Should Never Have Stopped Doing

Take A Risk With Taboo Or Naughty Subjects Sex sells. And in a headline's case, the presence of sex, swearing or other taboo subjects can successfully sell a click through. Take a look at these examples: 49


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Why Porn and Journalism Have The Same Big Problem The Universe Doesn't Give a Flying F*** About You Both make use of the curiosity element to good effect - the first headline is subtler than the second, which shows much more attitude. It's worth noting that swearing in headlines can alienate certain types of reader, so this approach shouldn't be overused. But employing the 'taboo' mechanic doesn't need to involve sex or swearing. It can simply mean that your headline tackles a subject in a controversial way.

Weave In A Surprising Elephant Another smart approach to headline writing is to take an unusual tack, one that doesn’t initially match a reader’s expectations or that glues two contrasting elements together. Take a look at these two headlines: Why Smart People Are Stupid Gruesome War Injuries Rendered In Sprinkles And Ice Cream Writing unconventional headlines is about disrupting expectations. It can help you to stand out. Another effective approach is to take existing or familiar phrases and to transform them into something new. The following headlines illustrate this approach perfectly: How to Live Unhappily Ever After The Two Horsemen of the Enterprise Software Apocalypse Where do you find inspiration for headlines like these? You can find it everywhere – in song titles, movie names and TV show titles; in familiar sayings, quotes and populist catchphrases. The key is to make sure that you pick a recognisable phrase to play around with.

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You can also disrupt people’s headline expectations by writing extra-long headlines. Like this surprising example: Australian Billionaire Reportedly Planning To Clone A Dinosaur For Jurassic Park-Themed Resort Or you can go the other way to write extra short headlines. Like this: Disobey Get your one-word headline right and it can be more powerful than a much longer or proven headline template.

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Some Conclusions Remember that 80/20 statistic I mentioned earlier? While 80 per cent of people seeing your headline will actually read it, only 20 per cent will click through to the content. So if you only take one thing away from this ebook, I hope it's that headlines demand the same care and attention that you give your content. Your headline is your first and sometimes only opportunity to catch the eye of a potential reader and to engage their interest. If a headline is a hook, then you've got to make it worth biting.

The Art Of Great Headline Writing There's certainly an art to headline writing. But I hope that I've shown you that it's an art that you can quickly master. The key is a good (and comprehensive) swipe file. Not only does it provide a strong starting point for title brainstorming, but each swiped headline gives you a handy container to start pouring your own ideas into. Your ideas might not fit at first. They might slosh messily over the side. So you simply try another container. Then another. Or you glue two containers together to make a different one. Maybe that will hold your ideas. And if it doesn't, you try again until you find something that works. Yes. You might start off simply replacing a few words in an existing headline structure. You've got to start somewhere. But even the act of reading what somebody else has written can spark ideas for new headlines and lever open your creative brain to consider different approaches. As you see results, you'll start to get more confident. The more you write headlines, the less effort it takes to see how they work, like Neo finally glimpsing the glittering fabric of The Matrix. And slowly, you'll get

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more creative and more experimental. You'll try out new structures and hunt down new swipes far beyond your little corner of the Internet. That's a smart strategy. Because the day you stop learning is the day you start to lose your edge.

When Templates Crash And Burn Of course, it's not all plain sailing. There are lots of variables that can affect a headline's success - your choice of words, the topic, how saturated that topic is, whether you have chosen an angle that resonates with readers, the time you publish, your tone, how much you promote what you've written, who shares your content (and who doesn't). Even the best systems can fall foul of these publishing variables. In other words, what works for one writer might not work (or work differently) for another. When Andre Villas-Boas joined Chelsea Football Club from Porto he came in on the back of an undefeated league season and four trophies, including the Europa League title. His modern coaching methods and intelligent, attacking football marked him as one of the most exciting young football managers working in the game. Yet he was sacked less than nine months later. Villas-Boas hadn't become a bad manager during his time at Chelsea. But the variables that affected his job were very different - new club, new league, new expectations, a different group of players (some unwilling to adapt to his methods) and the impatience of a billionaire owner. Using a template doesn't guarantee success. You still need to understand how a swiped headline works, what psychological buttons it pushes and whether it will suit your own online audience. Take this classic David Ogilvy headline: At Sixty Miles an Hour, the Loudest Noise in this New Rolls-Royce Comes from the Electric Clock.

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It's unlikely that we can re-purpose this headline by simply changing a few words here and there. To do so would be lazy. Instead, look at WHY it works. Look at how it's specific ('At Sixty Miles an Hour'). See how it makes 'silence' a luxury benefit without saying directly that the Rolls Royce is a 'quiet car'. I doubt that this was the first headline that Ogilvy wrote for the Rolls Royce campaign. In fact, there are suggestions that he 'swiped' it from an earlier headline for Pierce-Arrows automobiles, which read: The only sound one can hear in the new Pierce-Arrows is the ticking of the electric clock. Ultimately, Ogilvy understood that it was the concept that really mattered. The rest was detail.

Have You Written A Great Headline? So how do you know if you've written a great headline? The truth is that you won't know for sure until you publish it and see what sort of impact it has. But here's a checklist you can run through to gauge your headline's potential value:       

Does it make a compelling promise? Is there an obvious benefit for the reader? Does it intrigue? Have you cut out all redundant words? Is it specific enough? Is it grammatically correct? Does it sound clunky if you read it aloud?

The best test is the simplest: does your headline work on a blank page? I.e. if the headline is the only thing a potential reader ever sees (no image, no sub-headline and no social indicators), does it say enough and promise enough for somebody to click through? If your headline isn't a 'how to' or a 'list', consider writing additional versions that use these formats so you can see if they work better. After all, they are two of the most effective headline structures you can deploy.

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While you're at it, if you've written a positive headline, try spinning it around into a negative one. Or if you've written your headline as a statement, try rewriting it as a question. And vice-versa. Try out as many approaches as you can to see if your headline can be bettered. Even changing a single word can sometimes have a dramatic effect, transforming a good headline into a great one.

What About Writing Twitter Headlines? I'll go out on a limb here and say that there isn't an art to writing great Twitter headlines. There's no secret sauce beyond what I've already talked about in this book. Tweets that include a link are generally still headlines. The success measurement is still a clickthrough. So with a few modifications, the same templates and constructions will work here as they work for article titles. They just need to be shorter.

And Great Email Subject Lines? A great subject line can be the difference between your email getting opened or getting trashed. You can also transfer some of the headline tactics to email marketing. If someone receives an email from you, it's usually because you have some sort of existing relationship with them and they have chosen to be interested in what you have to say. This familiarity means that there's less focus on the ATTRACTION part of headline writing. But when your email pops into their inbox, it's still got to work hard to engage them. So give the recipient a compelling reason to click. Intrigue them. Surprise them. Shock them. Or make them feel as though they'll be missing out on something if they don't open your email right now. 55


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Last, But Not Least... If you've read this far, thank you. I hope you've found some of the information useful and that you are well on your way to creating your own swipe file and writing better headlines. There's a list of all the headlines that I've featured in this book on the following pages. Plus some more 'power' words and a link to my own swipe file. If you enjoyed the book, do let me know. Ditto if there's anything I didn't explain in enough detail or missed out. Got a question? Ask it. You can get in contact directly with me via the goodcontentcompany.com website, where you'll also find more tips and resources to help you make the content creation process easier and faster. Best of luck.

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Credit Where Credit Is Due Where possible, the source websites for the headlines 'swiped' for this book are listed below. Note: some headlines have since changed or have been edited since this list was originally compiled. Miami Police Shoot, Kill Man Eating Another Man's Face (miami.cbslocal.com) 6 Reasons Why Bacon Is Better Than True Love (www.oatmeal.com) Threat From New Virus-Infected Emails Which Take Over Your PC Even If You DON'T Open Their Attachments (www.dailymail.co.uk) How Companies Learn Your Secrets (www.nytimes.com) How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did (www.forbes.com) Attract 100,000 Pageviews In 1 Month Using Slideshare (www.problogger.net) Gordon Ramsey Fingered in Trashy Lawsuit (www.tmz.com) SpaceX Dragon Departs ISS, Heads For Earth (www.pcmag.com) Tim Berners-Lee: The Web is threatened (news.cnet.com) The 10-Minute Technique To Becoming A More Productive Writer (www.copyblogger.com) How Content Turns Prospects Into Customers (www.socialmediaexaminer.com) Find 2 To 10 Extra Hours Per Week With One Simple Action (createbusinessgrowth.com) Google Publishes Free E-Guide To The Internet (www.pcmag.com) The Charlie Sheen Guide To Winning! At Online Marketing (www.copyblogger.com) The Mad Men Guide To Changing The World With Words (www.copyblogger.com) Teenage boys survive 50 days adrift in South Pacific (www.reuters.com) Apple-1 Computer Sells For ÂŁ133000 At Christie's (www.zdnet.co.uk) Oracle Wins A Whopping $1.3B Verdict Against SAP (venturebeat.com) Security Firms Issue Warning Over Email Worm (www.pcpro.co.uk) Guess What, You Don't Own That Software You Bought (www.wired.com) Fake Wi-Fi 'Steals Data And Numbers From Smartphones' (www.bbc.co.uk) 13 Painting Secrets The Pros Won't Tell You (www.popularmechanics.com) The #1 Reason Why You Should Create A Video Today (diythemes.com) Bizarre Arctic Discovery Baffles NASA Scientists (www.csmonitor.com) Neutrino Researchers Admit Einstein Was Right (www.guardian.co.uk)

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MIT Students' Invention Turns Bananas Into Keyboard (www.bbc.co.uk) New Car Mirror Eliminates Blind Spots With Physics (jalopnik.com) China Cuts Lending Rate As Its Economic Growth Slows (www.nytimes.com) Obama, Democrats Raise $60 Million In May (news.yahoo.com) Eduard Khil, Unlikely YouTube Sensation, Dies At 77 (www.nytimes.com) Space Shuttle Enterprise Docks At New Home (article.wn.com) Space Shuttle Enterprise Arrives At Manhattan Home (news.yahoo.com) Space Shuttle Enterprise Rides Barge To Its New York Home (www.news-magazin.net) Nasa Space Shuttle Enterprise Floated Up Hudson River To New York Museum (www.telegraph.co.uk) New Yorkers Welcome Enterprise Space Shuttle (www.voanews.com) Huge Crowds Welcome Shuttle Enterprise To NYC Museum (esciencenews.com) A New York Barge Pilot Smashed The Shuttle's Wing (jalopnik.com) Nintendo Announces 23 Wii U Titles, Netflix And Hulu Plus Support (mashable.com) Firefox 13 Brings New Home Page, One-Click Fix For Big Issues (mashable.com) Manchester Airport Set To Run Out Of Fuel - Sparking Half-Term Chaos (www.thesun.co.uk) Cranford Company Helps Space Shuttle Make Its Way Up The Hudson River (scotchplains.patch.com) 'You'll Get Another Wife': Police Told Widower After Wife's Murder (www.dailymail.co.uk) Prince Philip 'Improving Considerably' But Will Stay In Hospital (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk) Space Shuttle 'Grazes' Wing In Final River Voyage (www.afp.com) New Curriculum 'To Make Languages Compulsory From Seven' (www.bbc.co.uk) Obama: 'The Private Sector Is Doing Fine' (www.realclearpolitics.com) Facebook Will Disappear By 2020, Says Analyst (mashable.com) How Much Would You Lend To Your Friends Without Expecting It Back? (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk) Could these strange new microbes survive on Mars? (www.tgdaily.com) Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy? (www.guardian.co.uk) What's Worse: A Joint Or A Ciggie? (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk) Want a Cheap Ultrabook? Dell's New Inspiron Laptops Want You (mashable.com) Attack Of The Drones: US Navy Picks Linux For Its Unmanned VTOL Aircraft Control System (www.engadget.com)

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Sex, Scandal & Sorkin: Summer 2012 TV Preview (http://www.pajiba.com) Osborne: Charity Tax Was Wrong (news.bbc.co.uk) Nintendo: Wii U Will Be 'Hard To Understand' Until Gamers Go Hands-On (www.techradar.com) IPv6 Launch: The Day The Internet Avoids Disaster (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk) Syria Crisis: New Opposition Leader Calls For Mass Defections (www.france24.com) Prometheus Review: An Alien Reboot with Solid Scares (www.people.com) Nexus 7 Review: The Best $200 Tablet You Can Buy (www.engadget.com) Review: 'Prometheus' Is A Visually Stunning Epic Failure (www.forbes.com) How To: Undo "Send" In Gmail (mashable.com) How To Make Fried Chicken And Waffle Ice Cream (gizmodo.com) How To Make Yourself A Morning Person? (www.forbes.com) How To Invest In Alternative Metals? (www.iii.co.uk) How To Start A Blog That Matters (startablogthatmatters.com) How To Lose 30 Pounds In 24 Hours (www.fourhourworkweek.com) How To Create A Brand With Values (www.fastcoexist.com) How To Feed The World Without Wrecking The Planet? (www.trust.org) How To Beat Big Investors To Good Properties (www.zillow.com) How To Survive A Robot Uprising (www.robotuprising.com) How To Sell If You Hate Selling (www.inc.com) A Definitive Guide To Content Scraping And How To Stop It (www.hyperarts.com) 21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (And How To Fix Them) (www.socialmediaexaminer.com) Supercharge Your Conversion Rate Optimization: How To Structure CRO & Win (searchenginewatch.com) Facebook Just Changed Your Email Without Asking - Here's How To Fix It (gizmodo.com) How I Got Over the Jogging Beginner's Hump (lifehacker.com) How We Built A Million Dollar Site In 4 Months (www.blogstorm.co.uk) How My Self-Published Book 'Wool' Became A Hot Movie Property (www.huffingtonpost.com) How Hurricane Katrina Helped Save the Saints (fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com) How Facebook Went From Triumph To Disaster (www.ft.com) How Gluten Impacts The Brain (www.huffingtonpost.com) How Can I Find Out How Much Bandwidth I'm Using at Home? (lifehacker.com) Dear Aunt TUAW: How do I post a website on Dropbox? (www.tuaw.com)

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How do you know if copyright is working? (boingboing.net) 10 things to ban from your refrigerator (www.suntimes.com) 7 Ways To Spend Money By Spending More (finance.yahoo.com) 10 Things That Make You Happiest (www.women24.com) 10 Things I Hate About TV News (tribune.com.pk) 10 Things You Didn't Know About Sesame Street (www.buzzfeed.com) Top 10 Most Congested Cities (www.smartplanet.com) Top 10 gifts for Peyton Manning Fans (sports.yahoo.com) Top 10 Thanksgiving Foods To Eat While Watching Football (www.nesn.com) 10 Steps To A Healthier You (www.runningplanet.com) 10 Ways To Naturally Relieve Allergies (www.huffingtonpost.com) 10 Tips On Maximizing Laptop Battery Performance (www.lifehack.org) Top 10 Ways The PlayStation Phone Can Save Sony Ericsson (www.uswitch.com) 10 Ways Xbox 360 Changed Gaming (www.1up.com) Tiger Woods: 10 Ways In Which The Game Of Golf Has Changed Since The Car Crash (bleacherreport.com) Memo To Guys: 7 Things Never To Say In A Fight If You Don't Want Us To Blow A Gasket. K, Thanks. (www.glamour.com) Unhealthy Hair? 5 Easy Fixes (www.huffingtonpost.com) 23 Reasons Your Blog Isn't Making Any Money (And What To Do About It!) (www.copyblogger.com) The 3-Step Formula To Launching Anything (socialtriggers.com) 6 Filmmaking Tips From The Coen Brothers (www.filmschoolrejects.com) The Must-Have Social Media Tool Every Content Marketer Needs (www.copyblogger.com) What's the #1 WordPress SEO Tactic Every Blogger Should Implement? (diythemes.com) Who Else Wants to Sell More Ebooks? (www.problogger.net) Why Bad Writers Are Eating Your Lunch And What To Do About It (www.copyblogger.com) Why Sitting At Work Can Be So Deadly (www.forbes.com) 22 Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Photography Forever (improvephotography.com) How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day (blog.hubspot.com) 15 Tips for Accomplishing More in Less Time (gigaom.com) The Only Guide to Online Product Pricing You'll Ever Need (www.bybloggers.net)

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Find 2 to 10 Extra Hours Per Week With One Simple Action (createbusinessgrowth.com) Flatten your abs in 4 easy steps (Men's Health) Easily Hang Tricky Items with a Photocopied Template (lifehacker.com) Beware! 7 Financially Fatal Spending Traps (www.foxbusiness.com) The Truth About Making Money While You Sleep (www.copyblogger.com) Seven Mistakes Leaders Make in Setting Goals (www.forbes.com) 5 Social Media Mistakes to Stop Making At Work (www.forbes.com) The 7 deadly sins of software development (gigaom.com) 8 Things People Never Tell You About Having Kids (www.zenfamilyhabits.net) 3 Social Media Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making (www.bizsugar.com) 8 Foods You Should Not Refrigerate (blog.foodnetwork.com) 50 things you should never have stopped doing (Cosmopolitan) Why Porn and Journalism Have The Same Big Problem (www.theatlantic.com) The Universe Doesn't Give a Flying Fuck About You (johnnybtruant.com) Why Smart People Are Stupid (www.newyorker.com) Gruesome War Injuries Rendered In Sprinkles And Ice Cream (www.fastcodesign.com) How to Live Unhappily Ever After (online.wsj.com) The Two Horsemen of the Enterprise Software Apocalypse (www.businessweek.com) Australian Billionaire Reportedly Planning To Clone A Dinosaur For Jurassic Park-Themed Resort (betabeat.com) Disobey (johnnybtruant.com) And if you're interested in reading more about Outbrain's headline analysis, you can find the original article here: www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/06/headline-click-Through-rate

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Potent Power Words 10 Ways, 10 Tips, Absurd, Amazing, Attention, At Last, Beware, Bizarre, Bonus, Breakthrough, Cautious, Confidential, Complete, Cringe worthy, Curious, Definitive, Dirty, Discover, Easy, Effortless, Embarrassing, Explosive, Extraordinary, Finally, First, Fix, Free, Fact, Genuine, Guaranteed, Hack, Hardcore, Help, Hidden, Honest, Hot, How Much, How To, Humiliating, Immediate, Important, Improve, Increase, Insider, Instant, Know, Learn, Little-known, Money, Mistake, New, Never, Now, Only for, Outstanding, Overlooked, Peculiar, Profit, Proven, Rarely, Real, Reduce, Results, Revealed, Sale, Secret, Sensational, Shameful, Shortcut, Spectacular, Sincere, Stop, Stunning, Super, Threat, Truth, Top 10, Today, Ultimate, Understand, Underground, Unsung, Unusual, Urgent, Warning, Weird, Win, You. Plus: Latest, Newest, Best, Worst, Hottest, Biggest, Smallest, Thinnest, Tallest, Cheapest, Newest, Etc.

Use My Swipe File Plunder the contents of my swipe file. You can find it here: www.goodcontentcompany.com/swipe

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Dean Evans? Who he? Since 1992, Dean Evans has written hundreds of thousands of words from technology news and movie reviews to celebrity interviews and books. Dean is the founder of The Good Content Company, which currently provides copywriting/freelance writing services and time-saving content creation tools. He lives in the UK with his wife, two children and a work-in-progress novel about record-playing wizards. Connect with Dean at: www.goodcontentcompany.com/about twitter.com/goodcontentco twitter.com/evansdp (But he won't talk about the wizards).

There's More Where This Came From Want to make all aspects of content creation easier and faster? Check out the creative tools at www.goodcontentcompany.com/tools.

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