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Tell me if this sounds familiar: you spent hours writing your latest blog, guide, or sales page. After all this hard work, it’s almost time to publish.

Only one thing is missing: the title / title.

Without thinking too much, you write a short headline and call it day. After all, it’s the content that matters, right?

Not so fast …

You only have five seconds to capture potential readers. If your headline doesn’t grab attention, no one will click and read your content.

And if they don’t read your content, they can’t understand how awesome you are.

And if they don’t know how awesome you are, they won’t join your mailing list!

AND if they don’t sign up for your mailing list, they probably won’t buy your products.

You had the idea …

Lots of things make the headlines! Whether it’s for a blog post or a sales page, a fabulous headline will garner more clicks. Today I want to share with you five formulas so that you can write winning headlines that will increase your click-through rate (CTR) and attract potential readers.

5 title formulas

With each formula, you are invited to rearrange them!

Although I list five, there are many other formulas. As you write more and more headlines, you’ll start to get a feel for which ones your audience prefers.

1. [benefit] [timeframe] [objection]

This formula works great for hands-on tutorials. When writing headlines, you should focus on the benefit (or outcome) your reader will receive after reading your content.

For example, let’s say you wrote a blog post detailing the steps to learn French.

The advantage of reading your article is simple: the reader will clearly understand how to learn French.

Then how long will it take the reader to implement your advice? Let’s say it’s 6 months.

Finally, what objection might your audience have? They might not live in a French speaking country, so it can be difficult to learn a new language without being immersed. In this case, your title could be “Learn to speak French in 6 months without living in France”.

Why this formula works: Your audience judges your titles the moment they see them. By responding to common objections, you are able to get them back quickly before they have a chance to decline your content.

2. # [noun] [benefit]

This headline formula works well for listicles. People prefer titles with numbers. In reality, Driver the numbers found are the most preferred type of headline.

Bar graph
Image via driver

You don’t have to go far to find titles with numbers. Just type in any Google search and watch the results; you’re bound to see a few (if not a lot) numbered headlines strewn across the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Screenshot of Google search results
The results of my « home training » search

And, it turns out that these titles follow that formula too! However, I personally believe that one is stronger than the other.

Unaware that these results are gendered, I prefer the first headline: “8 home workouts to lose weight and build muscle”. This is because it gives a concrete advantage.

In this formula, your name matches whatever your article is about. For example, if you write about remedies for headaches, your name is « remedies for headaches ». Your title could then be “5 Headache Remedies to Get Rid of Headaches Naturally”.

You can also replace the name with « means of », which turns the formula into # ways of [benefit], that is, “5 Ways to Get Rid of Headaches Without Using Painkillers”.

Why it works: People love the options. Your readers will know that your content will provide them with a number of different ideas.

3. Stop [pain point]

Let’s take a step back from the benefits for a second to talk about the pain points. Addressing weak spots in your audience is another great strategy to grab the attention of your readers.

Ask yourself what problem your content solves.

If you’ve written an article on improving productivity, your readers’ potential problem might be that they can’t seem to focus enough during the day to complete their to-do list.

In this case, your headline might be “stop feeling distracted and learn to do more”.

Why it works: People like to feel heard and understood. When you approach their issues, you end up saying “listen, I know what you need and I’m here to help”.

4. [timeframe] at [benefit]

Here’s another formula that has a number (which we’ve already learned works well)!

If you can set a deadline for your content, try this formula.

« 2 weeks to lighten the skin ».

« 60 days for a well-behaved dog ».

And don’t be afraid to rearrange the formula. For example, “Start your blog in 1 hour”. You still have a schedule and an advantage, just in reverse order! (In fact, most of these title formulas can be rearranged to your liking).

Why it works: When people want to solve a problem, they like to know how long it’s going to take. For example, if I want clear skin, I want it fairly quickly, so an article that can promise me results within a specific timeframe will get my click on an article that doesn’t specify it.

5. [verb] your [noun] + your choice

A verb is an action word, and a noun is a person, place, or thing. For the end, you can get creative and add whatever you think will complement your title.

Here are some examples:

  • « Grow your own sustainable garden without a greenhouse ».
  • « Write your own bestselling novel in 1 year »
  • « Curl your hair without a curling iron ».

This formula offers some flexibility. Use a verb + a noun, then fill the end with a delay or objection (or whatever else you can think of)!

Why it works: Sometimes the best is easy. All of these titles get straight to the point and work for a variety of different content types.

And the clickbait?

Clickbait is when your headline deliberately misleads your audience. So let’s say I wrote an article on how to make sauerkraut.

(FYI, sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) takes several weeks to ferment and be ready to eat.)

But let’s say I titled my blog post “1 hour sauerkraut”. Well… that would be clickbait because it is not possible to ferment cabbage in 1 hour!

Clickbait will increase your bounce rate and contribute to a bad user experience, so keep your headlines as specific as possible!

Try the headline formulas above and see which ones you (and your audience) like best!

This article may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn qualifying purchases.


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