How to write headlines

How to write effective headlines

Your headline is the most important element on your website. It is the first (and often the only) thing that your visitors notice. Whether they decide to read your content or not depends on how effectively you hook them with your headline. This is why knowing how to write effective headlines is one of the first tricks you need to master to have a successful business online.


On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. It follows that, if you don’t sell the product in your headline, you have wasted 80 percent of your money.

David Ogilvy

How to write effective headlines

Only 20% of your visitors will read your copy


Oh. And you have only 8 seconds for that.

A study shows the majority of your visitors will leave your website within 8 seconds. Whether they decide to stick around or not depends on you – and to be more precise, on your headline.

So how to write headlines that work? Here are the proven rules to writing effective headlines.
The best part of it, you don’t need to be a copywriter! Anybody can do it.

10 effective and tested templates for writing effective headlines

1. Who Else Wants [blank]?

The type of headlines work because of our tendency to follow others, especially when we are in a new situation. The words ‘who else’ implies that others are already doing it, so you want to join in. Not doing so means you’re missing out (and did I already mention we hate losing?)


  • Who else wants to know how to sell from a blog?
  • Who else wants to earn S10,000 a month?

2. The Secret of [blank]

The word ‘secret’ brings about feeling that something is limited, only for a lucky few. Framing your headline this way will make people want the information/product more. That will make them feel more special.


  • The Secret to doubling your conversions.
  • The Secret of getting a girlfriend.

3. Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]

A very straight forward headline structure, pointing to both: who is it for, and what benefits will they get.


  • Here is a Method that is helping families manage their budgets.
  • Here is a Method that helps car owners save on insurance.

4. Little Known Ways to [blank]

This template is similar to template #2. If something is ‘little known’ it means not everybody knows about it. That creates a stronger desire to have it.


  • Little Known Ways to charge higher prices for your products.
  • Little Known Ways to lose weight.

5. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All

This type of headline links directly to the issue your product is solving. It bases on the pain or problems your target is feeling, a very strong desire for taking actions.


  • Get Rid of back pain once and for all.
  • Get rid of spiders in your house once and for all.

6. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]

The strength of this headline lies in a word ‘easy’. We all have problems we would like to solve, but we are often too lazy to do it. We are looking for solutions that are easy and that don’t require too much effort from us.


  • Here’s a Quick Way to remove stains from your clothes.
  • Here’s a Quick Way to back up your computer data.

7. Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]

Who says we can’t have it all? This type of headline is strong because it says we can have both things. Too many times we have to choose between 2 amazing options. Any choice equals losing something else.
With this headline we give hope to people that they don;t have to choose.


  • Now You Can Earn Money without Leaving your home
  • Now You Can Buy Live in the city center and enjoy greenery.

8. [Do something] like [world-class example]

This headline relates to our aspirations. If you want to learn acting, that wouldn’t you love to be as good and famous as Brad Pitt? If you play basketball, wouldn’t you want to be the next Michael Jordan?


  • Paint like Picasso
  • Drive like Shumacher

9. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of

By asking this kind of a question you are reminding people of something they know they should have done, but didn’t. It makes them feel guilty and so listen to your message.


  • Build a career You Can Be Proud Of
  • Have a clean house You Can Be Proud Of

10. …

The 10 templates were originally presented on Copyblogger


Now back to you.

Do you have any tested headlines that always work for you? Share them in the comments section below.

And if you liked this article, like it on FB, tweet it or share with your friends.

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  • ashwin

    Reply Reply June 1, 2013

    a very nice post yet again you really should be on twitter promoting this content, i thoroughly enjoy reading these nuggets of marketing wisdom whenever i see your post…

    • Magda Kay

      Reply Reply June 1, 2013

      Hey Ashwin! I’m glad you enjoy it :) And – we are now on Twitter, too. Search for: Psych4Marketers

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