Great content or design is important, but the winning part of writing an article is the headline.

Unless you practice regularly, creating a headline can be tedious and draining.  If you don’t get it right, no-one will read your blog or eBook.  It is important to remember not to publish until you have created a headline that answers the question, “If someone else wrote this, would I read it?”

Here is a simple formulae I use to write my headlines.

Number  +  Trigger word +  Adjective + Keyword + Promise

Use numbers, always.  For some reason, 3 and 5 work really well.  Although, sometimes a weird number will also work, like 37.

These are trigger words – Free, Effortless, Painstaking, Fun, Incredible, Essential, Absolute, Unique

Use interesting adjectives – Reasons, Principles, Facts, Lessons, Ideas, Secrets, Tricks, or if nothing else comes to mind, Ways.

Then maybe one of these keywords – What, Why, When, How and Who

Then finish off with the Big promise.  It must be valuable to your demographic.  This can be anything from a new skill, a new look, a dare or anything that is going to drive the headline.  Promise big, and be daring *.

* Deliver what you say you are going to, and always make sure that you have used these techniques to draw your reader into something exciting.

Here are some examples

5 Unbelievable Ways You Can Cook Chocolate Chip Cookies
7 Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Catchy, Viral Headlines
3 Essential Secrets You Can Learn From the Chicken Salad