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5 Cheap Headline Strategies that Actually Work. Especially #3

I have been blogging for a long time and was constantly looking for a success formula for writing effective headlines. There are many techniques utilising psychology, humour, fear, urgency and many more. For ages I have been using numbers, power adjectives such as free, brilliant, amazing, breathtaking and others to attract potentials readers to click on the article and read it.

Lately I’ve been seeing one really interesting method for making a viral headline. Despreneur focuses on quality and I have never wanted to be seen as a cheap magazine just fighting for the traffic. However, I am all about thinking outside the box, experimenting, failing and learning so lets see if number #3 will work with this article. I was inspired by this post on Life Buzz: 30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself. #4 Is Absolutely Vital. which makes you wonder what is the number 4?

1. Use Numbers

Numbers work very well as people have more options and can choose the best option or apply couple of them. It is very easy to come up with headlines using a X ways to Y formula. Some usable examples:

10 Ways to _____

Top 10 Scary _____ Facts

10 Good Ways NOT to _____

5 Things _____ Should Never Do


Free sells very well. Sounds funny but using word free and giving away free stuff is still one of the most effective way to… everything. Freemium is the most popular business model where you drive critical mass to your free product or service and offer something extra for money. Conversion might be really low but having tons of users will eventually convert into profit. Check my previous article on Hongkiat about the Freemium business model and more: How To Make Successful Projects With “Free” Business Model.

3. Make Your Reader Curious

That is the thing that probably hooked you up to read this article. You want to find the success formula and all the possible shortcuts to reach your goals faster. We all want success, that is why it works, because you rely on my opinion and want to find out if it really works and does wonders. Sadly there are no secret formulas to success, just hard work and experimenting. For some content type this headline may work for other it may not.

4. Offer Value

Value is what attracts and most important, keeps readers on your website. If your readers will find value that fulfills their needs, helps in achieving goals or simply has a solution to a problem, they will stay and will want  more from you. Here on Despreneur I am trying to share valuable tutorials and guides that can help you learn a new skill or solve a problem in your business or personal life.

Check some examples here on Despreneur:

The Ultimate Guide to Blogging

How to Design a Website Using UIkit

Key Networking Principles For Design Entrepreneurs

5. Include Experts or Famous People

We love leaders, winners, heroes. We believe in what they do, we admire their stories and we listen to their advices. That is why you should start using big names in your headlines. There is one live example on Despreneur: 15 Young Designers to Follow in 2014.

Below are some usable templates:

Exclusive Strategies from _____

10 Ways to _____  by _____

How to Design Like _____

Life Lessons by _____


There are dozens of more techniques and ways to come up with an effective headline but you should always keep experimenting until you find what works best in your niche and your business. Let me know what you think about this article and how do you come up with headlines for your publications.

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