How to write a winning headline

The way in which you phrase things can be a deal maker or a deal breaker, especially in writing titles for your posts. Headlines are after all the deciding factor for a reader as to whether or not they will read your article. On top of that, the perfect headline does not only extend to your blog article, you can translate this into the perfect Tweet to drive traffic to your website, a Facebook status update, descriptions for Pinterest and Instagram and even book titles, if you are heading that way. Happily this is not something to break your head over – we have found some formulas which will help you to write a luring headline.


Taking bounce rates into consideration, why do articles fail to get a great number of hits? It might be that the headline does not convey the content of the article, the title of the post may be too vague or the title may present multiple meanings (one of which may or may not be terribly off-putting).

Top tips for a hit headline:

  1. The six word wonder
    KISS metrics has reported that users will read both the first three and the last three words of your blog, meaning that the ideal headline consists of exactly six words.
  2. The SHINE method
    The same author who suggests the six word headline, recommends choosing the words to go into your headline according to the SHINE method:
    Specify: Use figures to attract users.
    Helpfulness: Be direct by stating what issue you are going to address.
    Immediacy: Make the headline interesting, compelling readers to click on it.
    Newsworthiness: Make the reader believe that you have information to offer which they have not encountered before.
    Entertainment value: Make the headline fun, whimsical, ‘punny’ or humorous.
  3. The formula
    Lenka Istvanova generated a formula for the ultimate headline, using data from an analysis of headlines which get clicks: Number+Adjective+Keyword+Rationale+Promise


Once you have picked the tip to follow for writing your winning headline, consider the following:

  • In search results, you have 65 characters to use before your headline will get cut off.
  • Adjectives make a headline gripping, consider using one or two…
  • Numbers add to the SHINE idea of specifying.
  • Remember that you can still pack a punch with a subhead for your article (by inserting a colon after your headline or just adding a complimentary headline) so make it count!


We give thanks to some excellent resources:

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