Copywriting Matters: How Do You Write a Great Headline?

how to write a headline

Headlines are important. Like… incredibly important. How a headline is written, read, and perceived will actually determine the number of people that will read and/or share an article or blog post. It’s marketing and psychology all rolled into one.

It’s true that there’s no one formula that can decide what kind of headline will work best for what kind of audience. We have a process, as many marketers do, for coming up with a headline that will do its job well, and use tools (like CoSchedule’s headline analyzer) to help back up our ideas. Some good old fashioned research also helps.

BuzzSumo did an in-depth study on the most shared headlines on Facebook and Twitter (the two most dominant consumer content sites) to get some more insight into what really makes an engaging, shareable article headline.

Facebook Headline Highlights: What the Data Tells Us

Out of 100 million headlines published between March 1st and March 10th of 2017, here are the 3-word phrases that were most engaged with on Facebook:

how to write a headline

1. The phrase “will make you” had more than twice the engagement as the second most popular.

2. Headlines that tug at the heart strings work wonders. What can I say? People love emotion. Be careful when using it for your business, though – headlines that exaggerate or use sensational language tends to devalue the content.

3. Readers are always curious, so writing a headline that provokes curiosity in some way is more likely to prompt people to click through and read more. Using a headline that promises answers, insight, or explanations, like “This is why you should be sleeping on your left side,” are also popular.

4. Targeting is key! Headlines that appeal to a specific group of people will always grab a lot of engagement, and they’ll be more likely to share with others that belong to their “tribe.”

5. The number of words matters. Posts with 12 to 18 words in a headline (and 80 to 95 characters) received more shares and engagement than any other range.

6. Lists still work, and yes, specific numbers will make a difference!


Learn more about the science of a great headline on the BuzzSumo site.

What’s the best headline you’ve ever clicked through on? Let us know on Facebook!

New to the Team: Meet Our Growth Hacker, Faye!

Hi, I’m Faye – a 23-year-old with clout originally from the tub (Bath, UK). 

After completing my degree last year I moved over to Girona in Catalunya at the start of September 2k16 in search of sun, sea and hopefully a marriage proposal. You can laugh, but Brexit woes are real.

I settled here quite nicely and got stuck into all the techie things happening in Europe’s new Silicon Valley. I am an avid fan of start-ups and growth hacking in particular.

Love him or hate him, Simon Sinek gave me a little boost to pursue my interest in marketing (Start With Why) and I was really inspired at the Barcelona Start-Up Weekend working alongside the coolest cats in the business and developed a really great energy and passion for new start-ups.

And so here I am, I’m a teenie tiny bit of geek really. But, I’m cute with it.

When I’m not working, you can often find me on my balcony with a gin+tonic jamming, or bopping about town on the pursuit of happiness.


New Week, New Tips: 5 Ways to Avoid Failing on a Monday Morning

Mondays can be… rough. Have you ever woken up past your alarm and felt like you’ve watched your day slide down the drain? Here are some ways to avoid the unfriendly flukes that begin the moment your mind says ‘new week, fresh…’

1. Install some brain training applications.

Peak, Lumosity, Elevate, whatever design tickles your fancy – there seems to be a different app for all. Offering a wide range of nimble games to test your memory, logic or focusing abilities, you’ll have no excuse to walk into a door or accidentally feed the cat porridge.

2. Do wake up stretches.

You get up to probably sit back down again all day, right? Well, you might be stretched for time (pardon the pun) in the morning, but even a few minutes will do. Not only does this help your coordination, allowing for a freer and easier movement throughout the day, it also gets the blood flowing through your muscles to gain extra energy and sharpen that concentration.

Office laziness takes its toll, sitting has become the new smoking over decades, rest assured this also helps with posture.

3. Wait. Put the coffee down.

Trying to wake yourself up with a coffee is actually counterproductive. Basically, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol – branded the ‘stress hormone’ appearing when, and for obvious reasons I probably don’t need to explain.

This hormone is a key component of our natural day cycle, otherwise known as ‘the circadian clock’. We need this clock to help wake us up in the morning and tell us to rest at night. So when our body releases cortisol, we feel more awake. Now, early in the morning, mid-dayish, and in the evening – cortisol levels rise. Whilst the levels are high, we develop long-term tolerances (we all know what happens in these conditions) all the while, caffeine interferes with the production of cortisol. It’s just not good, okay!

4. Use wake up apps to jumpstart the day.

You really can be a morning person! There’s Wake n Shake, requiring you to literally shake your phone. It may not completely wake you up, but your arm will surely be ready for the day. Better Me will humiliate you by sharing your failure to your Facebook page EVERY TIME you hit snooze. It’s risky but tempting. I just downloaded it.

5. Write your dreams down.

Story sharing, self-evaluation, lucidity, routine check, morning motivation, need I list more? Dreams are fascinating in my eyes. Capturing your unconscious memories can serve so many purposes. You eventually create lucid dreaming, you analyse what on earth was going through your mind before you entered this and you hold a diary of these unresponsive hours for the rest of your life. Am I selling it to you? You should try it anyway, it’s constructive and meaningful.

Is everything starting to make sense now? The main purpose is to look after yourself and all the rest will follow. It seems every excuse in this world has actually been covered some way or another. So maybe you can start looking forward to a Monday now, what a treat!

If you have any suggestions for us or want to mention we have completely changed your life, please don’t hesitate to share this with us! Your possibilities are convenient – comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.