How To Write Effective Headlines – Cheat Sheet

Updated: February 19, 2016
by Ray Alexander

Keywords! Keywords! SEO is the most important topic for website marketers and bloggers. Everyone spends substantial time to search for killer keywords relevant to the page content before even start writing the first sentence. That's one thing. But the Headlines - page title, has to be catchy enough to grab web users' attention. Just which of the following two titles grabs your attention more?

  • How To Lose Weight in 30 Days
  • 15 Mind-Blowing Secrets To Lose Fat in 30 Days

Of course, your interest would be drawn to the second title/headline more - so here is a cheat sheet, storming session of eye-catching words and expressions, so that as many readers will click to actually visit your page... Although once you've headlined "Mind-Blowing Secrets", you'll have to write appropriately amazing article!

Attention Grabbing Adjectives

How to write effective headlines starts with finding emotionally attractive words. As well as "Mind-blowing", there are a lot of "bigger" words that you can use instead of "Great" or "Awesome".

  • Eye-Opening
  • Jaw-Dropping
  • Sensational
  • Spectacular
  • Amazing
  • Brilliant
  • Stunning
  • Striking
  • Incredible
  • Exciting
  • Delightful
  • Provocative
  • Magical
  • Killer
  • Miraculous

In opposite-side, there are better words to express something unpleasant in the headline, instead of saying “unpleasant” “not good”, such as “Disgusting Lies About Weight Loss” – pretty shocking, isn’t it?

  • Ruthless
  • Arrogant
  • Beware
  • Sin
  • Obnoxious
  • Catastrophe
  • Evil
  • Terror / Horror
  • Volatile
  • Deadly
  • Embarrassing
  • Hoax
  • Forbidden
  • Murderous
  • Poisonous
  • Hazardous
  • Scandalous
  • Insidious
  • Outrageous (can be good or bad)

And of course, making or saving money words instead of saying “Cheap handbags” or “Discount”;

  • Bargain
  • Bonanza
  • Double-saving
  • Six-figure
  • Free
  • Bonus
  • Prize
  • Fortune
  • Extra
  • Skyrocket

How To Write Effective Headlines – Cheat Sheet

Now, use some of the big words above, you can start creating attention-grabbing sentences.

Use Numbers#1 Use Numbers

You must have seen a lot of headlines using numbers, such as “15 Reasons Not To ___” “8 Things You Should Consider When ___” “I Lost 30 Pounds In 2 Months” This method is certainly very popular.

#2 Lifestyle And Relationships

Lifestyle blogs are mostly about improving appearances, knowledge and skills, relationships or health issues. There are a lot of headlines that can stand out such as;

  • How To Get ___ In The Way You Want
  • How To Get ___ In 10 Seconds
  • Now You Can Have Better ___ With Less Effort
  • Plan A Perfect ___
  • lifestyleEverything You Need To Know About ___
  • Look And Act Like ___
  • ___ Like A Hollywood Star
  • What ___ Really Want
  • 5 Ways To Boost Your ___
  • ___ Do’s And Don’ts
  • The Secret Of Getting The Best Of ___
  • Have A ___ You Can Be Proud Of
  • Revealed: 6 Signs You May Be ___
  • Top 7 Expert Tips To Create ___ Ideas
  • Find Your Perfect ___ Now!
  • Who Else Want To ___ ?
  • How To ___ In Half The Time

Money Savings#3 Money Savings

Advice something with less cost involved. Typical headlines would be;

  • 8 Ways To ___ On A Budget
  • 9 Best ___ Under $50
  • Now You Can Be/Get ___ For Free!
  • 10 Money Saving Tips For ___
  • Are ___ Worth The Money?
  • Top ___ Deals On The Web
  • Get The Best Price For Your ___

problem solving#4 Problem Solving

Your page is about advice to avoid risks, prevent accidents etc, then the effective way to display the fear in the headline can be;

  • 11 Most Scariest ___
  • 12 Most Frightening ___ Facts
  • What ___ Never Tells You About ___
  • Beware Of ___
  • Is It Really Safe To ___ ?
  • How Secure Is Your ___ ?
  • 13 Unseen Facts About ___
  • Truths And Lies About ___
  • 14 ___ You Should Never Try ___
  • 15 Reasons Not To ___
  • How To Spot/Avoid ___ Scams
  • How To Spot A Fake ___

The Best#5 Best And Worst

Product comparison and reveal the best and the worst is very popular as a page context. Also for great experiences, appalling stories to tell, beautiful images and shocking facts… the title should be inviting accordingly.

  • The World’s Best (Worst) Ever ___
  • Top 16 Most Striking ___
  • 17 Most Useful ___
  • 18 ___ We Don’t Want To See ___
  • The World’s Most Unusual ___
  • 19 Most Hilarious ___
  • Top 20 Best And Worst ___ In The World
  • 21 Best (Worst) ___ Clips In Movies

Truths#6 Facts And Truths

We often see some pages packed full of useful information and guidance but have a bland headline such as “How To Write Effective Headlines – Cheat Sheet” (have we seen this title anywhere? Never!) Little bit spicier headlines can be such as;

  • 22 Most Promising ___ Myths
  • 23 ___ Facts Everyone Needs To Know
  • What Everyone Should Know About ___
  • All You Need To Know About ___
  • The Real Truth About ___
  • The Secret Of Successful ___
  • The Modern Rules Of ___

I hope the above examples have provided a bit of inspiration, but it’s always good to check out other popular news sites and their headlines. Look at for example, they always use a combination of numbers and appealing words.

Headline And Its Contents

By now you may have guessed that when you write a blog, the headline (title) is not necessarily the first thing to decide. You decided “7 Most Beautiful Sceneries In The World” and you may come up with the 8th one as you write.

Also as you write the contents, your point of direction may change. For example you were going to write about beautiful sceneries but realise you have a lot more to say about your travel experiences. Often you have a better idea for the headline as you write along and towards the end of writing.

Stuck With Keywords? Try Jaaxy!

Now you know how to write effective headlines, but you still have to come up with good keywords to get your site ranked high in search engines. It is essential for you to know how many other websites are ranked for a keyword. The keyword competition function is only available with Jaaxy, it is a real powerful tool.

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About the author 

Ray Alexander

Hi! I’m Ray. Over the past 15+ years I have been involved with web designing, programming and online marketing. I work from home and have a passion for exploring new tools, services and programs in order to make money online. I’m here to help you succeed in building a profitable business by sharing my experiences. Any question, don’t hesitate to ask!

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