1. Give Me [short time period] and I’ll Give You [blank].
This headline promises a strong benefit to the reader, like all good headlines do. But this one is especially effective because it promises to deliver in a very short time period.
- Give Me Five Days – And I’ll Give You the Secret of Learning any Subject!
- Give Me Three Minutes a Day – and I’ll Give You a Better Complexion.
2. If You Don’t [blank] Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
We love to belong, but feeling excluded is a real bummer. Whether it be a financial opportunity or the social event of the year, we simply hate it when we get left out.
- If You’re Out of the Market Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
- If You’re Not at SXSW 2007, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
3. The Lazy [blank’s] Way to [blank].
This headline has always worked well with time-pressured people, and that’s certainly true for most people today. No one likes to think of themselves as lazy, but everyone likes to save time and effort.
- The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches.
- The Lazy Dad’s Way to Quickly Getting Dinner on the Table.
- The Lazy Blogger’s Way to Write Great Post Titles.
4. Do You Recognize the [number] Early Warning Signs of [blank]?
OK, technically this is still a list, but it’s wrapped up in a much more compelling structure than your typical “Top 10” article. People want to avoid problems, and this headline promises the critical tips before it’s too late.
- Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure?
- Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of an Employee Meltdown?
- Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of Digg Addiction?
5. See How Easily You Can [desirable result].
We love quick and easy when it comes to learning something new or gaining some advantage.
- See How Easily You Can Learn to Dance This New Way.
- See How Easily You Can Own a Lamborghini Miura.
- See How Easily You Can Increase Traffic With Social Media.
6. You Don’t Have to Be [something challenging] to be [desired result].
People almost always have preconceived notions about things, and this can be a barrier to taking action. Remove the barrier that stands between them and the desired result with your headline, and people will flock to read what you have to say.
- You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Retire on a Guaranteed Income for Life.
- You Don’t Have to Be a Geek to Make Money Online.
- You Don’t Have to Be an A-Lister to Be a Kick-Ass Blogger.
7. Do You Make These Mistakes?
This is always a powerful attention grabber, since no one likes to make mistakes. If you’ve targeted your content well for your intended audience, helping people avoid common mistakes is a sure-fire winner with this type of headline.
- Do You Make These Mistakes in English?
- Do You Make These Ajax Coding Mistakes?
8. Who Else Wants [blank]?
Starting a headline with “Who Else Wants…” is a classic social proof strategy that implies an already existing consensus desire. While overused in the Internet marketing arena, it still works like gangbusters for other subject matter.
- Who Else Wants a Great Blog Template Design?
- Who Else Wants a Higher Paying Job?
- Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress When on Vacation?
9. The Secret of [blank]
This one is used quite a bit, but that’s because it works. Share insider knowledge and translate it into a benefit for the reader.
- The Secret of Successful Podcasting
- The Secret of Protecting Your Assets in Litigation
- The Secret of Getting Your Home Loan Approved
10. Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]
Simply identify your target audience and the benefit you can provide them, and fill in the blanks.
- Here is a Method That is Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds on Insurance
- Here is a Method That is Helping Children Learn to Read Sooner
- Here is a Method That is Helping Bloggers Write Better Post Titles
11. Little Known Ways to [blank]
A more intriguing (and less common) way of accomplishing the same thing as “The Secret of…” headline.
- Little Known Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill
- Little Known Ways to Hack Google’s Gmail
- Little Known Ways to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely
12. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
A classic formula that identifies either a painful problem or an unfulfilled desire that the reader wants to remedy.
- Get Rid of Your Unproductive Work Habits Once and For All
- Get Rid of That Carpet Stain Once and For All
- Get Rid of That Lame Mullet Hairdo Once and For All
13. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
People love quick and easy when it comes to solving a nagging problem.
- Here’s a Quick Way to Get Over a Cold
- Here’s a Quick Way to Potty Train Junior
- Here’s a Quick Way to Backup Your Hard Drive
14. Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]
The is the classic “have your cake and eat it too” headline — and who doesn’t like that?
- Now You Can Quit Your Job and Make Even More Money
- Now You Can Meet Sexy Singles Online Without Spending a Dime
- Now You Can Own a Cool Mac and Still Run Windows
15. [Do something] like [world-class example]
Gatorade milked this one fully with the “Be Like Mike” campaign featuring Michael Jordan in the early 1990s.
- Speak Spanish Like a Diplomat
- Party Like Paris Hilton
- Blog Like an A-Lister
16. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of
Appeal to vanity, dissatisfaction, or shame. Enough said.
- Build a Body You Can Be Proud Of
- Have a Smile You Can Be Proud Of
- Build a Blog Network You Can Be Proud Of
17. What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]
Big curiosity draw with this type of headline, and it acts almost as a challenge to the reader to go ahead and see if they are missing something.
- What Everybody Ought to Know About ASP
- What Everybody Ought to Know About Adjustable Rate Mortgages
- What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Great Headlines