Everybody wants to write great content but, to be honest, this is probably the easiest thing to do. Writing a great headline that speaks to the reader, grabs their attention and makes them want to read your content is harder.
I suppose that’s why I put together this list of tools and links to try and help you craft a better headline for your copy:
Table Of Contents
I have included the “Portent’s Content Idea Generator” because it’s one of my favourite tools and it’s quite quirky to use.
If you haven’t tried this out yet, you really must!
Apart from the site looking really contemporary with a nice user interface, all you need to do is enter the topic you want to write about and you’ll get a nice collection of headline ideas, which you can keep refreshing to find the perfect one.
I’ve got to admit, I’ve got a soft spot for this one, just because it’s a prime example of producing a tool that so fun to use.
This is probably one of the strangest concepts I’ve ever come across and also one of the quirkiest headline websites.
I’ll make you a promise that not all the links in this article are quirky but I love tools to be quirky and really good.
This is as simple as typing in a keyword into Google and getting results – the LinkBait Title Generator works exactly the same way. Simply type your keyword into the search box and the generator will produce some possible link bait-type headlines you can use for your content.
The only thing I would say is, be careful when using these headlines… In fact, I would check out some of these headlines online for yourself as they may have been used quite a few times by other people.
This will make it really hard for you to gain any sort of traction in the search engines for SEO purposes.
Even if this is the case, it’s still a great tool to give you some additional ideas on just how you can craft a new headline for your piece of content.
Go ahead and try it out 🙂
This is a great tool for you to use and explore if you don’t want to be using the same keywords as everyone else. Also, the tool uses one of the largest keyword databases with more than 2 billion unique search queries – you could say it’s pretty comprehensive!
It gives you some fantastic stats like average cost-per-click price, the probability of competition and also KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index).
The lower the KEI, the more popular your keywords are, and the less competition they have.
Have used this tool on a number occasions because 1) it’s free and 2) it’s a really great tool – all you do is enter the keyword or title you want to use and then the tool scores your headline quality between 1 and 100.
It also takes a look at how long your headline is and even how it will look in the Google Search results.
I love it when software companies produce tools like this – obviously, they’re trying to get you signed up to whatever service they’re trying to sell, but this often means that they need to produce a really good tool to try and entice you to use it.
I think CoSchedule have done a fantastic job here!
This is probably one of the most popular generators you’ll find online at the moment. I think HubSpot have gone the extra mile with this one and realised that, in order to market their services, they need to take inbound marketing to the next level.
I think they’ve done a fantastic job with this tool and the user interface is out of this world! Not only is it really easy and simple to use, all you need to do is type 3 keywords for it to generate some really good ideas.
This is a great free tool that analyses your headline to determine the emotional marketing value (EMV) score.
Trying to reach your customers on an emotional level is only really done by successful copywriters, however, using a tool like this and having it scored is a nice, little hack I’ve come across.
Go ahead and give this tool a try after you have crafted what you believe to be a good headline and see what sort of score you get.
This resource is actually from CopyBlogger (a downloadable eBook) to show you a number of ways to write really great headlines.
Did you know that 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest?
That’s a pretty amazing start and one you should really take notice of. If there were a King and Queen of headlines, copyblogger would need to be the King of them – not only have they crafted great content in the past but they also have some amazing headlines.
Take a look at their eBook. you won’t be disappointed.
This article from McMethod shows you a really cool two-step method of writing really great headlines.
Here’s an example of their formula:
“End Result Customer Wants + Specific Period Of Time + Address The Objections”
Believe it or not, companies pay hundreds of dollars for people to come up with headlines for their content; all the operators do is use this two-step formula.
Here’s that formula in action:
“Lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks without drugs or exercise”
It sounds too simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? But it really is that simple and even though the formula is quite old, it still works today.
This article is a little tongue-in-cheek but the content is really good. It makes fun of writing titles and shows you a different perspective on how you go about that.
It’s by a lady called Lisa Barone who co-founded Outspoken Media in 2009 and served as Chief Branding Officer until April 2012.
I think you’ll enjoy this one.
As writing blogs go this is probably one of the most trusted and respected you will ever come across by Makealivingwriting.com.
In the article, it goes over 7 reasons why killer headlines will change your life, Understanding the Psychology of Headlines, Better Subheads, to name a few.
This is a fantastic article that goes through different strategies of producing a really great headline, such as starting a swipe file (which is basically just a collection of the very best headlines that you have easy access to), keeping it short and simple and the “Hook ‘em at the end” strategy, which gives your reader a little surprise.
Written by Dayana Mayfield over at mavsocial.com, this is a great example of thinking out of the box when it comes to producing your headlines.
This is one of the older articles on the list but I love the way they explain things in really simple terms.
It goes through certain pointers like:
Pointers that are still relevant today and will help you craft a really great headline.
This is actually a PDF that goes over how to produce blog content but there’s a cool little section from page 5 onwards that really gets into the nitty-gritty of headline writing.
I must admit, I don’t normally link directly to PDFs because they normally get taken down or deleted, depending on where they are hosted, but it seems that this one has been around for quite a while and there’s no sign of it being taken down at any point.
There’s also no need to opt-in to receive this PDF so this is great if you want to get some quick tips without the commitment.
I could easily have uploaded this to my own server and sent you to a separate link but I wanted to make sure that the author of this PDF got all the recognition they deserve – it’s great little piece!
I included this article because it attacks headline writing a little differently from other articles I’ve read previously.
It walks you through common misconceptions, addresses the pain vs benefit and also goes into the psychology of teasing your readers and going really deep, which is right up my street.
This one is written by Brian Casel over at tutsplus.com and just had to be included in this list as a valuable resource you can keep coming back to.
Words can’t explain just how good this article is, written by one of the industry gurus in blogging, Yaro Starak, on his blog: Entrepreneurs-Journey.
Yaro walks you through the way you should format your headline using the open and closed loop strategy and also something a little different called “the brackets headline” which I’ll be honest, I’ve never used before but intend to.
Even though some of these articles are quite old, a lot of bloggers and content writers have forgotten some of these techniques and it’s really good to revisit them, so you can use them too!
This article is a little different to the others because it comes at things from a different angle – More specifically, asks you questions that you need to provide the answers for in order to come up with a great headline.
Questions like: how compelling a premise does it make? Are all the words necessary? I’ve got to admit, I’ve never really asked myself this question when writing my own headlines for the DesDreckett.com website, but I can see how useful this could be.
Written by a chap called Matt Thompson over at poynter.org, Matt kindly provides a checklist at the bottom of this article entitled: “Quicklist of 10 questions to ask while writing a headline”.
If there was a trust level on a scale of 1 to 100, this would come pretty close to 100 as a trusted website to listen to and glean knowledge from.
Social Media Today has been around for quite a while and their content has been absolutely excellent.
The article I’m linking to goes through some very old-school strategies, however, even though they’re old, they’re still relevant today.
I couldn’t write an article about headlines without including one of the best online resources out there – I’ve learnt so much from HubSpot over the years, I just had to include this article written by Corey Wainwright.
It has categories like ” Make it sexy” (which got my attention) and “Try to optimize for search and social” which is a perspective I’ve never taken before.
Go ahead and take a look at this article, It will give you a different perspective on how you write your next headline.
I hope you found this curated list helpful?
These articles and tools are all you need to start crafting excellent titles and headlines for your blog posts, sales pages and the rest of your content.
The idea is to keep them short and to the point!
The tools listed are great but not perfect – don’t forget to double-check whether the headline makes sense and is related to your content.
Please let me know which tools you use to write great headlines (in case I’ve missed some). I’ll be happy to add them to this list 🙂
Des is a full-time online marketer who sells information products and a membership program. He tests and studies what does and doesn't work and then shares his findings on this website. He takes you behind the scenes of how he runs his business to help you market yours.
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