This is a Guest Post by Laura Jonson

When you are browsing online or skimming through a physical publication, above all else, what is it that makes you stop and decide to click on or read a certain article? Sure, there might be an arresting visual accompanying the prose, one that arrests your initial attention, but it would be fair to say that the closer in terms of your mind choosing to stop and give attention to any given piece of writing is solely down to the strength and quality of the headline.

Are Headlines Really That Important?

Though a headline might seem, on the surface of it, to be a short, inconsequential line or sentence that is only there to indicate the meat of an article, the way that this large, bold text can impact on a reader is incredibly interesting and invocative, and mastering the art of writing a jackpot headline is something many journalists and online writers strive to do for years without ever truly refining the skill to its potential.


If you are one such writer who has found themselves struggling to find the perfect few words to give your article the hook that it needs, then read through these pointers with interest and see if you can apply our advice to your own expertise. Here are a handful of tips for writing killer headlines.

Instant Clarity:

When it comes to grabbing the attention of a reader whose capacity for skimming is high, the first thing you need to concentrate on is the art of adding instant clarity to the message.

For online advice article, much like this one, rather than sensationalised news headlines, the key aim should be to address the readers objectives immediately whilst giving a time span in which they will be able to master what they are seeking.

What is an example of instant clarity?

For example, take this headline:

  • How To Get Washboard Abs In 3 Easy Weeks!

A headline like this is far more likely to gain readers and web traffic than something along the lines of:

  • Advice For People Who Want A Flatter Stomach

What Makes Them Different?

The instant clarity that is achieved with the first, more aggressive headline is what readers are drawn to, and even though the articles might contain exactly the same fitness tips and exercises, the promise of a goal being achieved in three weeks is going to attract the vast majority of readers over a more vague hook

Different Headlines

Avoid Being Vague:

According to writing experts as Assignment Masters, when it comes to getting a reader to commit to your article, you need to stay away from making your headline sound vague or unspecific in any way.

Have you noticed just how many headlines you read each day that claim to be promoting the ‘very best’, ‘most popular’ or ‘greatest ever’ product? These empty terms mean next to nothing in the broad scheme of things, as without anything to compare to, the statements of something being the ‘best ever’ become completely and utterly redundant.

A much more effective plan of action, and the best way to avoid vagueness in your headlines, is to evoke a direct comparison to something right away before the reader has even had a chance to being reading the article.

How to Avoid Being Vague?

For example, take a headline that reads:

  • Coca Cola is the Greatest Soda Ever

This headline carries much less authoritative weight than a headline that reads:

  • Coca Cola Four Times More Popular Than Pepsi

What Makes Them Different?

What this different approach says to the prospective reader is that you have evidence to back up your headline claim, and immediately, even before they have begun to read your article, there is a much greater aura of professionalism and research than those headlines that make broad, unsubstantiated claims.

Readers feel less manipulated if the headlines that they read have even a scrap of worthwhile information.

Interesting Adjectives:

With so many different online outlets and individual writers competing with one another, one of the key tricks for pulling readers in to your articles over someone else’s rests in the adjectives that you choose to use in your headlines. When it comes to catching the eye and persuading a person to click on your link first, you need to incorporate adjectives that make the reader think the advice and tips in your article are going to significantly impact their life in way that they would like.

Interesting Adjectives

For example:

  • Effortless – human beings are all about maximum gain for minimum effort, so the word effortless in relation to any article about fitness, well being and even things like personal organisation and beauty, will attract a large crowd who want to make big changes without having to do very much.
  • Incredible – in this Internet age where attention spans are decreasing by the minute, it is vital for you to get across the point that your specific article has ‘incredible’ information inside that it going to be worth at least a few minutes of somebody’s time. In the fast paced landscape of the online world, only the ‘incredible’ can cut it these days.
  • Essential – along with the incredible, the essential is also important. Whether it’s essential films to see or essential products to buy, what you are doing by including this word is making the reader think that they will literally be without if they do not ingest the information that you are offering up. Today’s society is obsessed with staying on trend, and marking something as essential is an easy way to make it part of that culture.

That’s it!! Hope it may help you in future. If you have any queries then you can ask in the comment section below.

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This Guest Post is Submitted By: Laura Jonson

Laura Jonson (Google+) has not had a highflying career. She has spent a lot of her time working as a freelance teacher or writer, even despite her slew of high-profile qualifications. She now offers her services to, especially when it comes to creative writing projects and translation projects. She currently lives in Palo Alto, California.

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  • Daniel Grant

    Laura, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I would be the happiest man on Earth if every journalist/blogger/content marketer used these priceless tips. It’s always funny to read such ridiculous headlines as “Coca Cola Four Times More Popular Than Pepsi” on the cover of well-known magazine or news paper. Definitely not the best way to catch readers attention.
    This is one more piece of advice I’d like to add: be extremely attentive to the quality of headlines you create and avoid any sort of plagiarism. Make a research, analyze different ideas, create the best headline but don’t forget to spare a moment and check it using a reliable online plagiarism checker to make sure you’re doing everything right.