(Read until the end to see 100 proven power words that’ll spice up any headline)
Headlines play the most vital role in any piece of content. Period. The sole purpose of headlines is to sell the click.
If you’re not making the headline interesting, either by inciting curiosity, fear of missing out, general fears, or an answer to a painful problem, then you’ve just written a wasted article that no one will read.
Headlines are an artform. They should be forged until they’re glistening with golden beams of “you know you want to click me”.
They should grab the reader by the jugular and throw them into the article.
One great example of this is those trashy gossip magazines that shout at you from check-out counters at the supermarket:
Although they’ve received a notorious reputation for cheesy rumours, their copywriters are some of the highest-paid in the industry.
Because their alluring captions on the cover of their magazines make the publishers a tonne of cash.
The headlines on these bad boys are something many leading marketers study and replicate for themselves.
Now, what makes a killer headline? The best way to understand this is to know that humans are emotional creatures.
We are more emotional than logical – in most cases. Headlines need to evoke feelings: shock, curiosity, fear, motivation, and envy.
Notice how some examples of the headlines below use emotional words, like “exposed”, “secret”, “bombshells”, “sexy”, “betrayed” etc. All of these are associated with our emotional state.
Although these power words may sound logical, we often tie an emotional response to them.
Additionally, notice how the magazines below strategically use numbers:
Studies have shown that headlines with numbers in them (especially numbers 5, 7 and 10) increase conversions more than a headline without numbers.
Now, it does take a lot of practice and creativity to master headlines, but I implore you to spend a lot of time on them.
They’re just as important, if not more important than the content itself.
As my favourite father once said:
“On average, 5x as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy
People judge a book by it’s cover. If it doesn’t sound interesting, why should they click it?
Once you’ve come up with a solid headline, don’t stop there. Subtitles or section headers are equally as valuable.
You’ll want to keep the momentum going and keep your readers engaged the entire time, not just at the beginning.
Your section headers should be aligned with the headline and should answer pressing problems that your audience have.
Below are some template formulas that you can easily apply to your blog right now.
These formulas have been used across the industry and have worked almost every time without fail:
Now without further ado, here are 100 proven power words that’ll spice up any headline or campaign:
- Advice To
- Badass (US)
- Badarse (UK / AUS)
- How To
- Just Arrived
- Last Chance
- Must have
- The Truth About
- (BONUS) Uncommon
- (BONUS) Unending
- (BONUS) Unfailing
- (BONUS) Unique
- (BONUS) Valuable
- (BONUS) Viral
- (BONUS) Wanted
- (BONUS) Warning
- (BONUS) Weird
- (BONUS) Worst
I encourage you to keep revisiting this article and use the power words whenever you need them.
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Here’s one for the road: