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7 secrets to make "shocking" headlines

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I. The roles of headlines/titles:

In a famous marketing book named "Made to stick", the author believed that journalists should spend 80% their time thinking and making headlines/titles for their articles and the rest of the time is for content creation. It sounds ridiculous? For anyone who is familiar with 80/20 rule, it is not ridiculous at all. Why? Why is a short headline so powerful?

Let's imagine. It is a busy morning now, audiences have only a short time for the most important things. Headline is a main element to make your audiences determine the priority, which articles will be read first, second...and which ones will be ignored. So, article's headline decides article's destiny.

If you see the importance of headline, let's discover 7 materials to make a headline.


II. 7 materials to make a headline:

Material 1: Curiosity:

Your headlines should be clear enough that your audience know what they will be received after 1 click, BUT your headlines have to be added "curiosity". Yes, curiosity - desire to know about something. Arouse your audiences' curiosity.


How to make "curiosity"?

- Surprise: Combining 2 unrelated things, you can create surprise.

- Ask a question

- Creating contradiction

Material 2: Pointing out clear benefits:

point out clear benefits

Everyone will see your articles, your posts because it brings something beneficial to them. Ask question everyone visits your website for what? What will they gain? Below are headline templates show benefits to audiences:

- How to...

- 7 ways to...

- Let's discover...

- Introducing to....(something new)

Pointing out clear benefits is also a way to create the difference to your content. It implies your contents hold a specific value that cannot find anywhere else.

Material 3: Arousing emotions:

People also act based on their emotion- excited, anxious, hopeful... Your headlines should bring proper emotions to audiences. Obviously, people never click on a headline just only base on their emotion, but emotion is a good material to integrate with other materials.

Some valuable words arousing emotions:

- Tough

- Amazing, Astonishing

- Free

- Mistake

- Extraordinary

- Sexy

- Unbelievable

- Stupid

- Awesome


Material 4: Make everything tangible:

Normally, it's very hard to catch something abstract. Make the something abstract, intangible to tangible.

For example: message of propagandizing the danger of spreading HIV disease" "Every 15 minutes, 1 man infects HIV in Vietnam".

Material 5: Appearance:

Appearance is a simple material to make a headline. Remember, don't make headline wordly.

Material 6: Sound:

Make your headline likes a sentence in a song or a call to action.

For example: Selling online, no need website.

call to action

Material 7: Expectation:

Please, don't create a headline that overstate your content too much. People may visit your website due an attractive headline but they will be down, disappointed if your content is no value at all.


Combine "materials" with your creativity to make an awesome headline. Let's try it!

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