How to write effective headlines that grab attention: 25 examples and tips to improve your headlines

Updated: Jul 3

Learning how to write an effective, traffic-generating headline is the secret of a successful blog. So here's how to make your article titles catchy.

Believe it or not, learning how to write an effective headline, capable of attracting attention and generating traffic is one of the real secrets to creating a successful blog.

And the reason is as simple as it is important: we live in an era where there is a real media jungle. Every day we are subjected to a bombardment of images, articles, news, emails and advertisements.

In this situation, do you really believe that your readers will read everything that comes before them? Or will they devote their time only to what strikes their attention most?

Obviously the latter.

And that is why it is important to be able to emerge from this media bombardment and capture the attention of our target. And how to do it?

The first step is precisely to create effective headlines in order to attract attention, generate a click and possibly lead to conversions.

So let's see how to write an effective headline and some examples of headlines that you can use for your blog.

Content index

How to write a headline in 2021: 25 super captivating headline tips

  1. Understand who you are writing for

  2. Use persuasive language

  3. Describe the benefits to your readers

  4. Use active phrases

  5. Answer a specific question

  6. Use dates in titles to make them more up-to-date

  7. Don't underestimate the power of numbers

  8. Use the "power words"

  9. Help yourself with the right tools (free)

  10. Explain (or create) a problem and offer a solution

  11. Play with words

  12. Don't disclose everything

  13. Talk to the reader

  14. Use standard formulas for your headlines

  15. Only make promises you can keep

  16. Don't be afraid to present your ideas

  17. Put the reader at the centre of everything

Optimizing the headline for SEO

18. Use the right keywords

19. Understand search intent

20. Optimize the title according to Google's parameters

21. Learn from your competitors

Avoid frequent mistakes

22. Avoid click-baiting like a plague

23. Don't stay vague

24. Take care of your grammar

25. Writing an effective headline pays off all the effort

How to write a headline in 2021: 25 super captivating headline tips

The first thing you need to pay close attention to in writing an effective headline is understanding who we are targeting.

Do you remember what we said about the difficulty of attracting attention? If you manage to hit the mark with a headline that intercepts a need from your audience, then you've hit bingo!

Only by knowing our niche deeply, in fact, can we write headlines capable of attracting attention in order to generate clicks.

Once the user has landed on your article, you need to be able to keep his attention while reading. To do this, I recommend that you read my post on how to write effective articles.

But let's go into detail to understand how to optimize a headline for our readers.

1. Understand who you are writing for

How do you know who we are writing for?

Obviously, we need to do an analysis and try to identify, for example:

  • values

  • opinions

  • interests

  • pains

  • wishes

And it is, above all, by leveraging the last three points, namely interests, pains and desires, that we can generate the greatest number of clicks. If you think about it, all clickbait titles leverage precisely these feelings, particularly fear.

Of course, you should never write clickbait titles, and we'll find out why later. The important thing to know is that leveraging people's primary needs and emotions is the first step in creating headlines that convert.

2. Use persuasive language

Attracting the attention of our audience is not enough: we also need to make sure that people actually click on our link.

And here persuasive copywriting comes in handy, a set of techniques that push the reader to take action, in our case click on the link and read the content.

Mainly there are 3 levers you can use to write effective headlines:

  1. Curiosity. This is the case of the headlines, for example, which reveal something, which tickles people's curiosity. Example: "This is how I managed to save 70% on my households"

  2. Emotion. The emotional headlines speak directly to the deepest part of an individual, for this reason, they are able to attract attention. Example: "Here's how the internet is ruining your life (and how to avoid it)"

  3. Ethics. Everyone has values. Appealing to your readers' values ​​will undoubtedly grab their attention. Example: “5 alternative methods to wash the house in an eco-sustainable and non-polluting way”.

By focusing on these 3 simple elements, you can write headlines capable of going viral. BuzzSumo also analyzed the viral headlines and put down the elements they have in common:

And if you want to learn more about persuasive copywriting, here is a list of my favourite books on the subject:

3. Describe the benefits to your readers

A simple and effective way to get your users to click on your articles is to clearly state what their benefit will be in reading the post.

I use this type of headline very often. Here are some examples from my articles, where underlined you find the benefit, the goal of reading:

4. Use active phrases

Reading is a complex activity. Reading on-screen is even more complex for the brain.

For this reason, you should always write short, clear and easy to understand sentences. Just like I do, see? Subject, verb, object. And this should be all the more true in headlines.

Therefore always prefer the active form rather than the passive one, in order to give more strength to the sentence.

To give you an example:

ACTIVE FORM: The dog ate a bone ✅

PASSIVE FORM: The bone was eaten by the dog ❌

An example of a real headline? Ok!

Here's how I got rid of snails in my garden in just 10 minutes ✅

This is how my garden was disinfected by snails in just 10 minutes ❌

5. Answer a specific question

Your headlines should always be clear, specific, get to the point right away.

What is your article about? Explain it right away and no-frills in the title.


✅ Good headline:

  • 10 ways to clean your refrigerator in half the time

  • How to make the skin clearer with a simple natural product

  • Furnishing the house with less than $1,000: here are all the solutions

❌ Headlines too general, unspecific or unclear:

  • How to cle