Write Better Headlines by Asking These 3 Simple Questions


Writers are communicators, and if you’re proud of your ideas, you’ll definitely want to learn how to write better headlines.

Headlines are your first opportunity to present your marketing story to the audience you want to reach, so you want to be able to communicate your most important points clearly and precisely.

The language you use should appeal to those people and make them want to find out more.

How to write better headlines

Once you’ve learned how to write a headline with your target keyword phrase, use the prompts below to go beyond basic headline formulas.

These questions help ensure your title is the most effective it can be:

  1. Who will benefit from this content?
  2. How do I help them?
  3. What makes this content special?

The answers to these questions most likely won’t produce the exact headline you’ll use.

Rather, they’ll help shape your headline draft into a persuasive message that reaches and connects with the people you want to attract to your content. They’ll also help you write killer subheadings.

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Your answers are the keys to writing better headlines

To keep the process of infusing your headline with meaning and fascination simple, I recommend answering each question in one to two sentences.

If you need to write more, it’s a strong sign you should fine-tune your goal for the content before revisiting these questions that’ll teach you how to write better headlines.

Let’s look at the important information each question will help you assess and how the answers will transform your headline.

1. Who will benefit from this content?

The first part of this headline writing tutorial is reviewing your title draft to make sure you use language that intrigues your audience.

For example, your target audience may be marine biologists who have a tendency to procrastinate.

If your title only says, “10 Tips to Beat Procrastination,” for example, you can look for ways to write better headlines by adding words that will attract marine biologists. And you don’t have to explicitly announce, “Hey marine biologists who have a tendency to procrastinate, this content is for you!”

You could try:

10 Tips to Beat Procrastination Faster than a Black Marlin

(A black marlin is one of the fastest fish.)

2. How do I help them?

People don’t wake up in the morning automatically excited to read content.

The promises certain pieces of content make to expand people’s understanding or knowledge of a topic persuade them to read content throughout the day.

And when you learn how to write subheadings, you continually persuade someone to keep reading the article in front of them. The content may even change their lives.

Your tips might help marine biologists accomplish tasks faster, and if they can accomplish tasks faster, they’re less likely to put them off.

Here, you can learn how to write better headlines by adding another benefit to the title:

10 Time-Saving Tips to Beat Procrastination Faster than a Black Marlin

3. What makes this content special?

You may now realize that while a lot of other articles focus on “beating procrastination,” your content is special because it shows how to simplify and organize your daily marine biology to-do list so that each task is manageable.

Now you’ll want to revise a few words from your original headline:

10 Time-Saving Tips to Zip Through Your Work Day Faster than a Black Marlin

Write better headlines that are custom-tailored for your content

We started this exercise about how to write better headlines with the title:

10 Tips to Beat Procrastination

The final result is custom-tailored:

10 Time-Saving Tips to Zip Through Your Work Day Faster than a Black Marlin

If you’re a marine biologist with a tendency to procrastinate, which headline would you click on?

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