I’m going to show you my process for coming up with hundreds of great headlines that got me over 7 million views in less than three years. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: List Positive Results Your Audience Wants to Achieve
What does your audience want to achieve within your field? You can poll them, survey them, use past feedback/comments/emails/market research to get this information.
I was publishing in the personal growth field, so some of my audience’s biggest goals included things like focusing more, sleeping better, losing weight, earning more income, and being more confident.
Write as many as you can. Shoot for at least 40–50 ideas.
Step 2: List Negative Results Your Audiences Wants to Avoid
What are your audience’s biggest fears about your topic? What do they desperately want to avoid? What end-scenario makes them cringe and motivate them to work hard to avoid such a fate?
For me, my audience wanted to avoid things like having a life with no meaning, getting overweight, succumbing to addiction, losing to their competitors, and being in toxic relationships.
Again, shoot for 40–50 ideas.
Step 3: Write Out As Many Positive “Power Words” As You Can Think Of
Power Words were a simple phrase I used for descriptive words that elicited strong feelings, both good and bad. These words help spice up headlines, ideas, and thoughts in your work.
Some positive power words might include increase, boost, activate, elevate, empower, focus, gain, and restore.
Step 4: Write Out As Many Negative “Power Words” As You Can Think Of
The same goes for negative Power Words. This could include words like destroy, eliminate, shatter, escape, unlearn, forget, dump, and remove.
Step 5: Combine Your Ingredients Into Killer Headline Outlines
Once you have your list of results and Power Words, you can begin crafting dozens, even hundreds of basic headline outlines.
Here are some of the best outlines I found were most effective for me as a publisher:
Headline #1: How to (Positive Word) + (Positive Results) and (Positive Word) + (Positive Results)
- How to Activate Self-Confidence and Destroy Your Anxiety
- How to Be an Irresistible Conversationalist and Make People Laugh More
Headline #2: How to (Negative Word) + (Negative Results) and (Positive Word) + (Positive Results)
- How to Completely Ignore Distractions and Consistently Enter Flow States
- How to Unlearn Limiting Mindsets and Become More Productive
Headline #3: How to (Negative Word) + (Negative Results) and (Negative Word) + (Negative Results)
- How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser and Avoid Getting Manipulated
- How to Get Rid of a Bad Attitude and Shed Your Insecurities
Headline #4: If You (Positive Word) + (Positive Results) Then You Can (Positive Word) + (Positive Results)
- If You Can Be Enormously Consistent, You’ll Gain Much More Success
- If You Learn These New Finance Habits, Then You Can Increase Your Income
Of course, these are just starter headlines — they’re designed to give you a huge list of possible headlines you can edit, tweak, and change into something that fits your style. In my experience, this exercise is honestly, truly one of the simplest ways to come up with hundreds of possible headlines for your site.