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If you've used up your list of catchy headline templates, here are a few more ideas from Brian Clark at copyblogger.com  ...

  • Give me [short time period] and I’ll give you [blank] 

Example - 'Give me three minutes and I’ll make you a better blogger'. “This headline promises a strong benefit to the reader, like all good headlines do. But this one is especially effective because it promises to deliver in a very short time period.”

  • The lazy [blank’s] way to [blank]

“This headline has always worked well with time-pressured people, and that’s certainly true for most people today. No one likes to think of themselves as lazy, but everyone likes to save time and effort.”

  • If you don’t [blank] now, you’ll hate yourself later

“We love to belong, but feeling excluded is a real bummer. Whether it be a financial opportunity or the social event of the year, we simply hate it when we get left out.”

“We love quick and easy when it comes to learning something new or gaining some advantage.”

  • You don’t have to be [something challenging] to be [desired result]

“People almost always have preconceived notions about things, and this can be a barrier to taking action. Remove the barrier that stands between them and the desired result with your headline, and people will flock to read what you have to say.”

  • Do you make these mistakes?

“This is always a powerful attention grabber, since no one likes to make mistakes. If you’ve targeted your content well for your intended audience, helping people avoid common mistakes is a sure-fire winner with this type of headline.”

  • Do you recognize the [number] early warning signs of [blank]?

“This is wrapped up in a much more compelling structure than your typical “Top 10” article. People want to avoid problems, and this headline promises the critical tips before it’s too late.”

See Chris' recent post, ' Witty vs descriptive headlines - what works best? ', for further thoughts on what makes a good headline.

Graham Charlton

Published 21 November, 2006 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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