Famous in your field tip: 3 ways to get more readers

Famous in your field tip: 3 ways to get more readers

Want to make your articles, blog posts and emails 10 times more likely to be opened (and read)?

Write a juicy headline.

Sounds easy, right? Err, maybe not.

It’s almost unfair – You can craft the most delightful prose, but if your headline is ho hum, that prospect you’ve been trying to wow is just going to click <delete> and keep moving.

Professional copywriters – those wizards of Madison Ave who get paid tens of thousands of dollars for writing one email or one letter – know that the way to seize attention is through a killer headline. 

And they spend 50% of their writing time on the headline. 

They spend the other 50% writing the entire rest of the content. That’s how uber important your headline is.

An standout title can increase blog and article readers, visitor traffic, Facebook Likes, and Twitter clicks by 50% or more.

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece. ~Copyblogger

Powerful headlines grab your attention, screaming “read me!”

Effective ones spark universal human triggers like curiosity, fear, and desire for personal growth. They dig into your lizard brain and force you to read the material that follows.

But you can’t just dash off any old string of words and expect miracles. It takes effort and practice.

Here’s are three headline hacks that’ll help you find the funk:

1. Steal it. Tweak it.

You’re not a professional copywriter, but you can play one in your business. Grab a few magazines and study their headlines.

What’s the structure? How do they promise benefits? How do they pique your curiosity about the topic?

Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications says, “Start with the National Enquirer and tone it down.”

2. Go Madlibs.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, there’s a site that will automatically create hundreds of titles proven to work magic:


Famous in Your Field tip: generate juicy headlines automatically

3. Just use these. 

To get your brain cooking, here’s a list of ten headlines that work like magic, courtesy of the fantastic selling-through-writing website Copyblogger.com. All you have to do is adapt them to your topic.

1. Who Else Wants [blank]?

Starting a headline with “Who Else Wants…” is a classic social proof strategy that implies an already existing consensus desire. While overused in the Internet marketing arena, it still works like gangbusters for other subject matter.

2. The Secret of [blank]

This one is used quite a bit, but that’s because it works. Share insider knowledge and translate it into a benefit for the reader.

3. Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]

Simply identify your target audience and the benefit you can provide them, and fill in the blanks.

4. Little Known Ways to [blank]

A more intriguing (and less common) way of accomplishing the same thing as “The Secret of…” headline.

5. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All

A classic formula that identifies either a painful problem or an unfulfilled desire that the reader wants to remedy.

6. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]

People love quick and easy when it comes to solving a nagging problem.

7. Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]

The is the classic “have your cake and eat it too” headline — and who doesn’t like that?

8. [Do something] like [world-class example]

Gatorade milked this one fully with the “Be Like Mike” campaign featuring Michael Jordan in the early 1990s.

9. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of

Appeal to vanity, dissatisfaction, or shame. Enough said.

10. What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]

Big curiosity draw with this type of headline, and it acts almost as a challenge to the reader to go ahead and see if they are missing something.

Your Fame Building Assignment:

Now that you’ve got a list of headline formulas that work, put them into action for your business. This week, review your marketing communications – newsletter articles, blog posts, brochures, email messages, Facebook posts. Pick three and juice up those headlines.

It’s time to up your awesome so that more people tune into that magic you’ve got to share!


  1. Deb Prewitt on November 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Fun ideas for headlines. I always struggle with naming stuff – and it usually shows. I’ll put some of these ideas on my list and see what happens.

  2. Kelly on November 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    This is another for the save forever file…

  3. Katie Mazzocco on November 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    This is genius! Thank you so much for sharing your brilliant insights and resources. I do agonize over email subject lines and this gave me a lot of great ideas. 😀

  4. Barbara on November 6, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Hacking this week’s blog headline as we speak! Can’t wait to see the difference in responses. And I agree with Katie – these will help email subject lines too. Thank you Lori!!

    • Lori on December 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Share your results, please, Barbara! Did your open rate go up?

  5. Nancy Tierney on November 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Actually, I think copywriters these days spend more like 75% of their time AND creativity on their headlines. It’s tougher to grab attention these days.

    I write headlines all day long and I almost always refer to proven winners and those great Headline Hacks from Jon Morrow at Copyblogger. But even headline formulas are changing, now that we’re all so saturated with them, day in and day out. Don’t be afraid to throw away the templates, suggestions and hacks offered by others and come up with something stunning and new.

  6. Kelley Grimes on November 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Wow Lori what a great article! Thank you so much! I have been having fun with my headlines lately and love all the suggestions to continue engaging people.

  7. Lisa Parker | Chief Manifestor on November 7, 2013 at 12:11 am

    As always, your blog post is amazingly on point and SO helpful! Thank you so much for the fabulous resources I will be popping them into my Onenote for future reference!

  8. laura on November 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I loved Madlibs growing up ~ and that Tweak your biz site is going to be my new best friend Thanks Lori!

  9. Susannah on November 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Fabulous tools – thanks! I know I’ll be using these RIGHT AWAY!

  10. Lilia Lee on November 12, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Great article, great suggestions! I will most certainly try the title generator site. It sounds like it might be fun.

  11. Cena Block on November 13, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Love the title generator. I even found it worked with a couple of keywords… Thanks for always sharing great info!

  12. Alyssa Johnson on November 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I find it difficult to to create solid headlines due to trying to focus on SEO stuff. I try to make the subject lines on my newsletters more catchy.

    • Lori on December 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      I just read something from the Upworthy writers; they make themselves write 25 headlines for an article before picking the winner (and it’s usually #25.)

  13. BizSugar.com on June 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    How to 10X your content: hacking headlines

    8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. Here is a list of headline formulas you can put into immediate action for your marketing communications – newsletter articles, blog posts, brochures, email messages, F…

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