1. The typical How-To headline: Tell your visitor how to do something, e.g. “How to make french toast” This has become one of the most used headlines in blogs as it is simple and effective.
2. Use superlatives, e.g. “The easiest way to make money”. A great way to get attention but make sure to avoid superlatives like amazing or fantastic that sound too untrustworthy.*
3. Answer a question that readers have been wondering about: “What is love”, “Why is the sky blue?”. Or just ask a question – “Are cats better than dogs?” (also very provocative).*
4. Create a list in the Top Ten style. You can use any number, but people especially like the 10 as in decimal system, Ten Commandments, top ten lists,… “10 ways to lose weight”. Just don’t make it too long as the attention span on the Internet is short (the average is actually only a few seconds!). You can also vary this headline a bit like* “Here are 10 ways to lose weight”*.
5. Provocative headlines, for example “Lap dancing nun to perform for cardinals and bishops” (D’oh) or *“The Best Age to Get Married” *– one of the less provocative headlines of Cosmopolitan but it’s worth to study their other headlines which often make it into in the news.
There are of course more ways to write a catchy headline but these techniques will already attract more attention to your site. To write better headlines you should also study headlines that grabbed your attention. Find out how they raised your awareness. Was it some keyword like Free, New, Finally or Why that made the difference? Try to use keywords that are in the news right now. Was it a number, a money value or percentage? Numbers in general draw in users and are very effective.
You need to find a balance between the different headlines though, readers will quickly turn away if you only have top ten lists.