39 Ways to Write Deliciously Seductive Headlines (and Attract More Blog Readers)

Bees flying to a flower

Power words are the honey attracting
readers to your posts

Quick question:

Do your blog posts receive the attention they deserve?

Are your headlines so delicious, so tempting that people feel compelled to click through and read your posts?

An inspirational post without an enticing headline is like a scrumptious cupcake in a colorless box. Nobody peeks into the box to see what’s inside. Nobody takes a bite to savor its delights.

Let’s have a look how you can turn mediocre titles into irresistible headlines that captivate attention and pull readers towards your posts …

4 simple steps to writing a seductive headline

Writing a good headline in one go is a rare talent, if it exists at all.

If you’re like me, it’s easier to write a headline step by step, and play around with words until you find your favorite:

  • Think about your reader and decide how your post is going to benefit him or her. How is your post going to make her life better?

    Last week I wrote a post about Twitter and considered the potential benefits people might be looking for: Get more followers, get more retweets, engage with more people, or possibly even gain more sales.

  • Write a simple how-to headline explaining the benefit of reading your post. At this stage it doesn’t matter whether the headline sounds unattractive or even boring – as long as you include a benefit that addresses your readers.

    Last week I decided to help readers to engage more people on Twitter, and wrote the following title: How to Write Tweets that Engage Your Followers. Pretty dull, eh?

  • Use your simple how-to headline as a working headline and write your post first. Or start playing with your headline before writing the post. Both tactics work. Sometimes I even look for an image before deciding on the final headline.

  • Write 10 to 20 headline versions using different power words – these are emotional or sensory words.

Learning how to use power words is one of the most important skills of a writer. Power words grab attention. Power words make your blog posts more persuasive and engaging, because they make your reader feel something.

To exercise your power word muscles, think about different emotions – like fear or happiness – and sensory experiences. Use a thesaurus to further explore.

Engaging people is rather dull, so I looked for alternative ways to express this concept. Below follow 39 potential headlines for the post. Each headline includes at least one power word.

For simplicity I’ve only included list posts; and each headline has a maximum of 80 characters because this allows enough space for a link and a Twitter handle (or even two Twitter handles in the case of a retweet).

Which headline do you fancy most?

Delight with sensory words

Why are sensory words powerful?

They help readers see, feel, hear, taste, or even smell your words; and that’s why they engage more brain power and attract more attention.

Engage the senses to attract attention to your blog posts. For instance:

  1. 28 Ways to Dazzle Your Followers with Colorful Tweets
  2. 28 Ways to Let Your Personality Shine with Sparkling Tweets
  3. 28 Ways to Add Sizzle and Sparkle to Your Tweets
  4. 28 Ways to Be Drab, Dreary, and Dusty on Twitter
  5. 28 Quick Tips to Spice Up Bland Tweets
  6. 28 Easy Ways to Make Bland Tweets Deliciously Attractive
  7. 28 Ways to Delight Your Followers with Tantalizing Tweets
  8. 28 Ways to Write Yummy Tweets that Make Your Followers Crave For More
  9. 28 Ways to Write Tantalizingly Tasty Tweets
  10. 28 Ways to Turn Unappetizing Words into Scrumptious Tweets

Go viral by addressing fears

We’re all scared to make mistakes and look stupid – especially if we’re beginners learning a new skill or trying a new social media platform. Who wants to look like an amateur?

Talking about mistakes in a headline makes people curious, compelling them to double-check that they’re not making one of those mistakes.

  1. 28 Ways to Write Boring-as-Hell Tweets (and How to Be Enchanting Instead)
  2. 28 Ways to Bore the Bejesus out of Your Twitter Followers
  3. 28 Dumb Mistakes that Make You Look Like a Fool on Twitter
  4. 28 Warning Signs You’re Boring the Boots off Your Twitter Followers
  5. 28 Simple Ways to Write Mind-Numbingly Dull Tweets
  6. 28 Sure-Fire Ways to Be a Asshole on Twitter
  7. Warning: Use these 28 Twitter Tactics at Your Own Risk
  8. 28 Lies Gurus Tell You About Twitter (And How to Become Really Popular)
  9. 28 Little-Known Factors that Could Negatively Impact Your Twitter Popularity
  10. 28 Twitter Mistakes that Make You Sound Like a Wimp
  11. 28 Mistakes That Make You Look Like a Twitter Amateur
  12. 28 Warning Signs Your Tweets Suck
  13. 28 Warning Signs Your Tweets Stink
  14. 28 Simple Ways to Ruin Your Reputation on Twitter

Make people curious

Some words are so overused, that they’ve lost their persuasiveness. World-class tweets? Best-in-class tweets? Bleergh.

Instead, intrigue people with unusual words or unexpected contrast like shockingly good.

  1. 28 Simple Ways to Engage Your Followers with Shockingly Good Tweets
  2. 28 Easy Ways to Write Outrageously Good Tweets
  3. 28 Easy Ways to Attract Attention with Staggeringly Good Tweets
  4. 28 Proven Ways to Win Retweets, Followers, and Fame (Even if You’re a Nobody Now)
  5. The Zen of Twitter: 28 Ways to Become More Popular on Twitter with Less Effort
  6. 28 Ways to Add Zing-Kapow to Your Tweets
  7. 28 Ways to Add Pizzazz to Your Tweets

Flirt, seduce, or mesmerize

You know about the power of lust, seduction, and being irresistible, don’t you?

  1. 28 Ways to Charm Your Followers with Seductive Tweets
  2. 28 Ways to Seduce Your Followers with Alluring Tweets
  3. 28 Ways to Fascinate Your Followers with Spellbinding Tweets
  4. 28 Ways to Become Mesmerizingly Popular on Twitter
  5. 28 Ways to Hypnotize Your Followers with Breathtaking Tweets
  6. 28 Ways to Fascinate Your Followers with Irresistible Tweets
  7. 28 Ways to Get Your Followers Fall Head-over-Heels in Love with Your Tweets
  8. 28 Ways to Woo Your Followers with Enchanting Tweets

The “secret” to writing great headlines

Writing compelling headlines requires practice. Lots of practice.

Rather than write one headline for your next post, challenge yourself to write 20, or 30, or 75. Make each headline more tantalizing, more seductive than the one you’ve just written.

Create a swipe file with headlines that grab your attention. Understand how they promise you helpful advice, a dash of inspiration, or simply a happier life. Analyze the words (and numbers!) that attract your attention.

Learn how to use your favorite power words. And give your posts the attention they deserve.

This blog post is part of a free tutorial about business blogging.

Image credit (adapted): Shutterstock
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Comments

  1. Diane Comeau says:

    Hi Henneke,
    What a great post. Looking back at what attracts my attention: the exact “power” words that you have referenced here. and I did copy them for future reference. Thanks so much for your enchanting writing. I learn more and more with each of your new posts, as well as your older ones, too!
    Diane

  2. Mimi says:

    Nice post and succinct and to the point! (and very helpful to me!) Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. These ideas would also be helpful when writing subject lines for emails. I’ll definitely be using this exercise. Thanks for another great post.

  4. Fantastic writing as always! I believe 23 should be in the first section, doesn’t it? People should all read Breakthrough Advertising from Eugene Schwartz… amazing empiric method for literally crafting headlines through the study of a market’s demand.

    • Henneke says:

      Yes, you’re right – #23 could also go in the first section. This headline is particularly compelling because it both addresses fear and is also super-sensory. It’s one of my favorite formulas – I’ve used it for an Unbounce post which did extremely well: 13 Warning Signs Your Web Copy Stinks.

      Thank you for stopping by, Rodolfo :)

  5. Sandy says:

    Another amazing post that is so helpful and inspiring. It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from you! (And you are probably young enough to be my grandson! Keep up the excellent work!

  6. Well @Henneke,

    This is one of the very few posts Ive read in your blog. And it seems that you’ve put hard work in them.

    Well, no need to upload pics, I agree with the previous comment @Sandy, you’re nice with this young image @Henneke!

    And yes I am young too, I’m in Grade 9 and the student editor of St. Joseph School’s year magazine. Your headline tips will be helpful to me. I also like the ones that Jon Morrow suggested in his book 99 Headline Hacks.

    Keep up the work,
    Shafin.
    Ibrahim Kamrul Shafin recently posted…Sleep or Die – 5 Tips That Help Me Sleep Right NowMy Profile

    • Henneke says:

      Haha, you look more like a baby! That’s a bit too young to read my blog. ;-)

      Thank you for stopping by – I agree that Jon’s Headline Hacks are excellent.

  7. Scott says:

    Excellent post. I think John Caples would approve with your methods and insights :)

  8. Another brilliant post Henneke. I always say that the headline is 80% or more of the message. Without providing a powerful reason to read your blog then there’s almost no point writing it in the first place.

    I’m always thinking of best to engage with my headlines so this article has provided lots of ammo for me, thank you and hope you’re well.

    Steve

    • Henneke says:

      Yes, that’s absolutely true. If the headline doesn’t attract attention and doesn’t promise something valuable, why write?

      Good to see you here, Steve. Hope you’re well, too!

  9. These headlines are yummy, delightful and sparkling all the way!

    Thanks for a consistently outrageous and staggeringly salacious grabber of a post! ;)
    Penelope Silvers recently posted…11 Visual Exercises – Turn Book Dreams into a Published Book!My Profile

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