Category: SEO

Written by toomaime

Last Updated 🗓 3 years ago

How to write great headlines

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We analyzed over 60000 headlines

How to write great headlines - We analyzed over 60000 headlines

So tell me why did you click on this article? According to a study, 80% of readers never make it past the headline and traffic to content can vary by as much as 500% simply because of the headline [1]. 

With Growthhacklist, I am constantly posting articles on platforms like Indiehackers, or Subreddits like /Entrepreneur with very different results. Having in mind the mentioned stats, and after reading How to write viral headlines, I was very curious to see if I could identify some patterns in the headlines of the top rated articles on the platforms that I use to share my articles. 

With the help of Buzzsumo I started to analyze over 60.000 articles and collected data from Hackernews, Indiehackers, the Subreddit Entrepreneur and Here is what I found out:

Common elements 

The first thing I did was to look at the common structure of elements. I could identify five elements the majority of viral posts had in their headline:

Advice Element

  • How to...
  • A guide to...
  • Why you...

Personal Element

  • Left/quit my job...
  • Lessons I learned

Resource Element

  • Lists of the...
  • Spreadsheet of the...
  • The best books...
  • XY tips...

Financial Element

  • How i made XY$

Feedback Element

  • AMAs
  • Feedback on landing page...
  • What posts

Headline types

By analyzing the top articles you could also determine headline types the majority of articles follow. 


There are also some topics to appear regularly, which are liked and shared constantly on the platforms:

  • How I made XY $ ...
  • Lessons I learned ...
  • I left my job... 
  • I am an expert - Ask me anything
  • Why you should...

Where to go from here

From here you can go through the following steps to adjust the method for the platforms of your choice:

  • Identify platforms on which you can share your content
  • Analyze the top articles headlines with Buzzsumo
  • Write down the elements of the viral posts
  • Find out the content format and type that works best on the platform
  • Select topics the audience like and that are useful for them
  • Use some superlative or emotional words like amazing or best [2]


If you like the article it would be great to spread the word and share the thread on Twitter - thanks 😘!




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Want to learn more about growing an online business?

Hey there ✌️! I'm Tobi, the founder of Growthhacklist.

We want to build best learning resource for bootstrapped companies.

We interview successful indie makers and publish articles about growing an online business.

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