Written by toomaime
Last Updated 🗓 15 days ago
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 .
With Growthhacklist, I am constantly posting articles on platforms like Indiehackers, Dev.to 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 Dev.to Here is what I found out:
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:
- How to...
- A guide to...
- Why you...
- Left/quit my job...
- Lessons I learned
- Lists of the...
- Spreadsheet of the...
- The best books...
- XY tips...
- How i made XY$
- Feedback on landing page...
- What posts
By analyzing the top articles you could also determine headline types the majority of articles follow.
- Normal (So I'm done with all this #hustle lifestyle)
- Question (Those that made a million before 30, how did you do it?)
- How to (How to turn $500 into a lot more)
- Why (Why I don't use web components)
- Number (29 Lessons I've Learned Bootstrapping In 2018)
- Reader-Addressing (You Don't Need Co-Founders)
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 
If you like the article it would be great to spread the word and share the thread on Twitter - thanks 😘!