Create Viral headlines that get shared again and again

Create Viral Headlines

I came across this fantastic article on headlines today. It’s a careful analysis of real headlines on articles that have gone viral and the ingredients common to headlines that get clicked. Wouldn’t you like to know what those elements are?

Written by Steve Rayson, this article is a detailed analysis of headlines using data gathered over 4 weeks from multiple sources.

What Makes a Headline Go Viral?

Why do certain posts get shared more than others and even go viral? Steve examines the different elements that make the necessary impact and makes people want to tell others about it – and it’s not always the content that hits the spot.

Of course the content is important if you want people to stay on your site and especially if you want them to return, but the headline is the thing that counts to get people to your site in the first place. The headlines that get clicked always trigger some kind of emotion and usually rouse curiosity but what makes the reader want to tell others about it?

The emotions evoked may be positive or negative or might be inspiring. The articles themselves might solve a problem or lighten the reader’s day.

Is it Viral? A problem shared is a problem solved or smile and the world smiles with you Share on X

Steve looks at the structure, disects each ingredient and tells us what the most shared articles have in common. You can read the complete article ‘5 ways to create amazing viral headlines’ to learn more.

He even comes to conclusions about the type of words that succeed in different social networks, as well as the subjects that have the most impact in each. As well as coming up with some ‘rules’ he shows examples and looks at some of those that break the rules but still strike a chord with readers, making them want to tell someone about it – sometimes withouut even reading the content!

Test Your Headlines

It’s important to test headlines – especially for an important post or campaign.
You can test blog content headlines in various ways. Perhaps write a series of articles with different headlines and track which ones get the most visits and which are shared, or prompt a comment. You could split test using your email newletter by sending the same email to a 50/50 split of your list but using different subject lines (the headlines you want to test) and then compare the click-throughs.

Keeping Ideas

I like to write headline ideas and keep them in a list. I also add sub-headlines and that often prompts a second article or even a series. The main thing is to write it down, keep notes. Sometimes ideas come to you when going about your daily life and looking through your notes can trigger a whole new train of thought.

If you have the time to read Steve’s article carefully, your choice of topics and your headline writing might change and your blog or campaign could benefit enormously. Somewhat reluctantly, he comes up with a variable recipe that is dependent on the audience the writer hopes to reach and is proven to get results. As with every ‘proven formula‘ you do have to be careful that the article delivers what the headline promises – or more!

Did you read the article and find it useful? Let me know in the comments below.

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About The Author

Julie Ashti

Julie Ashti explores working from home and finds products and tools that help with Marketing on the internet. I work from where-ever I happen to be, and if you are wanting to do the same you can discover how to get there with me.

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