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Write captivating headlines: 11 hacks and examples

How to write click-worthy headlines without getting writer’s block

Have you ever spent too much time trying to write a good headline? We bet the answer is yes, or at least something like, well, maybe. Almost all writers have struggled with writing headlines.  

Captivating headlines are a crucial factor in whether the rest of your fantastic content gets read, whether you sell products in your online store, and whether your newsletter gets opened. And it doesn’t to be that difficult. 

Our motto is that if you can do it well and make it easier for yourself, you should always do it. In this article, we give you 11 hacks to help you write creative headlines much faster. 

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What makes a good headline?

The answer lies in the characteristics of a headline. A good headline: 

  • Grabs the reader’s attention. 
  • Sparks the reader’s curiosity. 
  • Makes the reader feel something. 
  • Gives the reader a desire to act. 
  • Summarises the main message of the text. 
  • Stands out from the crowd. 

But isn’t that exactly what’s so hard to achieve? It often is, but there’s no need to panic every time you need to write a headline. A bit further down in the article, you’ll get our 11 writing hacks – but first, let’s take a closer look at where headlines are particularly important. 

Where captivating headlines are extra important

There are virtually no places where headlines aren’t important, but certain places play an even more crucial role, especially if they have multiple functions. 


The headlines on your website serve several functions. First and foremost, they need to make it clear to visitors what the purpose of the page is and what they will gain from scrolling further.

Headlines also tell search engines, such as Google, what the individual pages on your site contain. Therefore, headlines can help determine your website’s ranking and visibility in search results. 


Have you ever sent an email that never got a reply? Or spent a long time crafting an exciting newsletter that ended up being opened by only three people? Then you know how hard it is to entice recipients to open an email and read it. 

The subject line functions as your email’s first and most important headline. It needs to be captivating enough to make the recipient click. Additionally, you also need a good headline within the email itself, so the reader doesn’t just close it and move it to the trash without reading the content. 

Articles and blog posts

When you’ve spent several hours and five cups of coffee writing a fantastic article or a really cool blog post, you surely hope it will be read by many. With a sharp headline, you not only whet the reader’s appetite to dive right into the text, but you also maximise your chances of attracting organic traffic from search results. 


Do you have an ad ready to be sent out on Facebook, Instagram, or in the physical world? Then do yourself a favour and take another look at the headline. Would you want to click on it, or does it remind you of a million other headlines you’ve seen in other ads?  

That exact problem is what we’ll look at in one of our 11 hacks a bit further down in the article. And you can hold on to your headline. You don’t need to start from scratch. 

Headlines: 3 practical rules of thumb

Before we dive into the 11 hacks, let’s cover the practical and fundamental aspects, ones that are often overlooked. 

Should every word be capitalised in headlines?

In English, it has become increasingly common to capitalise only the first letter of a headline, especially on websites. It depends on the style guide you choose to follow. If you don’t follow a style guide, the most important thing is to be consistent, as otherwise, it can end up looking a bit messy. The major British newspaper The Guardian sticks to using initial capital letters. 

Should headlines be centred?

No, if the rest of your text is not centred, the headline should not be centred either. It depends on the layout of your website or blog. 

Think about SEO and the reader

Search engine optimisation is important when writing texts for websites and blogs. If you’re writing a headline for the web, it’s always a good idea to start with keyword research so you can find out if there are relevant keywords you can use in your headline. But your headline should first and foremost appeal to the reader.  

Keywords should always be used naturally and not forced into the headline if they don’t make sense. Search engines place great emphasis on content having value for the reader when assigning rankings in search results. 

11 hacks for captivating headlines 

Here are the 11 hacks and examples we promised you. 

1. Short and sweet

Everyone is busy scrolling on. Therefore, short headlines are best. It’s one of the challenges of writing headlines. But you can almost always say it with fewer words. Every time you write a new headline, try to make it shorter. 


This headline is a bit too long:   

Check out our large selection of activity toys that stimulate all your cat’s senses. 

This headline has a better length:  

Stimulate all your cat’s senses with these activity toys

2. Use numbers

While numbers can feel dry, funnily enough, people love clicking on headlines that contain numbers. Numbers make things more comprehensible. That’s why you’ve probably come across many articles like the one you’re reading right now: ‘10 reasons to…’, ‘25 tips for…’, ‘Bake a chocolate cake in 5 easy steps’, etc.  

Even though there are many articles with numbered lists and tips, they work. So, go ahead and reach for numbers when writing your next headline. 


Without numbers: Here are the best cafes in Rome.  

With numbers: Here are the 12 best cafes in Rome. 

Which one would you click on? 

3. Use bait

Promise your reader something. Give them a good reason to read on. 


Learn to knit in 2 hours. 

Here, we used both numbers and promised the reader that they can learn to knit in just two hours.  

4. Write many drafts

Selecting the best is easier when you have more than one option. The same goes for headlines. Every time you set out to write a sharp headline, give yourself multiple options by simply writing out 5 to 10 different versions of the same headline.  

It doesn’t matter if several of your versions are terrible, as long as the one you end up using is super sharp. The process of writing multiple versions often results in better ideas along the way. 


  1. Many find that their houseplants wither during the summer holidays. 
  2. Do your houseplants wither during the summer holidays too? 
  3. Summer holidays are a dangerous time for houseplants. 
  4. Here’s how to prevent your houseplants from withering during the summer holidays. 
  5. No more withered houseplants in the summer holidays – here’s how. 
  6. Save your houseplants from the summer holiday fate. 
  7. These 8 tips keep your houseplants green during the holidays. 
  8. Come home from the summer holiday to lush houseplants. 
  9. Keep your houseplants alive during the summer holidays. 
  10. Lush houseplants all summer – even when you’re on holiday. 

Now, we suddenly have 10 different options! 

5. Write for the curious reader

Everyone is curious and experiences FOMO (fear of missing out). You can use that to your advantage in your headlines. By only revealing a small part of your exciting news, you make it extra tempting for the reader to click on your headline. 


These 5 vegetables improve your mood. 

Famous singer has 28 cats. 

Here is the UK’s most popular coffee brand. 

6. Let AI help you

Even an experienced writer needs help sometimes. AI can help you write headlines or improve the ones you’ve already written.  

The AI writing assistant included in one.com’s Website Builder can help you write headlines and other texts for your entire website. 


In this example, we asked our AI writing assistant to come up with 5 different headline suggestions for an About Us page. We focused on a cafe that offers allergy-friendly food and coffee. 

  1. Specialising in allergy-friendly cafe experiences 
  1. Coffee love for everyone, with or without allergies 
  1. Allergy-friendly treats for quality-conscious guests 
  1. Allergy-friendly delicacies and coffee at Cafe Green Munch 
  1. Sustainable cafe for food allergy sufferers 

As a matter of fact, you can create an entire website in 5 minutes using our Website Builder with integrated AI technology. 

7. Write for the impatient reader

Most people like the idea of achieving quick results. Preferably right now! Therefore, it often pays to appeal to the reader’s impatience in a headline. 


Get more visitors to your website next week 

Create a complete website in 5 minutes 

These tips give you more energy in 2 days 

Make money blogging today! 

8. Use power words

In a marketing and copywriting context, the term ‘power words’ is used to describe words that have a higher chance of eliciting a reaction from the reader. Power words can be used in many ways, depending on what you want the reader to do, feel, or think. 


The words marked in bold in our headline examples below are power words:  

  • Get free shipping now. 
  • Popular cat food producer wins gold medal. 
  • Here are 10 tips for experiences in the Lake District. 
  • Here are the newest trends of the season. 
  • Ultimate guide to weightlifting. 
  • Get valuable insight into your audience’s habits. 

That was just a small handful of examples. There are many other power words you can weave into your headlines. A quick search online, and you’ll surely find the perfect power word for your next headline. 

9. Give cliché headlines a makeover

There are so many tired headlines that are used again and again. If you take a quick scroll through LinkedIn, you’ll probably come across several of them. Clichéd headlines are often used because they actually follow the recipe for a good headline – we’re just a bit tired of the flavour.  

By reusing the tired headlines and giving them a quick makeover, you can end up with a really good result. Let’s try swapping or adding a few words: 


How to work more efficiently —> 5 tips: Work more efficiently starting tomorrow 

We are thrilled to introduce our new colleague —> Break out the champagne! We have a new colleague.

Get 10% off our unique salads —> Get 10% off our crispy fresh salads. 

The best strategies to increase sales —> Want to sell more? Here are the 3 best strategies. 

By rearranging the words and adding a few new ones, we’ve freshened up the worn-out headlines and made them more interesting. 

10. Ask the reader a question

Look at our last example above. Here, we changed the headline by asking the reader a question. Doing so puts the reader at the centre. The reader feels that you’re speaking directly to them, and that’s why it works! 


Are you also tired of aphids in the garden? We have an eco-friendly solution. 

Do you always feel tired after lunch? Here’s how to avoid afternoon slumps.

11. Address the reader’s scepticism

When you promise the reader something in a headline, you almost always need to consider that they will squint and think, “Hmm, but it’s probably difficult/expensive/too good to be true/time-consuming,” etc.  

You can be one step ahead of the reader by addressing their scepticism right in your headline.


The only skincare routine you need – beautiful skin with only 2 products, 5 minutes, and £15

Here, we answered three questions the reader might have: “Do I need to use a ton of different products?”, “Does it take hours?” and “Is it expensive?” This increases the chances that the reader won’t just scroll on. 

Now it’s your turn to entice readers with your headlines

Thank you for reading all the way here. We hope our hacks and examples have convinced you that you don’t need to pull your hair out every time you sit down to write a headline. You might as well make it easier for yourself, and that’s exactly why we decided to share these hacks with you. Good luck at the keyboard! 

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