PPP 023: 5 Effective Headline Templates for Blog Posts, Videos, and Other Content


In today’s episode I’ve got 5 headline templates for you to use in your blog posts, videos, and other content.

These are simple templates but they’re all very effective.

Hey, what’s up? Nate Rivers here. This is the Passive Profits Podcast, and this is Episode 23. In this episode, I’ve got five headline templates for you to use, and these are all very effective, work really well, and you can plug in the words that make sense based on the template for your topic and be off to the races.

The first one that I’ve got is the “How to… without.” The way this works is you start off with “How to,” you add in the big benefit that people want or the result that people want – “How to Lose Weight” – and then you add “without.” The “without” part, you add the thing that’s bad about getting that result, that no one likes. So “How to Lose Weight without Giving Up Pizza.” Or you can add a “while still” variant, so “How to Lose Weight While Still Eating Pizza and Cheeseburgers,” that kind of thing.

So that works really well for headlines. And by the way, these headlines are typically, for these specific templates, these are typically better for blog posts and YouTube videos. Basically content on your website, versus something like an actual product or a Kindle title. That’s not always the case; you can make Kindle titles following these templates, but normally you’d almost want an element of branding for an actual product title. That’s a different topic, though.

The next headline template is “The Secrets to [blank].” You can add a number before the secrets part or you can just keep “the secrets.” For example, “The Secrets of Quilting for Money” or “The Secrets to Penny Stock Investing” or “The Top 7 Secrets to Penny Stock Investing.” I mean, it just depends. Adding the number, that makes it specific; it makes people a little bit more curious. So it’s good to add that element.

The next template is “How to [blank] like a [blank].” The first blank, you want to add in the result again that people want: “How to Lose Weight,” and then you add in the “like a…” and someone who’s good at losing weight. “How to Lose Weight like…” What’s an example? Who’s really good at losing weight? “How to Lose Weight like an MMA Fighter” or “How to Lose Weight like a College Wrestler.” That’s not a great example, because they just starve themselves. “How to Pick Stocks like Warren Buffett,” that’s a better example. Something that’s more practical and would get people excited. No one wants to lose weight like a college wrestler. Anyways. “How to Cook Grits like Paula Deen.” Stuff like that.

Two things that people instantly relate to, and obviously the second part, the person or the group of people that you mention – “How to Meditate like a Buddhist Monk,” I don’t know. I don’t even know if they meditate. That sounds right. You want the group of people that you’re going to mention, or the person that you’re going to mention, to tie in with your niche or your topic, of course, to tie in with the title.

The next template that I’ve got for you to use is essentially just “How to” and then you follow it up with two benefits. A really good formula is “How to get this benefit and get this benefit.” The classic example for this template is “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

On a side note, the “how to” part, I can’t remember which famous copywriter said this, but they basically said it’s hard to screw up a title if you just start with “how to” and then you insert your main benefit. So if you can’t think of anything else, add “how to,” and it instantly sparks interest or curiosity in people, anyone who’s remotely interested in what you’re talking about. If you say “how to,” it’s hard to write a bad title. You could probably spend a lot of time and come up with a better title, but the “how to” and then just stating your main benefit or your main result that people are going to get is an effective way of creating a title that takes one second.

Another template is basically a numbered – not a list, but add a number and then an adjective and then “to get the result.” For example, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” or something like “8 Tricks That All Bloggers Know.” “8 Secrets That Your Dietitian Isn’t Telling You.” That last one didn’t exactly follow the example, but that’s just a base template for all kinds of things you could come up with.

Again, the reason that a number works so well in titles is there’s something about it that makes people want to click on the blog post or watch the video and see “Okay, what is this person’s 8 points to teach me how to lose weight?” or “What are these 8 things my dietitian isn’t telling me?” And you’ve experienced that yourself. For some reason – I don’t know why – it sparks curiosity, and that’s the main thing you want your title to do. The title of a blog post or a video, its main job is to get the reader interested enough to continue reading, and to pull them into the page or the article or whatever it is and keep them there. The number at the front just works well.

So those are the five templates I’ve got for you. If you liked this post, you can visit strayblogger.com for more posts, podcasts, videos like this. And if you go to iTunes and leave a review on the StrayBlogger Podcast or the Passive Profits Podcast, I would love that. So thanks for listening, and have a great day.

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About The Author


Nate is a blogger, fitness enthusiast, and designer.

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