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    Three methods to make Headlines:

    Subject lines are used to get your prospects attention.
    It doesn’t matter if you have great copy if they never OPEN the email or READ the first sentence. Grab them in with a catchy subject line…

    ….but CAUTION: Don’t use a totally random line that doesn’t relate to your story at all. If you say in an email subject line, “YOUR MOM JUST DIED”

    ….they will click it, but get very angry and turned off when you start saying, “Do you need new email marketing software??”

    Here’s three different ways to write good subject lines (pay particular attention to the last one):

    You can write however you want, but here’s some practices I personally use with success:

    • The more like an editorial piece, the better (like a newspaper column)
    • Keep the text width really small. 550 pixels-wide maximum.
    • Use bolds or underlines if you would SPEAK something with emphasis.
    • Use centering to exaggerate something.
    • Use quotes from famous people that relate. Center and italicize them.
    • Use bullets to show lists of interesting things.
    • Max 2-3 sentences per paragraph to keep it reading fast.
    • For page flips….say stuff like, “Ok, but that’s not the best part…..”
    • Use P.S. and P.P.S. to summarize or make sure they take an action.

    “Heard it off the street” Method

    Step 1) Make a chart like this on a piece of paper:

    Step 2) Under the “Something you heard” section, brainstorm some things that if you heard them passing someone on the sidewalk, you’d stop and go “Errrgghh!!??”


    • I dropped $700 like 10 feet from here….
    • My dog shat out a $100 bill today….
    • I couldn’t believe my daughter made $300 from her phone today….
    • My brother was bald but then his hair grew back…..

    Step 3) Under the “What you’re selling” section, write what you’re selling.

    Example we’ll use: Selling an HTML5 programming course

    Step 4) Take the best lines, and pair them together:

    Step 5) Combine them together to make mini-stories (watch the video for examples).

    Step 6) Use your new-found “catchy-mini-stories” as either subject lines or opener lines to get people’s attention.

    Headline Formulas for you to use:

    Sometimes you need a little “assistance” to get your brain juice going.  These formulas will jog your brain in the right direction:

    [End result they want] + [Time period] + [Address the objections]


    [How to make amazing tacos] + [In 10 minutes] + [For under 5 bucks]

    [Make a landing page] + [By tonight] + [With zero experience]

    [Increase walk-in traffic to your restaurant] + [This month] + [Without paying for advertising]



    But formulas can be BROKEN or SHIFTED!!  Let’s be bad little monkeys and change the formula to something like this:

    [Take this action] + [Specific Time Period] + [End Result]


    [Consult with me] + [For 1 hour] + [And I’ll improve your eCommerce site sales]  

    [Talk to just 3 of your customers] + [For 5 minutes] + [To laser-target your sales pitch]

    [Put this liquid in your fish tank] + [Wait 1 hour] + [And you’ll never have to clean it again]

    Want to make a title that’s good for SEO?

    If you’re doing a how-to kind of article, often a good ole’ descriptive title can be the simplest. These can also be the best for SEO purposes.  

    Allow me to demonstrate……by seeing how we can headline an article about cooking eggs:


    Step 1.) Go to Google Trends.

    Look for keywords that are getting more popular with time.  So we’ll check the popularity of “How to cook an egg.” 

    You can see a nice little chart that’s increasing, so this is a pretty popular term:


    Step 2.) Let’s enter some other words to compare.  
    Let’s just add in some other close keywords.  I’ll add in “How to cook scrambled eggs”.  

    As you can see, our competitor word wasn’t AS popular (probably because it was more specific), but still a good up-trending term:


    Step 3.) Find the hottest words:
    We then added the term “How to make eggs” which is only slightly different, but look at the MASSIVE amount of searches that term gets versus the others! You can’t even see the other search volume compared to how much this one gets!

    This would tell me that a great how-to article or video titled “How to make eggs” could potentially hit a huge audience based on search volume.

    Try it yourself on Google Trends.

    Examples of headlines grabbing attention in different ways:

    Found in a magazine.  There’s basically 3 main words that grab your attention.  Paired with the image of a ripped dude, you INSTANTLY get the ad is about fitness and losing flab:


    This is a silly example.  But if you were perusing car listings on Craigslist, you’d sure as hell notice this one!!  The craziness and entertainment value alone makes you want to read it:

    Anatomy of a headline.  
    A lesson to always remember:

    The whole point of your headlines is to grab someone into the article or video.  

    They then start sliding down a “slippery slope” as Joseph Sugarman puts it.  

    I even made you a handy graphic to demonstrate what going down a “Slippery Slope” should look like.  

    Remember this:

    “8 out of 10 people will read the headline.
     2 out of 10 people will read the copy.”  

    The job of the headline is to suck people in, but ALSO to eliminate people who are the wrong readers! Think of your headline as the bouncer of your club. You don’t want to let EVERYONE in, only the people who match your style.

    So you don’t want to spread your message too thin by trying to catch everyone, like this:

    “How to cook eggs and scrambled them and also how to make a good yolk but also keep the egg whites intact and then how to make the egg taste good and also bread.”

    Instead you want to make it to the point and relevant, like this:

    “How to cook a classic breakfast egg.”

    But then we can sex-up that headline to whatever your topic is.  Maybe you have a nutrition blog that’s talking about how to make a healthy egg:

    “How to cook a high-protein egg breakfast like Michael Phelps.”

    The top 100 blog post headlines from QuickSprout.com ranked on number of Facebook shares and comments:

    Headline Shares
    How Spending $162,301.42 on Clothes Made Me $692,500 1953
    22 Gmail Plugins That All Content Marketers Need to Know About 1831
    How a Ferrari Made Me a Million Bucks 1491
    How to Improve Your Facebook’s Organic Reach 1483
    What Are The Best Times to Post on Social Media 1235
    The Ultimate Content Marketing Checklist: 40 Questions to Ask Yourself before Publishing Your Next Blog Post 974
    37 Point Checklist: How to Create Content That Will Increase Your Traffic by Tomorrow Morning 942
    The Content Marketer’s Toolkit: 35 Tools You Can’t Blog Without 781
    The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags 769
    10 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing 684
    7 Obsolete Social Media Tactics You’re Wasting Your Time On 678
    7 Marketing Tactics That Increased My Growth by 679% 645
    Why We Like, Comment, and Share on Facebook 630
    What SEO Used to Be Versus What SEO Is Now 615
    The 10 Key Elements of a High Quality Website 562
    7 Obsolete SEO Tactics You’re Wasting Your Time On 511
    Is It Worth Responding to Blog Comments? 494
    Stop Guessing: Here’s a Social Media Strategy That Works 493
    How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page 465
    The Scientifically Proven Best Time to Think and Write Creatively 458
    10 Marketing Predictions You Should Prepare for in 2015 423
    Why You Need a Social Media Calendar and How to Create One 421
    How to Create The Perfect Social Media Post 403
    7 Tips for Increasing Your Click-Through Rates on Facebook 401
    How to Make Custom Images for Your Blog Posts Without Hiring a Designer 392
    8 Ways to Get More Social Shares Without Annoying Readers 371
    Why Link Building Is NOT the Future of SEO 366
    Who Is More Active on Social Media? Men or Women? 361
    The Ultimate SEO Checklist: 25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Next Post 359
    The Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post 356
    How Does Content Marketing Actually Get You More Sales? 355
    10 Fun Exercises That Will Help You Become a Better Entrepreneur 354
    7 Things Every (Great) Landing Page Needs 354
    11 Tactics to Get More Click-Throughs from Social Media 348
    7 Lies About SEO You Probably Believe 333
    The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand 330
    How Google Crawls and Indexes Web Pages 321
    How to Double Your Writing Speed Without Lowering Its Quality 312
    Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Marketing Consultant 312
    How to Be More Productive on Social Media 310
    100 Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Blogging 303
    11 Business Philosophies to Live and Die By 297
    Don’t Blog Unless You Use These 11 Tools 289
    How to Structure a Perfect LinkedIn Profile 286
    Which Social Media Platforms Are Best Suited for Your Business? 285
    Why Do Sites Rank High on Google When They Aren’t Optimized? 281
    How to Avoid a Google Penalty 281
    How to Increase Your Instagram Engagement by 182% 279
    11 Essential Elements of a Perfect Blog Design (a Data Driven Answer) 276
    How to Write a Great Value Proposition 276
    How to Get Customers Without Spending Any Money 273
    How to Get Your First 1000 Facebook Fans 270
    How to Increase Your Website’s Traffic Without Any Marketing 268
    The Anatomy of a High Converting Landing Page 267
    The Science of Instagram: How to Get More Followers and Likes 253
    13 Important Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Blogging 244
    The Anatomy of a Perfect Facebook Post 241
    Should You Repost Your Blog Content on Other Websites? A Data-Driven Answer 237
    How to Write Emails Your Subscribers Can’t Wait to Open 235
    7 Proactive Ways to Get Backlinks That’ll Actually Boost Your Traffic 232
    The Ultimate Guide to Creating Visually Appealing Content 231
    A/B Testing For Beginners: 70 Resources to Get You Started 230
    How to Turn Pinterest into a Revenue Generating Channel 230
    How Content Length Affects Rankings and Conversions 230
    How to Get Your First 1,000 Blog Readers 229
    How to Improve Your Marketing with Google Analytics Data 228
    7 Conversion Lessons Learned From Eye Tracking 227
    How to Get 247% More People to Read Your Content 226
    7 Popular Content Marketing Myths You Need to Stop Following 222
    How Blogging Affects Your Bottom Line 222
    7 Lies About Social Media Marketing You Probably Believe 221
    8 Ways to Improve the Usability of Your Website 221
    Running out of Topics to Blog about? Follow These 5 Simple Steps 215
    What Spending $57,000 on Instagram Taught Me 213
    How to Grow Your Blog Traffic by 20,000 Visitors a Month 212
    How Many Links Should You Build to Your Website? 210
    How to Create Content That Drives Lots of Organic Traffic 210
    15 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My First Company 209
    7 Simple Copywriting Tweaks That’ll Shoot Your Conversion Rate Up 206
    The 5 Stages of Blog Growth: How Your Traffic Tactics Should Change as You Grow 206
    Can You Grow Your Organic Traffic Without Generating Content? 206
    The Blueprint of an Optimal Blog Design 206
    How to Receive Great Testimonials 206
    How Much Copy Should You Write on Your Homepage? 204
    How to Generate $1,000,000 from Your Blog 203
    The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking 202
    Does URL Structure Even Matter? A Data Driven Answer 201
    How to Build a Loyal Audience on the Web 200
    7 Strategies That’ll Actually Drive You More Social Media Traffic 200
    How to Engage and Persuade People Through Storytelling 200
    How to Keep Your Readers on Your Blog Longer 199
    Why Transparency Is The New Marketing 198
    What I Learned About Content Marketing by Analyzing 614 Posts 196
    Why All Marketers Should Be Thinking Mobile 196
    How I Reached 100,000 Visitors with These 7 Rules 195
    How to Build Brand Awareness for Your Business 194
    How to Build a Million Dollar Business From Your Personal Brand 193
    7 Lessons and 3 New Strategies I Learned From Launching My 5th Blog 192
    10 Most Costly Marketing Blunders I’ve Ever Made 191
    7 Landing Page Flaws That Kill Your Conversions (and How to Fix Them) 190

    Top 100 blog post headlines from OkDork.com ranked by adding all shared values:

    Headline Total
    Why I got Fired from Facebook (a $100 Million dollar lesson) 11612
    Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us. 8098
    Are things happening to you or are you making things happen? 4249
    We Analyzed Nearly 1 Million Headlines. Here’s What We Learned 3777
    How to attract the best talent in the world 2989
    We Analyzed the 3,000 Most Successful LinkedIn Publishing Posts 2791
    A (Proven) Freelancer’s Guide to Growing Your Business 2565
    How to Create Great Content That Drives Traffic 2072
    The 6 Step Guide to Getting Free Press for Your Startup 1342
    How to get your first 100 email subscribers 837
    SEO for Beginners – Everything You Need to Know 704
    The 18 Books that Changed my Life 600
    A Guide to Grow Your Blog (or Any Blog) 10X 546
    6 Steps to Writing Great Cold Emails 534
    What I learned spending $2 Million on Facebook Ads 485
    How to get an eBook to #1 on Amazon 479
    The Secret to Effective Marketing – Quant Based Marketing 446
    How Not to Feel Guilty about Charging For Your Time 429
    What You Can Learn from KISSmetrics’ SEO Strategy 411
    Create Your First Marketing Plan 397
    What’s Your Normal Email Open Rate? 384
    How to Hit #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller List 365
    Funny Out of Office Messages: Top 13 Ideas for Your Out of Office Replies 344
    The Formula for Creating a 1,000,000 Download Podcast 310
    Why I Quit Mint.com (and lost out on $1.7 million) 304
    How to Make Better Decisions with a Priority Framework 289
    How to Earn More Money: By Asking 283
    36 ways to Deal with Depression 264
    The Samuel L. Jackson Marketing Hack 234
    Mint Sales and Marketing: How Mint Beat Wesabe 216
    How to Hire a Great Marketing Person 214
    What Babysitting Taught Me About Business 198
    How to Grow a Blog to 100,000 Visitors in Less than a Year 197
    Make it Easy to Say Yes 185
    What OkDork’s Marketing Funnel Can Teach You 178
    How to Create Your First Profitable YouTube Campaign 177
    What I learned about email marketing after losing $135,000 a day 169
    How to Look Busy: Top 10 Ways to Look Busy at Work 167
    What It’s Like to Hang with Millionaires 165
    How to Create a Happiness Advantage 164
    How to Simplify Your Decision Making 164
    How to Improve Customer Satisfaction (or how to make your customers orgasm) 164
    the expert curse 163
    How to Connect with VIPs: 5 Tips for Cold Emails 160
    Showing vs. Telling: How to Convince Anyone 154
    How to Get More Email Subscribers 151
    How to Organize a Conference: How We Made Over $100,000 142
    Think and Grow Rich: Quotes & Book Review 136
    The Difference: Successful People and Losers 133
    How to Make a Great Day 132
    Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Book Review 129
    My 2014 Processes (No More Resolutions) 129
    Startup Tips: How I grew a waiting list of 20,000+ at Mint.com Part I 114
    How I Made $50,000 in College (and What You Can Learn Too) 108
    How One Survey Created Insane Results 107
    Startup Advertising Spend Calculator 107
    Permission Based Email Marketing: 6 Tips for Reducing Unsubscriptions 95
    Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products – Book Review 81
    How to Write a Convincing Craigslist Ad (or You get out what you put in) 79
    If it’s uncomfortable, you’re growing. 77
    How to Spend Your First $100 on Retargeting Ads 76
    The Power of Habit Book Review 75
    Learning from a Shitty Experience 73
    The WordPress Plugin that DOUBLED My Conversions 71
    How to Be a Professional 71
    Unlabel by Mark Ecko – Book Review 68
    What Waffles Can Teach Us About Business 67
    Improving Conversion Rates: How We Doubled AppSumo’s Conversion Rate in 2 Days 66
    Smartcuts – Book Review 65
    What I learned not eating for 60 hours 64
    Make an Impact 62
    Daily Accountability Marketing Metrics 61
    Sales 101 for Startups – 3 Rules to Success 61
    Kick ass using Positive Triggers 58
    The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz 56
    Things I Learned in Cuba 56
    If You Don’t Like Your Life, Change It! – Book Review 54
    My 2013 Goals 51
    The Demise of Craigslist 51
    Free, 12 Week Marketing Course – Summer of Marketing 50
    Walk a mile in my shoes (literally) 47
    30 Days of YouTube Videos 45
    How to Build Customer Relationships 40
    Social Media & Business: Don’t believe the hype 39
    Connecting with Others: What Have You Done for Me Lately? 38
    The End of Overeating — Book Review 35
    Original Mint.com Landing Pages 34
    15 Ways to Optimize your Subscription Model 33
    Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It – Book Review 32
    How to Guarantee Success like the show House of Cards 31
    My Travel Hacks & Free Luggage for Your Next Adventure (Part 2) 30
    7 steps to a legit Mexican Restaurant 30
    “GEBY”: The 4 Ways To Engineer A Great Morning 29
    Small Giants by Bo Burlingham — Book Review 28
    Noah’s Ultimate Speech at UC Berkeley 28
    How to Give More: Give and Take — Book Review 27
    How to Choose a Lawyer: Questions for Startups to Ask 25
    10 Best Ways to Quit Your Job 25
    The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene – Book Review 24

    Top 30 blog post headlines from Backlinko.com ranked by adding all shared values:

    Headline Total
    Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List 10233
    Viral Marketing Case Study: How a Brand New Blog Generated 17,584 Visitors In One Day 4447
    Conversion Rate Optimization Techniques: The Complete List 4155
    16 Actionable SEO Copywriting Secrets That Will Drive More Traffic To Your Site 3690
    17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies That Will Generate More Subscribers Today 3627
    21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now 3034
    17 Untapped Backlink Sources (Updated) 2,633
    How We Rank #1 in Google And Grew Organic Traffic by 963% (Two Step-By-Step Case Studies) 2254
    On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page 2128
    Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days 1341
    Want More Traffic That Actually Converts? Follow These 4 Steps… 1243
    How to Get High Quality Backlinks (Without Guest Posting) 1232
    Content Strategy Case Study: 36,282 Readers + 1,000 Email Subscribers 1206
    How to Create a Squeeze Page That Converts at 21.7% (Case Study) 1149
    Ecommerce SEO Case Study: White Hat Link Building Without Any Content 1052
    How To Increase Conversions by 785% in One Day (Without A/B Testing) 942
    YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide 930
    White Hat SEO Case Study: 348% More Organic Traffic in 7 Days 830
    The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research 726
    How To Boost Conversions by 529% in 45-Minutes (Two Step-By-Step Case Studies) 648
    How to Get Backlinks With Guestographics 489
    I’m KILLING It With This Completely New Kind of Backlink 470
    Why Google Hates Your Site (Hint: It Has Something to Do With TrustRank) 412
    CPA Marketing: The Ultimate Guide 381
    The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging 292
    The Definitive Guide to Link Building 151
    5 Lessons Learned From 1 Million Search Engine Visitors 102
    7 Ways to Protect Your Site Against Google Penalties 91
    5 Dumb SEO Mistakes That Smart People Make 23

    After all that headline info.....here's why you shouldn't pay TOOOOO much attention to headlines:

    Believe it or not, for certain things (like your email list) I think you should NOT spend too much time on creating grandiose headlines. I even jump into my own system to show you at the end:
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