Secret to Writing Hypnotic Headlines

Copywriting Secret Hypnotic Headlines

Are your blog headlines as good as they could be?

The goal of a blog headline is to catch the attention of a potential reader and draw them into your post, but less than 20% of headlines ever do their intended job of converting “blog post browsers” into blog post readers.

Trying to include the proper keywords for Blog SEO, keep it short enough for the All in One SEO pack, and make sure it’s relevant to your blog topic, it can be difficult to create headlines.

The topic of copywriting can become a lifelong study for someone who wants to really learn how to effectively communicate with others, but there are some great shortcuts and secrets to make it easier.

I’m excited to share some of them with you here and I’ve got a gift for you at the end of this post…a headline swipe file so to speak that you can use as a jumping off point when you’re writing your blog posts.

But first, here are five simple steps writing great headlines:

  1. Think about the topic of your post and your main keyword.  Your headline should include your main keyword in the first 4 words if possible.
  2. Keep your headline readable at about the 6th grade level.
  3. Keep your headlines between 4 and 20 words in length.
  4. Write 5 or 6 different headlines and look at them a couple of hours later to see which ones trigger you to want to read.
  5. Use a headline swipe file to help you brainstorm great headlines for your blog.

After writing your headlines and coming back to them, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are your headlines simple! A clever headline is not always best!  You want your reader to know instantly what’s in it for them in your post, when they read the headline. You don’t want them to be confused as to what your blog post is going to be about.  Clever Copywriting Secrets for Blog Writers Part 2
  • Are your headlines believable? While, yes you want to wow your readers with the great rewards they are going to receive when they read your post, using too much hype in your headline will raise the inner skeptic in your reader and cause them to think “spam” and not click through.
  • Do your headlines stir up emotion in your readers? According to Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich, the 7 major positive emotions are: desire, faith, love, sex, enthusiasm, romance and hope and the 7 major negative emotions are: fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition, and anger.  Are you using these in your blog headlines? Example Are Your Posts Lonely? 10 Ways to Get More Blog Comments
  • Do your headlines compare and contrast? Contrast is a fun, and simple technique to entice your readers to click through your posts.
    • An example is the post I wrote at the end of January:  Smoking Hot Activity on Clever Marketer this Past Frigid January
    • Here’s what a couple of my readers had to say after my first attempt at using contrast in a headline: “The title caught my eye and drew me away from what I was in the middle of working on, to come check it out.” ~Susanna Hess.  “I love the title – very catchy :)” ~Mavis Nong
  • Do your headlines get your readers agreeing with you before they’ve read your posts? Asking a question in your headline will frequently accomplish this goal of getting your readers to agree or answer silently to themselves and click through  your post! Example: Do You Have Blog Challenge Cold Feet?
  • Do your headlines share a benefit or a reward for reading your post? It’s awesome to just come directly out and let your readers know what they’re going to learn when they read your post! Example:  Get More Blog Traffic and Leads the Easy Way!

So now that you know what to ask yourself about your headlines to increase their hypnotic qualities, how about I simplify the process for you?


Free Hypnotic Headlines Cheat Sheet ImageI’ve created a swipe file of 45 Highly Hypnotic Headlines that are sure to evoke emotion in your readers and have them clicking through your link to read the first sentence of your post before they realize they’ve done it!  Where you take them from there, is up to you.  Remember the job of every sentence in your blog post is to get the next sentence read.

Don’t stop with hypnotic headlines.  Remember to always make sure your blog over delivers on value! And to prove I’m walking my talk, here’s your free gift. No opt in required! 🙂

Please share these Hypnotic Headlines with others through social media and comment to let me know what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Another awesome Post Heather. You’re doing fantastic work.

    Will going to read Hypnotic headlines ebook.

    Thanks for sharing with us. Have a great day.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thank you for your comment and encouragement, Dev.

      Enjoy the Hypnotic Headlines download! 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your swipe file, Heather.

    I appreciate the fact that you encourage the use of your main keyword in your headline. I teach that as well, but not everyone does :). I think it’s important. Having said that, it’s the rest of the characteristics that I usually have trouble with! Writing compelling headlines is a challenge for me and it’s something that I do need to spend some time working on. I know I’ll be referring to the info in this post a lot!

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Leanne,

      Yes keywords are essential for any kind of SEO benefit and in my opinion they’re one of the best ways to peak the interest of your readers!

      I think you do a great job with your headlines, but sometimes having some fresh ideas is helpful!

      Have fun and thanks for your comment! 🙂


  3. I agree with everything you say (except the Napoleon Hill bit, he was hopelessly wrong with that) and I think it’s an excellent post.

    And here is my question, I agree pretty much everything you say ‘works, but do you think some of the tips are leading to the dumbing down of blogs?

    I see lots of bloggers in my industry (self development) that seem to spend longer thinking up a clever title than they do writing the actual post. It’s all 7 ways to this and 10 ways to that. Then when you get into the post there is little of value except vague generalizations that seldom help anybody make change.

    Maybe it’s because I’m older, but I think we are breeding a generation of scanners rather than readers.

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Tim,

      I couldn’t agree with you more about your point in needing to provide true value to your readers!

      As I said in the post: “Don’t stop with hypnotic headlines. Remember to always make sure your blog over delivers on value!”

      The headline is the merely opening line in the conversation and relationship with your potential reader. Every word, line, and paragraph in your post has to have a reason for being there; to educate, entertain, engage, or enrich the lives of your readers.

      I believe that there will always be bloggers who are “dumbing down” the content because they are all hat and no cattle, but as I continue to network with some of the great up and coming bloggers out there, I’m surprised and pleased by what I see.

      Honesty holds a lot of weight with me and I believe that those bloggers who push themselves to grow and share their knowledge with others will see success. We don’t have to be self proclaimed experts to be able to teach what we know.

      In the personal development field you are in, I’m sure you agree that there is no “arriving” at enlightenment. It’s just a journey and we start from where we are while keeping our eyes focused on our goals.

      Thanks for your value adding comment! I hope you’ll be back again soon to continue the discussion…


  4. Heather,

    Thank you for this very valuable post! Thank you for putting the time to put this together, I’m going to bookmark this for future use! Headlines really make a big difference as far as bringing readers in, it’s a valuable skill to know how to write them!


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Stacy!

      Thanks for the comment!

      I’m hopeful this post will be helpful to you in the future!


  5. Awesome clever post here Heather!

    Very good info!

    And you maxed out the link usage of your awesome headline links in the body of the post. Clever!

    Oh, and maybe you have seen this online Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer tool before, but I thought to share it here:

    What do you think of it?


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Robert,

      We’ve got to maximize that deep linking whenever we can, right?

      I love the emotional marketing value headline analyzer. I’d forgotten about it for several months but was recently re-introduced to it a few weeks ago. What a great find and an awesome addition to this post!

      Thank you SO MUCH for thinking to include it with your comment!


  6. Hi Heather,

    awesome post. Glad that you warn people of writing spammy headlines – they might not even get to your post. I also like the distinction between “blog post browsers” and “blog post readers” – the difference between them is our success – or our lack of success.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Take care


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Oliver,

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂 Spammy headlines are icky and I don’t like them one bit. I struggle sometimes with benefit driven headlines when the benefits are big because I worry they’ll sound spammy. I guess it’s a balance and I need to use my intuition as my driving force in those cases.

      Glad you liked the browsers vs readers comment. It does make a big difference when our content actually engages our readers and helps to develop our relationships with them!

      Appreciate your comment!

  7. Hi Heather,

    Another fabulous post. There are so many moving parts to creating a great post. From the title (with keywords), to rich content (with some internal links) and you’ve done a great job providing us with a clear formula that works.

    I was taught to always get reader information on my blog and I was wondering why you give away files without an opt in?


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Golda!

      Thanks for your comment and compliment! 🙂

      As far as giving away a no opt in freebie, I’ll have to expand in a future post, but in a nutshell, offering a no-strings-attached gift is a great way to build trust.

      It helps your posts to get links and to possibly go viral by encouraging your readers to share your content with others, helping to expand your reach, build good will and reciprocity.

      Plus it’s a way to brand myself with a tool that my readers could possibly print out and keep next to their computer for a quick reference, keeping me and my value adding content in the forefront of their minds.

      I have found that the subscriptions come anyway and there’s often a surge when I’m sharing a freebie. 🙂

      Thanks for asking! Hope my answer wasn’t too long! LOL


  8. Hey Heather,

    What a fantastic post. Loved the ebook cover – did you make it yourself?

    You’re so right about creating enticing headlines. And the content should really deliver on what the title promises to address.

    Just imagine how disappointed your readers would be after crafting a killer headline for your post, only to lose them with an opening that failed to carry the momentum.

    A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach.

    Thanks for this brilliant post and the swipe file – well done! Now I know what you have been up to lately 😉

    All the best,

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thanks Mavis,

      Yes I made the e-cover with a nifty new tool I discovered. 🙂

      I love your analogy of your opening line slamming the door in the face of your reader if your post doesn’t deliver at the same quality as your title does! Perfect visual!

      It goes without saying that your content needs to be over the top with value. I’d rather have a winning post with a flat headline than the other way around any day…although when I get them both right, I feel like I’ve it a home run! 🙂

      Enjoy the swipe file! Thanks for commenting!


      P.S. I’ve been working just as hard as usual, but on things that are still hiding behind the velvet curtain. Tomorrow’s post will share some of the details with my readers! I’m feeling like a kid on Christmas eve, tonight. Doubt I’ll sleep!

  9. Hi Heather,

    Well done! I have printed the guide off and will be using it daily.

    You’ve got some great ideas to step through for creating powerful headlines.

    Thanks so much Heather 🙂

    Take care,

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thanks Liz!

      Enjoy…although you’re above me in the copywriting skills department!



  10. Wow that’s a great article. Wihtout a good headline no one will read about it. One should also use anchor text in it to get most from Search engines

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Vivek,

      Thanks for your comment. I apologize it’s taken me a while to get back to you.

      I am not sure how to use anchor text in my headline. I use my keyword there, but the headlines are already linked aren’t they?

      Thanks so much for your comment! 🙂


  11. Heather – *wow* you have really outdone yourself on this. You have obviously been putting your nose to the grind to produce this incredibly valuable resource. Thanks so much. It really is about getting those creative juices flowing and you’ve certainly paved the way for us. If you dont mind, I would love to share this on my training site too.

    Thanks so much


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Jayne,

      Glad you can get some use out of it and that you liked the post and the swipe file!

      Of course, please do share!


  12. I have an idea of what’s in store for us and I’m so excited! 🙂

    Catch you later, Heather!

  13. Hi Heather,

    I love using the headline analyzer as that is what often draws me to read a post.

    I agree that putting too much emphasis on the headline & then not giving extremely meaty & relevant content is senseless in light of the fact that nobody likes to have anything other than what they came to get in the first place!

    Great post Heather!


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Karlene!

      It’s a great tool and I’m thankful that Robert added it in the comments. Duh…I should have included it in the post!

      Relevancy is key to converting the blog browsers into readers. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment,

  14. Hi Heather

    Wow, what a winning post! I had completely forgotten about the ‘compare and contrast’ one and I love the ‘five senses’ suggestion, that’s new to me.

    The ebook gift is simply stunning and one I will be proud to give away. The cover is so elegant and ‘clever’ in every sense 🙂

    What a wonderful leader you are.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Dr. Kisane!

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you like the post and the swipe file. I created the cover with a new tool I’ll be sharing soon! (It’s fun and addicting, let me tell you!)

      Thanks for the enthusiastic comment! I appreciate you!


  15. Very useful guide! Nice Idea of printing it to use 🙂
    I think that proper headline is 20+% of success.

  16. Thank you for your comment! Glad you like the cheat sheet!

  17. All I could say is this is a very informative information and important ingredients to the success of every internet marketer. Having hypnotic headline will surely catch up the attention of most visitors and readers.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heather C Stephens, Hector J Cuevas. Hector J Cuevas said: Secret to Writing Hypnotic Headlines @StephensHeather […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Katie, LifeWithoutPink. LifeWithoutPink said: RT @StephensHeather: Comment on Secret to Writing Hypnotic Headlines by Robert Peil […]