Episode 20: How to write mind melting headlines that will make you a millionaire

This week we kick things off by celebrating our 20th episode. The celebration is short and sad.

Then we talk about headlines and the tips and tricks to writing headlines that are awesome.

The secret, Eric Jaffe writes in Fast Company, is “engineering ‘curiosity gap’ headlines.” He cites George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon as the leading proponent of the “information gap” theory of curiosity. In the mid-1990s, Loewenstein wrote that “the curious individual is motivated to obtain the missing information to reduce or eliminate the feeling of deprivation.”

1) Keywords in posts matter for search and users

2) The Big Gun Terms


How to

How I

How Apple …


Why in front of declarative sentence

Why Netflix moved to a work from home policy


3) Listicles drive clicks … use those numbers

Some great list words to get you started:

  • Reasons
  • Ways
  • Tips
  • Tricks
  • Secrets
  • Ideas
  • Techniques
  • Strategies
  • Facts
  • Methods
  • Statistics

4) Commands work well … Click this article now to find out how to be debt free

5) You need to demonstrate your value to your reader … and your credibility

6) Talk to your reader directly … question them

7) Evoke curiosity or missing information

8) Use strong/vivid adjectives

9) Match your headlines to your featured images




  1. Surprise – “This Is Not a Perfect Blog Post (But It Could’ve Been)”
  2. Questions – “Do You Know How to Create the Perfect Blog Post?”
  3. Curiosity gap – “10 Ingredients in a Perfect Blog Post. Number 9 Is Impossible!”
  4. Negatives – “Never Write a Boring Blog Post Again”
  5. How to – “How to Create a Perfect Blog Post”
  6. Numbers – “10 Tips to Creating a Perfect Blog Post”
  7. Audience referencing – “For People on the Verge of Writing the Perfect Blog Post”
  8. Specificity – “The 6-Part Process to Getting Twice the Traffic to Your Blog Post”

Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise

Ex. This headline from Fast Company—“Can A Photographer Truly Capture Love?”—could be answered by the word no, so instead, we could rewrite the headline to “The Impossible Task of Capturing Love in Photos: How These Photographers Pulled It Off.”

We also play with some headline generators