Ever wonder why viral websites grow so fast?
How do news websites get huge traffic?
The answer is simple:
They write irresistible headlines.
The content they publish is good but it’s the headline that does the magic for them.
I’m not talking about click-bait headlines. We’re past that.
The inspiration to write this article came to me when I was reading a blog and saw this headline on BoredPanda:
That’s when I put my thinking cap on and dug a little deep to find out how this article got over 452K views and 62K Facebook shares.
I ended up discovering a very cool headline formula that can generate 1000s of shares.
This Headline Formula = 1000s Of Shares
Here’s the formula that gets thousands of shares…
[Fact or Problem] + “So I” [Solution + Result]
This formula is used by many news and viral content websites and it’s obvious why they use it.
Here’s why this formula works.
First, you mention the problem.
You talk about how you solved the problem.
This persuasion trick works well because you already got the reader’s attention by mentioning their pain point.
These are some headlines I found during my research that used this same formula.
Headline #1: Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself.
This headline is perfect.
The number of shares of the post proves it.
Instead of mentioning a problem, the author used a fact.
You can use this headline formula for creating case studies or research-based articles.
Want some examples?
Here you go…
Example #1: Cold Showers Increase Your Energy. So I Took A Cold Shower Every Morning For 30 Days.
Example #2: Sitting Is Bad For You. So I Stopped. For A Whole Month.
Headline #2: I Just Turned 27, So I Guess It’s Time To Start Describing Life As A Journey
Another example of this formula is this headline where the author of the post just talked about him turning 27 and describing life as a journey.
The post is just 355 words long but still, it managed to get over 11.7K shares.
Headline #3: I Got Rejected by Apple Music… So I Redesigned It
This article on Medium got over 9k likes.
The headline first mentions rejection and then how to counter it.
This can work in instances when you failed at something.
Here’s the headline…
I Miserably Failed At Getting My Content Shared By Chris Brogan. So I Found Another Way And Made Him Do It.
Some examples of how you can use this formula based on rejection.
Example #1: I Failed All My 2017 Resolutions. So I Didn’t Make Any This Year.
Example #2: I Was Told I Can’t Lose Weight. So I Got Slim Fit It In 3 Months.
Example #3: I Was Unable To Write Faster. So I Started Using This Tool & Became 5x More Productive.
Headline #3: I was tired of throwing kids in prison. So I built a place to help them out of it.
This is the simplest form of this headline…
[Problem] + “So I” [Solution]
You can create dozens of attractive headlines with this formula.
One more example I found on the Internet:
This post also got over 4k shares!
Don’t Use This Formula…
These headlines are not the generic “how-to”, “X ways to” headlines.
Only use this formula when you have a story to tell.
You can’t just write a How-To guide and then use this formula to write your headline.
It DOESN’T work that way.
If there’s a story, then you can use this headline easily. Or else, you’ll fail.
You can either keep writing headlines that suck…
Use this formula to write magnetic headlines.