“Scientist Discovers New Way To Turn Smoke Into Bricks”
Boring. Standard. Another scientist doing another thing. Could be yet another science article.
“Your next home could be made from smoke! Find out how.”
Interesting – a home from smoke? Relatable – we live in homes, we’re saving up for a dream home. Doesn’t seem too science-y, more like fairy-tale-y.
Barring science journals and magazines, there’s a reason why the average person may prefer to read the second article. With people spending more and more time scrolling online, attention-catching headlines and clickbait articles have become a standard for many blogs. Shock factors, both visual and descriptive, have become the norm.
We’ve moved on from simple headlines that explained the article (How to, A List of, Guide to) to complex ones like those employed by Buzzfeed.
If you’re someone still perplexed as to why some great articles on your blog do not get the attention they deserve, a catchy headline could be the wall you need to climb. Consider this article a short crash course on how to write headlines. Not only are we going to discuss what makes a headline great (both for a human reading it and for a bot parsing it), but also, HOW you can generate these great headlines with the help of some tools. Cause let’s face it – headlines may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean the internet does not have some great free headline generator tools you can use.
Back to the image above – taken from their news section, Buzzfeed certainly knows how to get people to click on their article. Their headlines are distinctly different from those posted by other (quirky and serious) news outlets. This is not only a matter of knowing how to engage people but also a matter of knowing the type of audience you cater to.
Catchy headlines involve knowing: what’s trending, what is the audience you are catering to, and what will grab people’s attention the most from the article you’re writing.
Lest you get the idea that catchy headlines are all about the shock factor, here’s an article on the war in Ukraine from the Indian Express.
And here’s another one on the same topic from Buzzfeed.
While both are great headlines that appeal to one’s sense of humanity, they both have a distinct flavor, without sounding too clickbait-y and cliched. They do not employ overdone tropes, yet compel one to read on.
When the internet today is filled with clickbait like this ~
~ We’re here to talk about how you can write unique, honest, and yet beguiling headlines for your audience! Writing a compelling short sentence is no walk in the park – it’s how thousands of copywriters earn their keep. However, in the end, you’ll find the sources to some headline generator tools that can make this craft easy for you.
What’s in a (name) headline?
Quite a lot! So let’s break it down one by one.
Tips for Writing a Good Headline
While there’s no specific rule to writing the best headline. Articles in every niche and different and cater to different audiences. However, some general guidelines are as follows:
- Promise content and deliver upon it
After seeing a headline, people make a quick choice as to whether it deserves a click on or not. Herein, we can divide users into 2 groups – those who know what they want and those who do not. So, choose your headline based on the type of content and the audience it will garner.
Type 1 – Those who know what they want.
This can be people looking for something specific – like how to screw a nail. This also makes your headline more SEO friendly. Do you own a blog giving out recipes? A headline like “How to Make XYZ”, “Make XYZ from 3 ingredients”, and “Simple Recipe for making XYZ” is more SEO-friendly than “People Are Freaking Out Over This Simple XYZ Recipe”.
If your blog is instructional, make sure your headlines are instructional too!
This is how WikiHow remains consistently on top for pretty much every “How to -” question people ask – not with CREATIVE headlines but with RELEVANT headlines.
Type 2 – Those who know do not what they want.
This is where you can get creative! Here’s an example!
While we don’t necessarily need to read this article, perhaps an interesting headline or thumbnail might just compel us to!
Ultimately, here we see an element of uniqueness (“clever inventions”), a concrete sense of length (“20”), and an expected topic (“make your life better”). It is certainly more concrete than some of the headlines below taken from the later pages of Google.
“Inventions that you never knew you needed” – ambiguous? Need for what?
“10 inventions that changed your world” – probably talking about things like electricity and the internet – vague and not exciting.
These headlines fail to create a sense of urgency and are too vague to excite the user onto clicking the article, as they have no clue or a wrong idea of what it may offer.
- Power Trigrams
The word “power” is going to come up frequently as we explain catchy and SEO-friendly headlines. From a study done by Buzzsumo, most-clicked headlines on social media often contained a set of 3 words which are now termed as Power Trigrams.
Trigrams are a great way to catch a user’s attention while providing enough information about the article to create curiosity and promise! However, do remember that this is not concrete information – Buzzsumo’s study is limited to headlines across Facebook and Twitter.
The best way to find out a headline that works best for your kind of blog is to simply Google the topic and see what ranks best! You can see here how top headlines vary based on the content:
A search on “gardening tips” leans more toward number-specific headlines targeted toward beginners.
But “grow tulips” results in more instructional results with How-To guides and information brochures!
So, we can wrap up by saying that an engaging headline must:
- Creates a promise (that the article delivers) – think of it as a reward that the user gets for reading the article.
- Lets the reader know the premise and content (or at least niche) – the user must know if this is something worth investing time in
- Is short and within 63 characters – you want the entire headline to appear in the Google search
- Creates an element of curiosity – a fact, a stat, a defining piece.
What is an SEO-friendly headline?
While we’ve discussed how humans read headlines, it’s also important to make sure that a search engine can too! Search engines search for headlines that contain specific keywords. RankMath, an SEO tool swears by the following for top-ranking headlines:
- Power Words – There’s the word again! Power words are essentially words that “trigger a psychological or emotional response.” So, it could be something like “9 Inventions That Changed The Workspace As We Know It” versus “9 Life-Altering Inventions That Changed Workspaces”. Or even, something like “9 Great Headline Generators” versus “9 Great Free Headline Generators”!
- Power of Numbers – Numbers not only allow people to gauge the length of the article but can help create interest. “9 Life-altering Inventions” certainly sounds more appealing than “Nine life-altering inventions” or “Inventions that Changed our Lives”.
- Keywords – Of course, keywords are a must for your article to feature on SERP. Make sure to include them as organically as possible and choose long-tail keywords over short-tail ones.
Examples of Good Headlines
The best way to learn is to see! Let’s take a look at how some pages effectively use headlines across social media. Here’s a breakdown of 3 types of headlines The Economist uses for their weekly reads:
- Post a statement regarding a universal sentiment. The internal debate caused in one’s mind – whether for or against may compel one to read the article.
- Interesting pieces offering new information. These are straightforward and may appeal only to a segment interested in them. Another news outlet may have framed it in a more clickbait way to engage people. However, it seems the Economist knows its audience.
- Creating a sense of mystery surrounding a trending topic. The use of the word “tool of terror” hides the actual item, whereas the factoid “since the 1940s” offers an interesting parallel for thought.
Conversely, here’s how Buzzfeed uses headlines:
- Creating headlines that cater to a segment of people – those who relate, will surely click on it. After all, it makes one feel included – this headline invites one into the secret world of women who lift.
- Use of power words and a specific niche. We know exactly what the article is going to deliver. While we don’t really need to know what the Swedes eat, the use of the word “bizarre” adds an element of curiosity!
- An insane introduction. This picks up the gist of the article in an outrageous way. What could have happened? We must know!
Types of Headlines
With this overview, here’s a round-up of the various types of headlines you can use:
- Direct Headlines – “9 Easy Ways to Get Better Skin”
- News-related or Statement headline – “Scientists Discover New Formula for Ageless Skin!”
- How-to Headlines – “How to get Flawless Skin Quickly”
- Questions – “Want Flawless Skin? Here are 5 simple steps.”
- Commanded Headlines – “Get Flawless Skin With These Simple 5 Ingredients”
- Wordplay and Quirky Headlines – “Fat to Fit – How Food can affect Your Skin”
- Using brand names of famous authors – “What XYZ Has To Say About 2022’s Beauty Trends”
- Reel-them-in Headline – “This secret ingredient found in every home could give you glowing skin!”
- Instructional Headline – “A step-by-step for Famous Skincare Routines”
- Play-on-emotions Headline – “Chapped and Bleeding Lips? These Simple Tips Could Help!”
Note how each uses power words like “easily”, “quickly”, etc to make the titles seem appealing, relatable, and emotional.
What are Headline Generators and Why You Should Use Them
Headline Generators – as the name suggests, these tools generate multiple headlines for a specific article for you to choose from. How do they know what headline to suggest?
These tools require some basic inputs from you – what is the article niche? What are the keywords? What is your target audience? etc. Based on these, they suggest some catchy phrases which can be pre-input or be a result of parsing the web for trending headlines.
Depending on which headline generator you are using, they can be used as a blog title generator and some – even as a blog topic generator. Not only do these cut down on time, but you get tons of leads, of which you can brainstorm further if needed. We don’t mean you need to pick off a headline of the list generated – but they’re surely a good starting place for anyone suffering from writer’s block!
Best Headline Generators To Use
So, let’s get down to some cool tools that you can use. We’ve reviewed each one and its features using “climate change” as the keyword for which titles are generated.
- ContentRow – Generate and Analyse Each Headline
An all-in-one headline generator, ContentRow can be used for both blog titles and Youtube video titles. They also have a special mode which is the Clickbait title generator. All you need to do is add your topic or keyword, use filters to create the category of titles you want and that’s it!
While ContentRow can generate hundreds of headlines, it can also analyze existing headlines for you! They also do it for every title they suggest, so every suggestion comes with a content score out of 100. Their headline analyzer looks at simple things like the use of superlatives, word count, power words, numbers, etc to gauge if the title is eye-catching or not.
It also goes a step ahead to suggest other types of words that you can experiment with. For each of these words – you can check out alternatives. Users who log in and create an account can also get access to an Emotions Analyser, which gauges the sentiment of your title.
On the whole, ContentRow does a great job of providing various types of headlines. The headlines are varied and rated and new ones are generated each time!
- Sumo – Best Headline Suggestions for All Article Types
Off-the-bat, we know Sumo is a structured and analytical tool as far as headline generators go. While ContentRow offers a variety of titles, Sumo asks the user to narrow down the type of article they are working with. So, you get to choose if your article is a how-to, a controversial piece, a fun blog, or an explanatory piece. For each, Sumo requires you to enter different types of information. It also asks for basic pieces like – what the article promises, what the article wants to avoid, and so on.
Here we’re trying to write a controversial piece on climate change.
After the various inputs, Sumo goes on to generate various types of headlines and each is conveniently labelled for us! The results are highly varied, use different keywords and strategies, and can be combined to get good results.
Overall, Sumo is a delightful tool and a completely free headline generator that we’d highly suggest for all types of blogs! They also have an ever-changing list of pre-set headlines that are fun to read.
- The Hoth – Free Headline Generator for Clickbaits
If you can imagine a watered-down version of Sumo – that’s The Hoth. Hoth asks you for the same types of inputs – what your audience might be searching for, their desired outcomes, etc. And it generates 10 titles for the same.
Of course, we expect certain titles to be nonsensical based on our inputs as each is simply a reframing of pre-set sentences. However, considering they are both free headline generators, Sumo does a much better job than Hoth! Hoth generates titles that include power words, and numbers, it uses reverse psychology and everything correctly. However, there is just something lacking in the overall titles.
Hoth does however have a segment where they offer Blog writing services for people not satisfied with the headlines. However, that defeats the entire purpose of you being on a free headline generator article. We’d suggest Hoth as a starting place for clickbait-ey titles but we’re definitely expecting some work to go into it before publishing.
- FatJoe – The Best Mix of Headline Styles
Simple and efficient – that’s how we’d describe FatJoe. FatJoe doesn’t offer any frills. All it does is ask you for a singular keyword and that’s it. Knowing this, FatJoe themselves suggests you tweak the headlines as you see best.
This is highly important as FatJoe does not require information as to whether your keyword is a brand or a person or an action. Hence, we sometimes get nonsensical headlines like no. 4 and no. 7.
However, the titles are on the whole – SEO compliant and catchy. FatJoe efficiently uses clickbait words, power words, and some wordplay. After all, we can always tweak the offered headlines. “Forget Climate Change: 3 Replacements You Need to Jump On” can certainly sound outrageous. However, it does take up one’s attention – what could make one forget the fact that our planet is doomed?
On further thought, something like “Forget Climate Change: 3 More Disturbing Facts About How We Have Destroyed The Planet” could actually have potential! These can be great for creating an initial structure of a headline. What you do next is up to you!
- Portent – Clutter-free Headline Generator for Blogs
If you’re easily overwhelmed by these randomly generated headlines, Portent could be your savior. Portent is a simple headline generator that only uses a keyword to generate ideas.
Portent displays only 1 title at a time, which you can choose to save or move on. This is an interesting idea – to not overwhelm on initially but allow to individually gauge titles and create a list. Similar to FatJoe, Portent comes up with many nonsensical ideas, like this one.
Apart from this, Portent also has many other SEO tools and content marketing ideas that one can avail on taking their full package. However, as far as headline generators go, Portent has some interesting ideas, which are a mixed bag of different types of styles. For all the searches made, Portent never once returned the same idea twice and each was extremely unique and eye-catching.
- SEOPressor – Unlimited Headline Generator for Blogs
SEOPressor has managed to do simply what Portent and FatJoe have failed to do. While asking for a keyword, SEOPressor also asks one to specify whether the term is an industry, a brand, a skill, etc. This makes the suggested headlines that much more relevant and less-bot-like.
If you do not like the titles, you can keep generating more and more. Props to the SEOPressor team for simple and effective coding and also for limiting views to 10 titles at a time! SEOPressor uses some impressive strategies on the whole. However, as of now, one can only use this free headline generator 5 times a day.
Once you create an account, you can use it as many times as needed – which we think is a great way SEOPressor uses to avoid bots and spam. The tool remains free after logging in.
- Plot Generator – Create quirky and Outrageous Headlines
It should be noted that Plot Generator is everything that someone writing a story-style blog needs. Not only does it have a headline generator, but also a place, name, plot, etc generator.
Plot Generator works exclusively for Buzzfeed and other clickbait-like titles as it focuses on creating story-like headlines. While we tried to generate a title for climate change, we got sidetracked by the sheer number of other variables and ended up with these suggestions:
One thing is that Plot Generator asks for too many variables and hence, there is a higher chance of getting headlines that don’t sit right. While we can see the shock factor in these, and also the curiosity factor – it may not be suitable for all blog types. On the whole, it works well with titles that are likely to grab attention.
- Impact Plus – Best Formulas for Getting Cool Blog Headlines
Out of all the tools reviewed so far, Impact Plus comes up with a unique headline generator both in terms of visual appeal and keyword incorporation. You can use the top panel to classify what your blog is about – growth, productivity, management, etc. The panel below offers unique headline styles with dashes for where you can place in your own keywords!
Use the refresh button to keep getting endless options. If you like an iteration, you can click on the heart tool to save it to the notebook below! Impact Plus certainly gets an A+ for its productive visuals. We also love how the headlines are broken down into simple, effective formulaic titles which can be used and reused across multiple genres.
- HubSpot – Updated and Personalised Headline Generator
If you’ve been working with SEO, you’ve certainly head the HubSpot. With its headline generator, HubSpot completes the set of wonderful tools that help one write and curate an article. Like the headline generators before, HubSpot uses common and famous formulas for generating headlines.
It utilises power words, numbers, trending phrases, and the like. Overall, you still need to sort out the results for the gems. HubSpot also relies on the user specifically entering a noun as the keyword. You get 5 free blog ideas without signing, however with a HubSpot account – there are loads more where that came from. We especially like how HubSpot is in touch with some of the cooler phrases – like this 140 characters title that allows one to incorporate tweets! You can also sign up for their personalized headline service.
- Title Generator – 500+ Headlines for Every Keyword
If volume is your friend, Title Generator is who you should befriend! For every keyword, Title Generator comes up with more than 500 titles for absolutely free. For the keyword “climate change” itself, we got a total of 700 hits. Title Generator works well and offers a wide range. You get clickbait titles like “Something Fascinating Happened After Taking Action On CLIMATE CHANGE” to pretty straightforward ones like “An Analysis Of 12 CLIMATE CHANGE Strategies… Here’s What We Learned”.
What we do wish Title Generator offered is a stack-up of the different types of headlines so that we could directly skip to the type of headlines we wanted instead of sifting through them all.
Also, 700 as a number is quite high and some of them are even quite nonsensical such as “Genius! How To Figure Out If You Should Really Do CLIMATE CHANGE”. With this volume, we’d appreciate it if Title Generator came with filtering options.
- Answer The Public – Unique Visuals And Updated, Trending Headlines!
Similar to its other tools, the Answer The Public headline generator works with a keyword and offers blog titles in the form of a branching visual. From our discussion above and the image below, you can surely see how Answer The Public incorporates words like “why, who, how” and offers multiple options for each.
Answer The Public is a visually stunning database of all possible types of headlines that could be trending at any given moment. But what makes it different is that Answer The Public relies on no pre-fed formula. It simply looks at trending keywords and headlines and offers a mix of those to you.
So while you might have to sift through more data to find something distinguishable, you can rest assured that you’re getting real-time, authentic data as opposed to pre-fed “3 Best Things About Climate Change” type formulas. For this reason mainly, despite its high nonsense to sensical title ratio, Answer The Public works better than any of the tools above.
- Tweak Your Biz – Sorted Headlines With Trigrams
Tweak Your Biz does exactly what Title Generator skimps out on. It is a huge-volume title generator – BUT it also stacks them using headers like lists, questions, etc. While Tweak Your Biz’s formulaic approach means we still need to sift through the items to find relevant ones, it’s easier as these stacks let you know exactly what to expect. So if you’re not writing a How-To article, you can simply skip the 20 suggestions from there.
On the whole, Tweak Your Biz performs well and offers similar suggestions as HubSpot, SEOPressor, and Fat Joe. It does take on noun or verb input to make the titles more relatable though.
- Kopywriting Kourse
Kopywriting Kourse is pretty straightforward in what it does. The algorithm does not even hide the data it has! Once you go to the Kopywriting Kourse headline generator, you are greeted with a long list of catchy headlines with [TOPIC] written within them. This is then replaced by the keyword you typed.
Kopywriting Kourse could certainly benefit from a good filter, understanding of the keyword, and differentiation of title types. The list is also limited, though some of them are certainly interesting and worth thinking about. We’d suggest using Kopywriting Kourse as a springboard to work out better ideas!
- Topical Brainstorm – Headline Generator for Social Media
Topical Brainstorm works similar to Tweak Your Biz. It generated titles based on 3 separate title types – Lists, Questions, and the Five Ws and more. However, where it goes one step further is in the social media list it provides below. The blue links are simple searches for the keyword on those social media sites, so you can sift through them and manually find catchy headers that others have posted on.
On the whole, Topical Brainstorm is a good enough free headline generator that offers various options and styles. However, a lot of sorting is required since their algorithm often leaves some sentences unfinished. Case in point – “why climate change”.
- SEMRush – Updated Headline Database and Cool Visuals
For whatever reason, SEMRush really decided to go all up with their quirkiness content on their headline generator. While you might know SEMRush as the best professional tool for all-things-SEO, with their headline generator, SEMRush adds both fun and unique content to their arsenal.
Simply type a topic and wait for Newton’s head to offer you some brilliant headers! Despite all the great visuals, SEMRush offers limited results and does not ask for clarification regarding the keyword which leads to some non-fitting titles like “10 Types Of Climate Change You’ll Want To Buy When You’re Old”.
There’s also no list where selected topics can be simultaneously added. However, despite its small quantity, SEMRush came up with quite different titles that we did not see the other headlines generators generate.
- Internet Marketing Course – Best for Product-based Blog Headlines
If you’re looking to sell a product, there’s nothing better than an Internet Marketing Course. With an interface that looks explicitly to create clickbait for products, Internet Marketing Course asks for everything necessary. It also forces one to think beyond simple-auto-generated keywords to what would actually catch the user’s eyes.
What would be an eye-catching result? What could the product help them in the long-term? Sure, you’re selling weight loss equipment based on the search trends of ‘best home fitness kit’ – but perhaps ‘lose weight in 1 week’ could equally attract people. It’s things like these that Internet Marketing Course helps one identify.
Filling in the gaps certainly opens up the possibilities of coming up with a better headline by oneself! While Internet Marketing Course’s headlines do need reworking, we love the method it used to get there.
- Inbound Now – Get Trending Headline Formulas
Tired of headline generators that mess up your keyword and its meaning? Well, Inbound Now is here to ensure none of that happens. Instead of trying to fit in your keyword with their pre-fed titles, Inbound Now simply offers you different types of headlines with spaces for you to fill in. It is similar to Impact Plus, except you need to copy-paste the generated title to add your data.
It’s great to see headlines broken down like this, as it allows you to mould them as you want. Bad grammar might’ve made you skip some good titles in previous generators, which is why Inbound Now does well in leaving the final reworking up to the user.
If you need further help, Inbound Now also has WordPress experts who can offer personalized recommendations.
- Content Majestic
Despite not requiring much content, Content Majestic was one of the top headline generators for relatable title content. Whether they run a better algorithm or sift through content better – we do not know. However, they do generate less number of high-quality titles which can be divided into blog, article, and essay categories. Content Majestic also offers various blog writing services.
- UseTopic – AI-Based Headline Generator
UseTopic is a free headline generator that you need to create an account to log in and access. On this list, this is the only headline generator that requires an account even to see the first list of generated headlines! However, UseTopic has a highly updated database that offers interesting and most importantly – relevant headlines.
They also have other tools that can help you to create a content brief, curate your article SEO, and more. UseTopic uses GPT-3 to generate their titles and frame it, and on the whole, create grammatically correct content.
- Frase.io – Creativity-Based AI Headline Generator
So far, Frase.io comes across a whole new parameter for creating title content. They ask you to set a creativity level! Tools like Frase.io and UseTopic use AI to write headlines – which is why their content is always new, relevant, and grammatically correct. With pre-fed data, we always run a chance of ending up with formulaic, incomplete content (eg: Topical Brainstorm).
The use of AI means Frase.io can detect and add relevant words. Here, we see the first title stating “6 Best Climate Change Apps That Will Help You Fight Environmental Degradation”. Frase.io recognizes and adds “Environmental Degradation” as a word that is helpful in this scenario despite it not being within the keyword or within the pre-fed formulas for titles.
On the whole, we loved Frase.io’s interface and its use of AI. The creativity bar can also be seen as a type filter as higher creativity results in more quirky, clickbait titles whereas low creativity gives us straightforward, direct titles.
A Look at Blog Headline Analyzers
Now, you might already have several blogs up on your website. Are you reconsidering some of their titles after reading this article? Fret not, headline analyzers can help you find out how relevant your titles are!
Let’s use Frase.io’s generated “6 Best Climate Change Apps That Will Help You Fight Environmental Degradation” title and analyze it using these tools.
- Coschedule – Get Headline Reports Emailed To You
On the whole, 10/10 to Coschedule for their minimal web page with eye-catching facts and an orange help box. However, you do need to create an account to see Coschedule’s auto-generated report. So, what does Coschedule check for?
Their report looks into word count, and character count performs a sentiment analysis, and looks for common and uncommon words. Coschedule rates all these on a scale of 0 to 100 and assigns an overall score to the title.
It’s pretty straightforward and the word-by-word analysis makes it easy to change your headline without starting from scratch again.
- Advanced Marketing Institute – Check Your Headline’s Emotional Value
Advanced Marketing Institute is a headline analyser that mainly looks at three major values – emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. So, the Advanced Marketing Institute mainly checks for the emotional power of your headline. It might not be a good choice for analyzing straightforward essay headlines. Here, we can see that the headline has a very low emotional impact, specifically, and invokes a neutral feeling.
- Thrive Themes – Let Your Audience Decide The Best Headline
Thrive Headline Optimizer offered by Thrive Themes is an offline tool that you can use to analyze headlines. Thrive basically allows one to create an A/B Test by checking out the engagement of 2 types of headlines on their blog. Thus, rather than relying on analyzing words, Thrive offers real-time input on which headline works best.
This method of course takes time and is experimental – but that’s why it’s also one of the best ways to know what works best!
- Headlines Sharethrough – Analyse Headlines Word-By-Word
Headlines Sharethrough is a simple tool that analyses the individual titles in your headline and offers an overall idea of the quality. Headlines Sharethrough does not break down their score, nor offer data beyond their final analysis.
Moreover, it looks over the headline word-by-word and not as a cohesive unit hence certain negative words may result in a lower score though they may not be creating a negative impact on the whole. Case in point: the word “degradation” here.
That concludes our list of headline generators and headline analyzers. On the whole, tools like Frase.io work well for generating interesting content. If you’re looking for trending keywords – check out Answer The Public. And if you want a headline generator and analyzer in one – there’s nothing better than Content Row.
We also like how Thrive Themes ends the analyzing debate by simply letting the audience pick a favourite. But if you do not have the time to float and test 2 headline styles, Coschedule does a pretty good job of analyzing your headline.
While these tools work well within their limits, it’s also best to review the generated work and develop them yourself!