Before publishing a new article with a killer headline there are 3 possible scenarios you’ll find yourself in.
- Zero inspiration: You know what topic you want to write about but are still trying to find the perfect angle and headline for your next post.
- In need of a helping hand: You’ve written your post but now you have to come up with the headline that will elevate your article to stardom.
- Decision paralysis: You’ve written several headlines but are not sure about which one is the best.
Luckily help is only a click away!
We’ve compiled 8 tools that will help you get through each of these scenarios. They’ll guide you from zero inspiration to zero doubt you’re using the best headline to make your content shine.
Scenario 1: Zero Inspiration Tools
Sometimes, you’re just looking at the blinking cursor on you screen, hoping for an illumination to write an article and a good headline. What you need is a done-for-you solution and that’s exactly what these idea and headline generators offer you.
The suggested headlines might not be the best headlines ever written, but they will help you get out of a creative slump and into writing mode.
Some of them will give you a good laugh, which is always a good thing to chase off writer’s block!
Let’s put them to the test.
This article is about tools to write better headlines… Let’s see what these headline resources come up with as a better headline!
1. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Enter the subject you want to write about and Portent’s Content Idea Generator will give you ideas with a matching title.
The suggestions are funny, original and they even explain why the headline will work.
Some of their headline suggestions:
- Shocking Ways Resources to Write Better Headlines Will Make You Better in Bed
- 11 Reasons Resources to Write Better Headlines are Snarkier than Gawker
- 18 Reasons Resources to Write Better Headlines Could Help Win Top Chef
- Why Resources to Write Better Headlines are Lamer than James Franco
- Why Resources to Write Better Headlines are the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
As you might have noticed, this tool works better when you insert a noun or a subject as the “placeholder” term and while these headlines might not be exactly what you’re looking for, they can definitely inspire you to write a similar one that matches your article.
Here’s what I came up with:
2. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
Another resource to spark inspiration is Hubspot’s blog topic generator. You can enter 1 to 3 nouns and generate 5 headlines.
Here’s what it came up with:
- 10 Signs You Should Invest In Resources To Write Better Headlines
- 7 Things About Resources To Write Better Headlines Your Boss Wants To Know
- 15 Best Blogs To Follow About Resources To Write Better Headlines
- The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Resources To Write Better Headlines
- 5 Tools Everyone In The Resources To Write Better Headlines Industry Should Be Using
What I like about this resource is that they not only give you a headline, but they also give you ideas about the type of blog post you should be writing.
When the cursor is blinking on the screen and you have no idea about how to start writing another article you might forget you don’t always have to write new content!
Curation done the right way can be very valuable for your audience. The “15 Best Blogs” headline will inspire you to look for other blogs in your industry to link out to whereas the “5 tools” headline will make you write something about resources.
3. Link Bait Generator
Feel like writing a Buzzfeed worthy headline? Try this clickbait headline generator.
Could you refuse clicking on these?
- Gary Vaynerchuk and the Untold Story That Changed Headlines Forever
- If Headlines Had a Love Child With Satan it Would Look Like This
- 10 of the Biggest Headline Screw Ups of all Time, #6 is Incredible
- 8 Unbelievable Ways Headlines Will Get Trump President
Let me give you a word of warning about using this type of headlines for your articles. Only do it when you REALLY can live up to the expectations!
Writing headlines that over promise on the content is 1 of the 6 reasons your headline is doomed to fail!
Click bait headlines are so overused nowadays that people are actually quite fed up with them, so much so that a company, Downworthy, created a browser extension, allowing you to “translate” these headlines.
The extension replaces hyperbolic headlines from bombastic viral websites with a slightly more realistic version. For example:
- "Literally" becomes "Figuratively"
- "Will Blow Your Mind" becomes "Might Perhaps Mildly Entertain You For a Moment"
- "One Weird Trick" becomes "One Piece of Completely Anecdotal Horseshit"
- "Go Viral" becomes "Be Overused So Much That You'll Silently Pray for the Sweet Release of Death to Make it Stop"
- "Can't Even Handle" becomes "Can Totally Handle Without Any Significant Issue"
- "Incredible" becomes "Painfully Ordinary"
- "You Won't Believe" becomes "In All Likelihood, You'll Believe"
The amount of downloads and reviews show many people are tired of reading headlines promising the moon only to end up being a huge waste of time.
Even though these headline generators are nice to get inspiration, by now you might have noticed they will not do the work for you. That's why we made you a bonus...
Let’s take a look at some tools that will assist you to write a better headline.
Scenario 2: Helping Hand Tools
Are you a tiny bit jealous when you read a good headline; a headline using exactly one word to describe the situation perfectly?
Maybe you’re a writing wiz and these words come natural to you. But if you’re in my camp, you might need a little help and that’s exactly what the following resources do.
They help you to use adopt a nicer, more interesting compelling, more colorful language.
“Use the right word, not its second cousin.” Mark Twain
4. Find the Right Word
We often use the same, bland words instead of a more specific synonym. Thesaurus.com will help you find synonyms and can instantly make your headlines more interesting.
Let’s put this to the test.
This post is about tools to WRITE BETTER headlines. "Better" is one of those overused words that is vague and doesn’t mean much and "write" is not very original either.
How about... How To:
- Create Captivating Headlines
- Bang Out Fascinating Headlines
- Whip Up Click worthy Headlines
- Forge Irresistible Headlines
- Cook Up Magnetizing Headlines
But don’t get too clever either! Your headline still has to be easy and quick to grasp and shouldn’t alienate your audience.
5. Make It Rhyme
B-rhyme can help you write an interesting, nice sounding headline. The tool will suggest words that (almost) rhyme with the word you’re already using.
8 Tools to Cook Up a Headline before Bedtime
Scenario 3: Anti Decision Paralysis Tools
Now that you have a ton of ideas and several titles that sound good, you should put them to the test to find the best one.
6. Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer
Reaching your audience in an deep and emotional way is a key to successful copywriting. This free tool will analyze your headline to determine the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score. The software uses a list of words that are qualified as having a high emotional value and compares the number of these to the overall number of words in your title.
"8 Tools to Cook Up Magnetizing & Click Worthy Headlines" got a 33.33% score, while "8 Tools You Need to Cook Up Magnetizing & Click Worthy Headlines" got 45.45% and "8 Powerful Tools You Need to Easily Write Fascinating Headlines" received a whopping 50%.
Unfortunately they only provide you with the score but do not give you any indication as to how improve your headline. You have to find out the EMV words yourself.
7. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule’s headline analyzer will inspect your headline and give it a score based on word, balance, length of the headline, sentiment and more.
Unlike the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer they will make suggestions to make your headline better and have tons of resources to help you become a better copywriter.
One of the criteria the tool uses to rate your headline is the word balance, it will check for common, uncommon, emotional and power words. While this can sometimes give you a good indication (especially when your headline is too neutral), they use a fairly limited list of words.
Once you know these words, you can easily integrate them in your headlines to get a better score but be careful because these might not be the best words for your audience or your market!
8. Thrive Headline Optimizer
Until now, you’ve been guessing what headline would work best. And even if some might sound much better to you than others, there is only one sure way to find out…Test your headline in real time on your website.
This used to be complicated (if not impossible) to do, but not anymore. Our latest plugin, Thrive Headline Optimizer, allows you to test multiple headlines on any content on your website.
If you’re already a Thrive Member you can simply install the plugin and start using it right away to optimize your titles, if not ⇒ Check out all the details right here.
Now it’s your turn
Let me know in the comments if you found these tools helpful and feel free to share the system you use to write sizzling headlines!
Great list of tools. I already know of some of them, but there were come other cool tools that I tested as I went along. Fun! I’m definitely bookmarking this one 🙂
Thanks John, happy you discovered some new tools.
wow – what a great ressource! It has passed my personal evernote-test, that means your content is absolutely top notch. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
I’m glad to hear my article passed the test. Thanks Christoph
Awesome post. Just what I needed))
Thank you Maxim
I love the team at thrive themes because unlike other so called “Gurus” out there the content is almost always non selling. Not everyone out there can afford all the latest shiny new things that pop up every day.
I personally use thrive content builder on every site I create and although I`ve bought other website builders TCB was the best buy I have ever made.Not just because of the ease of use and constant updates but for the rest of the brilliant content that arrives free of charge.
Please keepup the great work.
Thanks Paul, you just made my day 🙂
Super great post!!! I didn’t know any of the 7 tools described in this article (I do know the new Thrive plugin). I think these tools perfectly combine with your plugin, so that you can use the headlines generated and test them with the plugin.
My only question remains with the permalinks. Changing headlines/blog post titles will change my permalinks in WP. How do I find a way of not being affected by this when using a particular permalink on an email marketing campaign? If the permalink changes then I might end up not being able to send traffic when people click on a permalink that is not valid anymore.
Could you please explain?
Thank you so much.
Luis Carlos Eskay
Hey Luis, thanks for your comment.
To answer your question, Thrive Headline Optimizer doesn’t change the permalink.
It is true that often WP chooses the permalink based on the title you put in, but even if you test your titles, the permalink will always be the first one.
In any case, it is good practice to write a permalink that is not just your title but that is optimized for SEO. You might notice that here on thrivethemes.com the permalink is never the title of the article. We make it short and sweet and only keep the interesting information in there.
Hey Shane, this is fantastic. There is another resource which is super helpful from SumoMe – the Automatic Kick Ass Headline Generator. I’ve used it before and it’s very powerful:
Thanks Cyrus, will check that out 🙂
Great list here, Hanne!
A new tool I recently added to our planning is http://answerthepublic.com/
You put in your phrase and it makes a list of frequently asked questions around the web using that phrase.
Hi Todd, I know the tool and I think it is awesome (especially to come up with content ideas) but I never thought about using it for headlines 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
Wow. I was only familiar with “Portent”. These seem like something I can really use !
Hi Angela, I’m happy I helped you discover some new tools!
Great post and great content. Thanks a lot for this well researched article. It is the perfect complement to your new plugin!
Thanks George 🙂
Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge, the Q/A is also helpful for me.
I will try using these tools in English and translate it in French, because my site is for French speaking people.
– Maybe have you other ideas for other languages ?
I have another question that is not directly relevant with the article but I don’t know how to gat answer:
– The Social Media buttons of your articles seems very nice, could you tell me what is the name of the plugin you use for them?
Hi Michel, Merci beaucoup 🙂
For other languages, one thing I like to do is to google magazine covers. As an example, GQ always has interesting and clever click worthy titles.
And the “thesaurus” I like to use for French is this one: http://www.crisco.unicaen.fr/des/
About the social media buttons, no plugin, they are part of our theme Ignition
Another great article. Thanks
Thanks Mark 🙂
Great list of tools, writing catchy headlines is an art…sadly I am not much of an artist.
Practice makes perfect Laurie 😉 Or at least better 🙂
Loving the content idea generator. Came up with “How to do White Privilege the Right Way” lol
Thanks Daniel glad you like it.
I’ve been using #6 for quite some time… it has been a tremendous help. The other suggestions all look interesting so I will have to keep this article for reference. Thanks.
Thanks Pat 🙂
Hey Hanne, Great list!! Thanks. This is going to help me in my next ideation of next 10 posts headlines atleast.
How to connect with you? Your Email?
Thanks, happy it will help. And sending a message through the contact form starting with “Hi Hanne” will assure that I get the message 🙂
Great article Hanne! Getting started on a new blog for a client next month and hopefully one for myself once I get my website up and running! I downloaded the templates and bookmarked this article, can’t wait to put all this info to good use!
That’s great to here Jenn!
Great article with some great tools. Thanks!
Fantastic post Hanne. Thanks for this!
Ask a writer or a blogger, how difficult is it to give a catchy title to an article. Thanks to these headline generator tools. I have been using Portent’s Content Idea Generator & Hubspot’s topic generator tool since past many years and I must say they’re very helpful.
Indeed and all stands or falls with the title 🙂
I think you are the best
I use it from 2 month and i make a great landing pages
This is a landing page i create it from blank page
Good job 🙂 May I suggest to go into the targeting options of the lightbox and not show it on the sales page (or maybe only on exit intent).
Asking people to sign up while they are trying to buy your solution is an interruption that can cause you sales.
A very useful list of tools here.
I really struggle to make interesting headlines for my topics, I think this will help.
Hope it does Gary 🙂
For me when writing articles , there should be a proper headline that demonstrates the content of the post and when it comes to SEO it must have keywords that are to be commonly use in the description of the Post. By the Thanks for this post Hanne. I just love these type of articles.
I’ve noticed the titles always have the first letter of the main words capitalized. In your experience, does this make any difference in terms of conversion or is it purely conventional ?
That’s an English thing 🙂 Title case. It’s just not used in French 😉 Has nothing to do with making a difference in conversions.
Looking to tools for inspired nudges gives you a wee push when needed. Digging these tips. I listen to readers for headlines. Usually the bring me what I need to hear so I craft up enticing subject matter and attractive headlines.
Good strategy Ryan!
Thank You, for such useful tools list.
Your posts are always easy to understand and Helpful…..