Key Steps to Writing a Viral Headline (with examples)

professional copywriters

Writing a viral headline for your sales copy can be very difficult, and this goes for even seasoned professional copywriters. This is because you have to know what catches your audience off guard. You need them to realize that your brand is worth sharing to their networks at first glance, and you can only do this by using a few words. After all, once they are captivated by your headline, the more inclined your audiences become in reading through your sales pitch.

professional copywriters

So how do you write a viral headline? If you ask professional copywriters, here are the key steps to take:

1. Open your headline with a specific tone.

If you happen to follow the popular website Buzzfeed, you may notice that most of their headlines are written in a certain manner: specific, focused, and determined. For example:

  1. This Short Film Shows Just How Terrifying Life is for LGBT People in Russia
  2. Why are you Single? Let’s find out why you are alone!
  3. 21 Subscription Boxes that People Actually Swear By

These headlines have garnered at least 1 million views. How did they garner that many views? This is because their headlines contain elements that trigger a prospective reader’s curiosity and interest. Their headlines are also specific towards the kind of content to expect, but do not reveal everything. Lastly, they speak to audiences as if they are compelled to read the rest of the article right away.

2. Spark curiosity.

Another way to craft a viral headline is by sparking readers’ curiosity. It is very important that they become enticed by your headline the moment they start reading, and you can do this by writing a headline that talks about something bold but does not reveal the whole story yet, in contrast to the more common headlines used on news articles. Check out:

  1. This might be one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world. BUT YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHERE IT LEADS.
  2. This grocery item caused her to lose 30 lbs in one month. You won’t believe it’s right in your fridge!
  3. At first, I felt sorry for the people living in this tiny house. Then I looked closer, NOW I’m jealous!

professional copywriters

These headlines are often used for clickbait, as they are effective in not only garnering people’s interest, but they also cater to a general audience too.

3. Give you audience what they need to know.

People love to be educated, but they won’t immediately admit it. They also appreciate the education best when they feel the need to know more, or when they feel like vital information is being kept from them. You may then use this strategy to attract an audience, as the more you make them feel this way, the more they feel the urgency to read your pitch and complete your call to action.

Some examples from Upworth include:

  1. The Growing Trend that Should Terrify Walmarts Everywhere
  2. Everyone Should Know What This Cop Has Done
  3. He’s Trying to Make Buses Sexy, and It’s Working


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