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Headline Formula Marketing and Link Building Case Studies

21 example(s) in this category

What Everyone Should Know About Creating Content That Goes Viral

1,000+ Facebook Shares / 120 Referring Domains

Have you ever been in a situation when somebody has said, “Everybody knows that, right?”, but you actually didn’t?

Perhaps in an interview or on a first date, you’d be forgiven if you lied, but it’s likely something you wouldn’t forget (or at least you would remind yourself to research it more later if you’re anything like me).

I recently came across Psyblog which was created by British psychologist, Jeremy Dean. Unsurprisingly (for a psychologist) Jeremy’s attention-grabbing headlines have earned tens of thousands of shares.

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The Number One Sign You’re Getting Better at Promoting Content

72,000 Facebook Likes / 1,830 Backlinks

Eight years ago when I started a personal development blog, two of the people I quickly came to really like in the space were Marc and Angel from

While they don’t go into the type of depth I tend to enjoy reading these days, their site is a great resource for uplifting content, no matter which area of life you’re struggling with.

A few years ago they went live with 9 Good Signs You’re in the Right Relationship, which quickly went viral on Facebook (72,000 likes) and picked up over 1,800 backlinks.

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‘Signs You’re ____’ Is an Incredibly Powerful Headline Formula

27,000 Facebook Likes / 37,000 LinkedIn Shares

I’ve shared a number of ‘headline formulas’ at Detailed over the past few months, but this one might just be the best yet.

The structure is simple: You create a headline which includes the words ‘Signs You’re ____’ and fill in the gaps with something relevant to your industry.

For example, a recent article on Forbes went viral with the headline Five Signs You’re Successful — Whether You Know It or Not.

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I Couldn’t Copy McSweeney’s Before, But I Possibly Could Now

4,800 Facebook Likes in One Week

A few weeks ago I wrote about how satire has the potential to make your site go viral, but you have to be careful when pulling it off.

One of the examples I used in the post was from McSweeney’s, who wrote a satirical article about only hiring employees who are twenty-three years old.

This month they’re at it again, with a different approach.

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Why ‘Science Confirms’ Might Be Your Best Headline Idea Yet

372,000 views in two weeks

I have written about this topic in much more detail than this example. If you would like to learn more, please click here.

Headlines that mention anything to do with science or research make us feel like an article is true and factual, rather than just opinion-based.

A recent ‘science confirms’ article from Business Insider received 126,000 views within two weeks of going live, no doubt helped by the “scientific angle” they portray.

That’s for the UK version of the article. The US edition picked up over 372,000 views.

Business Insider really seem to like this type of research-based headline for good reason: It works.

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Debunk the Myths Surrounding Your Niche and Go Viral

5.1 million pageviews

There really isn’t too much to say about this angle other than if it’s executed properly, it works.

All you have to do is take common misconceptions about something in your niche and show why they’re just that…misconceptions.

Amazon-owned Business Insider wrote about 101 science myths that have been debunked and received over 5 million views on their article.

If you’re looking for your next piece to go viral, you may want to consider letting the world know why others in your niche might just be saying things which simply aren’t true.

Continue reading Picked Up 51,000 Backlinks Just for Critiquing Their Niche

51,000 backlinks / 350 referring domains created a great page on their website which allows you to get feedback on photos you’ve taken, as long as you give feedback to other people.

If you think it’s just a simple idea, wait until you read the numbers.

This page has been linked to 51,000 times from over 350 different websites.

And what I especially love about this concept is that it’s all about giving value before receiving something in return. You give value to your own audience by critiquing their work, and get people coming back to your site in return (or being indebted for your help).

Click the link if you’re interested in learning more about critiquing your niche.

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900 Reasons You Should Compare Two Products In Your Niche

900 backlinks

When we’re looking to make a decision between two (or more) similar items, many of us search online for some advice on the pros and cons of each option.

An example that shows the true potential with ‘comparison’ content is an article from Search Engine Land.

They compared two hot products on the market in 2017: Amazon Echo and Google Home.

As well as the article providing a great resource for anyone wishing to compare, it also picked up 900 backlinks from sites like Techmeme and

That’s a lot of links for an article that was only written at the end of last year.

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The Lightbulbs That Picked Up 914 Backlinks

914 backlinks / 260 referring domains

If you were tasked with growing traffic and links to a personal finance blog and I told you that writing about lightbulbs would get you noticed, you would think I’m crazy.

But that’s exactly what one finance blog did to get people talking.

The Simple Dollar compared a number of factors people consider when choosing their next lightbulb such as longevity, price, brightness and their environmental impact.

The result?

260 different websites now link to this article, among them are huge names like Lifehacker & Wikihow.

Is there something you can compare and review in your niche?

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Why You Should Create a ‘Shortcut Side Project’ for Your Niche

275 referring domains / 40,000 monthly visitors

My argument today is simple: If there’s a popular piece of software in your niche that many people use, create a side project site showing people the most popular shortcuts when using it.

That’s what Jeffrey and Robert did when they put together Sketch Shortcuts.

The site is both simple and valuable, and serves as a cheatsheet for those using the program.

To date, this one-page website has been linked to 709 times from 275 different websites.

According to SimilarWeb the site receives a consistent 40,000 visitors per month, which is incredible considering it’s really just a list of items.

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This Simple Chart Idea Might Be Perfect for Your Niche

4,000 pinterest pins

Finance blog Medium Sized family shared a chart on a fun way you can save $1,000 extra this year.

Their version of this chart was quickly shared 1,200 times on Pinterest.

I say their version, because another (bigger) blogger reposted their idea.

Here’s the power of a better headline: This reposted version was shared 3,700 times on Pinterest.

Is there a fun chart that you could make for your niche where people could tick off their progress?

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Areavibes Take a ‘Negative’ Angle in Order to Go Viral

39,000 facebook shares

I’ve written more about this topic in quite some depth if you’re interested in just the on example site I’m covering here. If that’s you, you can click here.

For whatever reason, we seem to like reading about misery as much as we do success.

A website named AreaVibes has capitalised on that by not only focusing on the good things about this world, but also the not-so-good things about it as well.

You can find plenty of articles on the best cities in the world or a specific country, but what about the worst?

They published an article on the worst places to live, which was shared over 39,000 times.

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Curate the Free eBooks in Your Niche to Get People Talking

330 referring domains

I recently put together an in-depth post on how one design blogger picked up links from 330 different websites by curating the best free ebooks in their niche.

They put together a list of “50 Free eBooks for Web Designers” and linked out to their peers.

This simple article does quite a few things:

  • It sends traffic to other sites so they’ll notice you in their analytics data
  • You have a genuine reason to reach out to other ‘players’ in your niche
  • Your audience gets a ton of value as they only click on the eBooks that interest them
  • You show authority by having a great understanding of sites in your industry

I think the reason I don’t have more examples of this is because people are scared to link out to others in their space.

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