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Headline Formula Marketing and Link Building Case Studies

26 example(s) in this category

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Writing Content That Attracts Links

That headline is quite appealing, isn’t it?

You can achieve a personal goal – new links and traffic to your website – by adopting the productivity levels of someone who doesn’t try very hard to get things done.

Our brains are hard-wired to look for shortcuts in order to achieve the same desired goal, and headlines that involve ‘lazy’ and ‘success’ are one way of tapping in to that.

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The Simple Dollar is Back With Another Twist Post That Brings in 43,000 Visitors Per Month

5,590 Backlinks, 723 Referring Domains

In the early days of Detailed I wrote about ‘twist posts’ and how good they are at picking up links.

If you missed my thoughts on the topic, here’s a quick summary: Twist posts are like list posts (’11 ways to do this’, ‘top 10 tips for that’) but much more in-depth and can involve hundreds of tips or suggestions.

If you haven’t yet put together a twist post for your site, consider this a reminder of such a simple yet powerful tactic.

How to Save Money: 100 Great Tips to Get You Started (link) is a post from Trent Hamm that goes into great detail offering money-saving advice for his readers.

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The Power of Revisiting Someone Else’s Predictions

No stats as it's only 24 hours old

Before I begin, I have to say that if you didn’t check out yesterday’s Gaps article, it’s one you’re not going to want to miss. I’m really proud of it and the feedback has been incredible so far.

As is often the case, even though I have a list of hundreds of things to write about here at Detailed, I tend to write about the freshest case study that I’ve found.

As the sub-heading for this article suggestions: I don’t have any stats for the particular case study I’m going to share with you as it’s only 24 hours old.

That said, a quick Google search will find you hundreds of examples that have followed the same ‘formula’ and picked up links and social shares.

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How 377 Words and 5 Images Resulted in 1.6 Million Facebook Likes

1.6 Million Facebook Likes

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but it’s not the images in today’s case study – no matter how critical they were to the success of the piece – that I’m concerned about.

While the article in question was useful – How to Get Rid of a Headache in 5 Minutes Without Pills – I’m much more interested in the headline formula to go with it.

The structure is simple: You tell people how to achieve something important to them, and then you take away the most commonly expected answer to making it happen.

Let me give you a few examples earlier on in an update than normal to clarfiy what I’m talking about.

  • How to Improve Your Soccer Skills, Without Touching a Football
  • How to Bench Press More, Without Hitting the Gym
  • How to Become Fluent in French, Without Visiting France
  • Knock 10 Seconds Off Your 800m Time Without a Running Coach

While the article was helped by the fact that it’s on one of those ‘viral-news’ style sites that seem to go viral with any old update, I still think the headline formula is powerful enough that it can be used in even the most professional of applications.

Remember, the key is to offer the promise of something and then removing the most common solution that people would instantly think of in their head.

Doing that alone can get people to click on the headline of your article and share it with others.

Of course, as with any “headline formula” I share here on Detailed, be sure to back up the headline with actual useful information relating to your promise. Don’t claim you can improve someone’s French without them visiting France if you don’t actually have any tips or data to back up your claim.

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How to Delight Your Audience By Telling Them to Give Up

61,000 'Claps' on Medium

I don’t mean this in some backwards way that you become successful because you no longer have any goals.

I mean literally giving up all of the distractions that stop you focusing on what you need to get done in order to become the best in your space at anything.

Today’s update was inspired by a Medium post which received over 61,000 claps (their version of Likes) and is the sixth most shared post on the website. Ever.

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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 MarcandAngel.com.

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.

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Photo.net Picked Up 51,000 Backlinks Just for Critiquing Their Niche

51,000 backlinks / 350 referring domains

Photo.net 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 Reference.com.

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

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