Content Writing

18 Surprising Examples of Clickbait Headlines That Work

12 Surprising Examples of Clickbait Headlines That Work

 More often than not, we see clickbait headlines that are spammy and sometimes even misleading. This is mainly why people choose to stay away from clickbaits.

These misleading and spammy clickbaits have created an immense misconception in the minds of people. The fact is, clickbait headlines are actually very useful, and if you’re able to write attention-grabbing titles without risking the reputation of your brand, you will achieve a lot.

There’s no doubt that clickbait headlines when used in the right way- are an amazing tool for grabbing the attention of the user and it also drives a lot of clicks.

That said, how can you use clickbait headlines without ticking off your people?

Learn Why Clickbait Headlines Work

A study conducted in 2017 analyzed several article headlines and the results showed that almost all headlines that had clickbait-y starting sentences/phrases, were able to generate a lot of engagement. This study was only focused on Facebook.

Phrases like “10 reasons why…” and “X reasons why….” Were able to drive the most number of clicks.

Another study that was done back in 2015 revealed that all headlines that were polarizing, were responsible for driving the most number of clicks.

However, any headline that that can be understood as “withholding information” are mostly demoted or taken down by Facebook and other social media channels.

Therefore, clickbait headlines can work wonders if used appropriately. While writing headlines, your intent should be to intrigue viewers without misleading them with the content they will interact with on the page.

The main aim should be to have them hooked, give them a hint about what they will see once they open the link, and in doing so, you must ensure you keep a live a little touch of mystery.

10 Clickbait Headline Examples That Work Wonders

Know why clickbaits are often considered as a bad thing? Because people choose to exaggerate the information and make big claims that stand way apart from truth.

Know that you if you mislead your readers, it will only backfire and cause you harm rather than bringing even a tad bit of profit. You’ll only end up losing credibility and potential customers.

To save yourself from the mistakes a lot of people do, use some of these best clickbait title formats given below to make titles and headlines. These examples won’t just grab the attention of viewers, but also go on to maintain readers’ trust with your brand.

1. “X Things You…”

You must have gone through a lot of headlines that start with the phrase, “X Things You…” and in a lot of cases, you must have clicked on these links. This is because such headings show a numbered list that gives the reader some level of personalization.

Moreover, the “You” in such headlines allows the reader to relate with the content and increases their motivation about finding out more about stuff that will interest them.

To give you a better idea, here are some clickbait headline examples that go with this format:

  • 10 Things You Should Know When Styling A Denim Jacket
  • 7 Interesting Facts About Your Favorite Sports Team You Didn’t Know

This is where people will be highly intrigued to find out what sits on the other side of the click.

2. “This Is What…”

The “this” in such clickbait headlines catches the attention of the viewer. It spurs their curiosity as they wish to find out what will they find out once they click through the page.

This happens to be one of the most common and arguably the best clickbait headline, but make sure you’re careful while using this one. It can easily go in the wrong direction if you are too secretive in the headline.

While crafting your headline in this format, you must ensure you don’t put titles like “This is why you’re at a loss”, or “This is why you’re suffering”, since such ideas are too cryptic.

Rather than highlighting only the negative, you can go for headlines like “This is why you’re not seeing an increase in your ROI” or “This is why people are investing in Bitcoin”.

The examples above give readers the context they need and will kill their scepticism about the content that sits behind the click.

3. “X Reasons Why”

There’s a high chance you’ve seen such headlines on famous social media platforms like Facebook and even on YouTube. This is mainly due to the fact that such headlines are proven to be the most effective approach in driving clicks on social media and increasing engagement.

A research study that analyzed more than 1 million famous headlines, concluded that the most shared headline type is the one that has numbers

These clickbait headlines are often successful because they come with the element of surprise and mystery for the reader, as they don’t really know the “reasons”.

While you work with this format, make sure you write in a way that your headline speaks emotion. For instance:

  • 5 Reasons Why SmartWatches and bands Are The Best Fitness Gadgets
  • 10 Reasons Why Gaming Mouse Is Worth The Money

4. Piggybacking

It doesn’t matter if your brand is new on the platform and you haven’t achieved much recognition at this stage. The “piggybacking” approach is made to build authority and ultimately drive engagement.

In this technique, you’d reference a well-recognized personality, like celebrities and influencers, in relation to your post.

Here are some examples of headlines that fall under the category of Piggybacking:

  • “Forbes Businessmen Shares His Two Cents…”
  • “Spending Time With The Stars Celeb Shows…”

Know that if you’re lucky enough to get a famous figure, you can use “piggybacking” to hook all eyes on your post.

5. “You Can Now…”

This headline also has achieved great success since it implies that the readers will now be able to do something they couldn’t before.

The attractiveness of good information is enough to intrigue people and have them click through your post.

How to write these clickbait titles? Here you go:

  • You Can Now Start Travelling Without…
  • You Can Now Earn X Amount By Just Doing This
  • You Can Now Convert More Leads Without X

6. “The Last.. You’ll Ever Need”

Such headlines are mostly used by ecommerce business people, or those businesses that are highly product oriented. With such headline, you can easily put a product as the last X a customer will ever need.

This can be huge sigh of relief for customers who have to buy such products on a daily basis.

Take this example: if you have a store, and your data tell you that people generally choose to buy denim jeans every 3 months, you can market your jeans or similar products like “The Last Denim Jeans You Will Ever Need”.

Such headlines and the corresponding content will make customers happy because they will have a feeling that they’re saving a great deal of time and money by making this one-time purchase.

7. “You Won’t Believe..”

Titles that start with “You Won’t Believe This News!” are in most cases, big offenders and they turn people away. If you wish to not tick your audience away, it’s important that you add a little description in your headlines.

To give you an idea, these are some examples of “You Won’t Believe! Headlines that are good:

  • The Most Beautiful Island You Won’t Believe Exists”
  • 5 Facts About Travelling You Won’t Believe Are True”
  • 20 Photos You Won’t Believe Are Photoshopped

8. “Why You Should..”

It’s not entirely wrong to command readers, but it has to be done with the right balance to not end up offending anyone. Want to sound a bit bossy and tell people what they should do? Do it while giving them the reason to.

With this headline format, you basically give readers the needed tip while attracting them to read and learn more.

Headline examples like “Why You Should Stop With This Fashion” or “Why You Should Buy Hair Care Products” give people the exact idea about what the content is about while also leaving the “why a mystery.

9. “See..”

We’ve all heard and read the term “seeing is believing”, and this works here as well. People prefer to see the “secret sauce” with their eyes before they implement any information provided in the link.

This headline creates a sense of curiosity and gives the reader the notion that there’s this information gap that has to be filled. They get the impression that you have something really interesting that they should not miss.

For instance:

  • “See These Amazing Web Design Templates Before Buying”
  • “See Results From This Diet Plan In Just 4 Weeks”

10. “Live…”

With the internet filled with remakes and recycled content, people love to see original content.

This is why when you choose to share a live webinar or video, the vast majority wishes to click because they know this content isn’t taken from anywhere else, neither are they going to find it anywhere else.

This example is mostly good for ads that want users to come to a live webinar, video session, or a conference.

11. “[X] Only Wants 4 Things”

Ever seen those headlines that shout juicy secrets with a bold “[X] Only Wants 4 Things” format?You know, those that give you a moment of pause, making you wonder, “What exactly is [X] seeking?” Yeah, those. They’re clickbait masters, and here’s why they work (and how you can use them!).

Admit it, you’ve clicked on one (or five). It’s not your fault! These headlines tap into our deepest curiosity. They whisper forbidden knowledge, promising a glimpse into someone’s (or something’s) hidden desires. Like peeking through a keyhole, it’s irresistible!

But it’s not the secret that hooks us. The number “4” is key. It’s short, easy to remember, and suggests exclusivity. Four juicy secrets? Sign us up! It feels like we can understand [X]’s deepest needs, all in the time it takes to scroll past a cat video.

Here are some examples to spark your fire:

  • “Your Morning Routine Only Wants 4 Things”
  • “Your Skin Only Wants 4 Things”

The “[X] Only Wants 4 Things” format is powerful, but remember, the real magic lies in what you deliver. Don’t mislead, but keep it interesting! Give readers those promised “4 things”. Include surprising facts, helpful tips, or juicy insights.

12. You don’t need [X] to start [Y]

Staring at that [Y] you dream of, feeling held back by a lack of [X]? Don’t sweat it! Headlines screaming , “You don’t need X to start Y.” They’re here to shatter your hesitation and ignite your journey.

These headlines are masters of subversion. They challenge the common belief that [X] is the gatekeeper to your [Y]. [X] can be a fancy degree, expensive equipment, or years of experience. It can also be your dream career, creative project, or fitness goal. This unexpected twist grabs attention at once.

You gotta know the “how,” right? How can you achieve [Y] without [X]? That’s the mystery that pulls you in. It’s like a secret waiting for revelation, a shortcut to your dreams.

Check out these examples:

  • “You Don’t Need a Fancy Degree to KickStart Your Dream Business Today!”
  • You Don’t Need [Fancy Ingredients] to Start [Cooking Like a Pro].”

Catchy headlines are cool, but the real magic is in what you bring to the table. Give them clear steps, cool alternatives, or motivating stories of people who did it without [X]. Show them how to achieve [Y] in surprising, doable ways.

13. Do[X], if you want [Y]

Headlines like “Do [X], If You Want [Y]” grab your attention right away, promising a shortcut to your desires.

These headlines tap into our deepest desires (who doesn’t want [Y]?) and offer a simple solution right away: do [X]! It’s the instant gratification formula in action. It’s a clear path to your dreams, presented in a few words.

By reading it, you can almost sense the progress happening! Plus, the use of “if” creates a sense of control, making you feel like achieving [Y] is within your reach in every way.

Here are some examples:

  • “Eat This One Ingredient Daily, If You Want Glowing Skin.”
  • “Meditate 10 Minutes Daily, If You Want Unbelievable Stress Relief.”

While the format is attention-grabbing, remember, value reigns supreme. Don’t mislead or overpromise. The “X” should be a genuine, actionable step, and the “Y” should be a realistic (though exciting) outcome.

14. Quote+Contradiction

Ever seen a headline that screams “Hey, that saying is wrong!”? Headlines like “They Said [Quote], But…” grab you at once, promising a juicy twist on familiar words.

Do you know what comes next based on that famous quote?

Nope! These headlines start with a well-known saying, something everyone knows. Then, BAM! A bold “But…” throws everything off balance. It’s like seeing a familiar face do a magic trick – you gotta know what happens next!

This surprise fuels your curiosity. It makes you click to see the shocking idea hiding behind the familiar words.

We love these headlines because they challenge the usual way of thinking. They question established sayings, sometimes with humor, sometimes in a serious manner. Here are some ideas:

  • “They Said ‘Money Can’t Buy Happiness,’ But This Study Reveals It Can Buy…”
  • “Oprah Said ‘Live Your Best Life,’ But This One Habit is Destroying Yours!”

Catchy headlines are great, but honesty matters. Don’t take quotes out of context or mislead people. Instead, offer a real, thought-provoking perspective that challenges the usual way of thinking.

15. If You can [X], You can [Y]

Ever stared at your desires, feeling miles away from achieving them? Headlines like “If You Can [X], You Can [Y]” are here to remind you, “Keep Dreaming!”

These headlines start with a simple question: “If You Can [X]?” They connect with a shared human experience – like tying our shoes or making coffee. It’s a reminder that, hey, we’re already capable of doing things!

Then comes the magic twist: “You Can [Y]!” On a sudden, that ordinary “X” connects to an exceptional accomplishment. It shatters self-doubt. It whispers, “The untapped potential for greatness lies within you.”

These headlines resonate because they show us others, like us. They use familiar “X”s to climb their way to amazing “Y”s. It’s like seeing a reflection of your potential staring back. Plus, the personal touch of “you” makes the message feel achievable and relevant.

For a clearer picture, here are clickbait headline examples in this format:

  • “If You Can Bake a Cake, You Can Start a Baking Business”
  • “If You Can Doodle, You Can Design Amazing Illustrations”

While the format is catchy, remember, the real magic lies in genuineness. Choose relatable and achievable “X”s and “Y”s, and deliver a message that encourages in a real manner.

16. Hard Hitting One-Liner

Ever scrolled past a headline that feels like a slap on the face (in a good way)?

Hard-hitting one-liners are masters of grabbing attention. They use bluntness to spark curiosity. They challenge assumptions and, in the end, get you to click.

These headlines are concise and direct. They often pose a question or make a bold statement. This evokes a feeling of urgency and curiosity. Are they right? Are they wrong? Find the answer by clicking.

Plus, their bluntness cuts through the noise of online content. This differentiates them from the usual “fluffy” headlines in a split second. It’s like a voice saying, “Hey, stop scrolling! This matters!”

But it’s not only the curiosity they tap into. These headlines often trigger emotions like fear, hope, or defiance. They might play on your insecurities. They might question your comfort zone. Or, they might dangle the promise of something better.

This emotional reaction fuels engagement. It makes you want to read more and see how your situation relates to the message.

Here’s how to create these clickbait titles:

  • This isn’t a wake-up call. It’s a fire alarm.
  • Society lied. This is the REAL cost of success.

17. How I Overcame [X]

Facing a challenge that appears difficult to tackle?

Headlines like “How I Overcame [X]” offer a beacon of hope, whispering, “Hey, if they did it, so can you!”

These headlines start with a relatable struggle. The “[X]” represents a common hurdle we’ve all faced. Examples include shyness, procrastination, and self-doubt. This instant connection sparks empathy, making you think, “Wow, I get that feeling too!” But then comes the twist – the part where they defeated.

It’s not the relatability that hooks you. These headlines resonate because they showcase real, personal transformation. They’re not generic tips, but a glimpse into someone’s journey, mistakes and all.

This authenticity makes the victory even sweeter. You can almost feel the lessons learned through their words. Plus, the specificity of “[X]” fuels curiosity. What exactly was this person facing? How did they surmount it? It’s like a peek into a treasure map, leading you to the secrets of their success.

Some compelling examples of headlines in this format are:

  • “How I Overcame My self-doubt and built a successful business!”
  • “From Couch Potato to Marathon Runner: How I Transformed My Fitness Journey (No Gym Required!)”

18. My Framework For [X]

Feeling overwhelmed by plenty of information? Headlines like “My Framework for [X]” offer a clear path through the chaos. They promise structure and success.

It’s not the promise of structure that hooks you. Including “My” adds a personal touch. It makes the framework feel authentic and relatable. It’s not generic advice. It’s a glimpse into someone’s personal journey and the tools they used to succeed.

Plus, the specificity of “[X]” sparks curiosity. What exactly is this framework for? How can it apply to your specific situation? It’s like a key untying a treasure chest of valuable knowledge.

Examples of skillfully designed “My Framework For…” headlines include:

  • ​​”My Framework for Starting a Successful online store From Scratch”
  • “My Framework for Writing a Captivating Novel in a Year”

These are just a few examples of how clickbait titles can work for you, without putting your brand’s credibility and reputation at risk. Want to avail top quality social media and content writing services? Head over to and get your digital business up and running!

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