Yours Free: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral

image of red gift bowIt’s Killer Headlines week at Copyblogger! Our guest editor Jon Morrow will be delivering up great content for you all week on how to write headlines that get results.

Up first, a stellar special report for immediate free download.

Some people say Merry Christmas.

Others say Happy Hanukkah.

Still others believe the holiday season is a massive conspiracy created by corporate America to part you with your money.

Whatever your orientation though, one thing is for certain:

You love free swag.

In past years, Copyblogger Media has been a little chintzy around the holidays, in my opinion. Sure, we’ve given you our regular — albeit awesome — daily content right up until Christmas. But we’ve never prepared an actual gift for you.

And that’s wrong. Because … well … we love you guys. And that’s not just the eggnog talking.

So this year, I begged indulgence to do something special. I asked if I could give away maybe the greatest report I’ve ever written, and Sonia agreed.

It’s 55 pages long.

There’s nothing for sale at the end.

You don’t even have to give me your email address to get it.

All you have to do is click here.

So what’s the free report about?

In short, it’s a cheat sheet for writing blog posts that go viral.

About two years ago, I developed it for internal use at Copyblogger, passing it to writers I was mentoring to help them with their posts. Later, I transformed it into a bonus for my Guest Blogging class, and it became even more popular than the class itself.

It’s not a book. It’s not even really a report. It’s a collection of some of the best headline templates ever written, along with a few examples and my thoughts on what makes them work.

What’s special about it, though, is how simple it is.

No, it’s not going to make you a successful writer all by itself, but it will increase your traffic, assuming you have anyone at all reading your work. It’s the closest thing to a magic bullet I could possibly give you.

And besides, it’s free. So go grab it:

Get the report at HeadlineHacks.com

Of course, you might wonder …

Won’t these headlines stop working once everyone starts using them?

And while it’s a common concern, it’s actually not something you need to worry about. Chances are that yes, you will start seeing them everywhere, but that’s like buying a Honda Civic, and then everywhere you go, you see Honda Civics.

There aren’t more of them. You just started paying attention to them.

Your readers, on the other hand, are oblivious. (Read this if you don’t believe me.)

Every publication in the world could start using them for every article, and it wouldn’t even register a blip on readers’ radar. Not because readers are blind, but because, while readers definitely respond to good ones, they don’t care about headlines.

If it works though, you will find yourself caring very much. Like some of my students, you might even decide to use nothing else but this template.

So give them a try.

It’s free … for now

Oh, and don’t forget to download the report itself. I’ll be leaving it up for free until Christmas day, but after that, I’ll require an email address to download it.

For now though, it’s totally free. There’s no benefit to me, unless you count making you fall madly in love with me for doubling your traffic.

This is about generosity. This is about saying thank you. This is about cutting through the BS and getting you some results.

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Your Friends at Copyblogger

About the Author: In addition to serving as Associate Editor of Copyblogger, Jon Morrow is on a mission to help good writers get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his upcoming blog about (surprise!) blogging.

P.S.

If you want to write some really great headlines for your content in 2012, keep checking in to Copyblogger this week. I’ll be writing about headlines all week, and presenting a free webinar to help make your content much, much more successful next year. Stay tuned!

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Comments

  1. Okay, you got me. Clicking.

  2. Jon, I love this report. It’s the best thing I have ever read and I am gutted you are giving it away as now I will have to share it.
    For those that are sceptical, just download it and do as you are told ;)

  3. Jon
    Is it just me, or is the pdf corrupted?
    I just seem to get the embedded images but no text…

  4. I’m so excited to read that report. However, it is not letting me download it. Thanks for all you do for all of us!
    Merry Christmas!

    Deb :)

  5. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year no doubt, anyone who believes it is not over the top commercialised now would have to be kidding themselves. It is such a shame that some people believe we have to spend large amounts of money on our loved ones to express our love. Christmas will always be special to us and hopefully it will be to everyone forever. Merry Christmas all, I better had check that report out too. Cheers.

  6. LOL. Clicking now!

    Btw, Happy holidays!!

    – Jennifer

  7. …and here I thought a handful of my very own titles, like “I Spy with My Little Eye…a Blog Stalker?!?!,” “On Broken Penises…and Broken Promises: A Treatise” and “How my marriage ended with a brick (And no, that’s not me being cute. Or even symbolic. Literally. With a brick.)” were compelling titles.

    Not so much.

    Turns out, I needed someone to teach me “How to take charge of my unruly headlines.”

    Thank YOU, Jon. Merry Christmas indeed! :)

  8. Thank you for the swag. In my first quickie skim, it looks great.

    But I have a headline question for you: I watch Copyblogger headlines and it seems like you frequently don’t follow the templates in this book.

    “Point and Click Design Control with the Prose Theme for WordPress”
    “The Eminem Guide to Becoming a Writing and Marketing Machine ”
    “The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words”

    I’ve watched you guys. I’ve noticed that you often use numbers (the 7 mistakes…). You often reference famous people or pop culture. You’re super dooper clever. And you ALWAYS address the niggling voices that are in our writerly heads.

    You guys write great, powerful, punchy headlines but I’m not sure that you follow templates. Just like pirate code, you use them “more like guidelines than actual rules.”

    Is this true? Or do you have a secret handbook that contains the formula for your killer headlines? :)

    Julia

    • We don’t follow templates (mostly) because templates should only be used to teach you how to write compelling headlines. Using the examples in Jon’s PDF should be a learning experience, not a fill-in-the-blank game of Mad Libs.

      So, once you understand what makes for a great headline, you just write them. Make sense?

      • Yes! Thank you. Happy Holidays. I appreciate the gift.

        Julia

      • Dear Jon.
        As one of our presidential candidates says, “Oops.” I apologize. I have had my headline questions on my mind for so long that when I skimmed your book, they blinded me to what was really there (I’m sure there’s a zen lesson in there somewhere).

        As I’ve read your book more closely and carefully, you *are* pretty much giving us your secret handbook You’ve got everything in there–ideas, tips, examples. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lesson about how to repair a bike in there. It’s a one-stop shop for Headline education.

        I repeat, thank you very much.

        Julia

        Plus–and this is no excuse either–your comment community is so active that sometimes I comment too fast because of the adrenaline rush of jumping in line with so many other good writers! :)

  9. If it’s from Jon, you know it’s good. Download in progress.

  10. I’m in! Totally clicked. lol. Thank you for this report, I just completed a massive re-branding and this will help a lot!

  11. Thanks for sharing, Jon. Great stuff! Downloaded and ingested with morning coffee.

  12. I’m on a MAC. Have read the comments but can’t get the file open. Anyone got any ideas how to make sure it opens in adobe reader? Normally I just open PDF’s and they work. I guess my MAC is opening it in preview. I’m technologically challenged so not sure how to make all of this work.. frustrating…thoughts?

    • Download the file to your desktop. Open Adobe Reader. Go to File > Open in the top navigation and select the PDF from your desktop.

    • Give it a try now. I just updated it, and it seems to be working in Preview.

      • I was able to open the file in Acrobat Reader but it will NOT read correctly in preview. I can say with confidence that there is something wrong with this document. I’ve been dealing with pdfs for many years and there is no reason for a file not to be readable in preview. Can’t tell you what the issue is but there is one for sure. Preview is the default app for pdfs on the mac.

  13. Thank you for this awesome freebie!! I’ll be sharing this on my site soon to let others know! :-)

  14. Great twist! What I always thought were “hoakie” headlines – seeing them as templates is an eye-opener for me. Thanks for the gift!

  15. That is great stuff, Jon, especially the little nugget at the end. It was better than finding a cool tattoo at the bottom of my Cracker Jacks. I’ll be hitting you up on that. :)

  16. Opened in preview, and failed. Now i’ve got it up on Adobe and can’t wait to dive in! Thanks for the gift.

  17. Don’t work for me (on a Mac) Merry Christmas Copyblogger! And thanks!

  18. Thanks, Jon. Keep up the good work.

  19. Thank you. :)

  20. We’re working on a version that opens properly in Preview, but for anyone who’s impatient, scroll up in the comments to learn how to view it. :) It opens fine with Adobe Reader, it’s Mac Preview that’s having trouble parsing it.

    • UPDATE: it should be working now in Preview. Well, mostly. You can read it, but it appears the links don’t work when you click them. Still trying to figure that out. As many of you know, Adobe products don’t always play well with Apple products. :-)

  21. So, then, what you are saying is it’s FREE?
    Thanks for the killer headline tip:)

  22. Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to reading it later this month in between grandkid fun activities. Merry Christmas!

  23. Thanks for the free report filled with great information. From what I’ve read so far, it really makes sense and I’m looking forward to reading it completely. As a graphic artist, I do have occasion to write copy, so this will be a welcome assist. Thanks for sharing with us at this giving time of year! (No problems downloading here!)

  24. Sally Sanderson Fay :

    I’m not using a Mac — and I cannot get it to download. I click it and nothing happens.
    I was so excited about reading it.

  25. Thanks, I love free things… and especially reports and eBooks that will help my business! :)

  26. Thank you for all you do! Gotta a new blog and gotta get a move on! Happy Holidays!

  27. Thank you! You are the best!!!

  28. Another “Thank you”. I have learned that Copyblogger is full of genuinely useful tips. I have this report downloaded! Looking forward to a good read. :)

  29. Thanks! This is great! It’s super-helpful, and I know you could have charged a decent amount of money on this one. Appreciate it a lot.

  30. Thank you for this generous sharing of best-practice tips. You and your team have always delivered high value, and I’ll bet there are thousands of us bloggers out there who are better because of your great content.

    Happy holidays.

    Elizabeth

    P.S. No trouble opening or downloading on my Mac

  31. I got a window saying the file is damaged and could not be repaired. It has had an effect on my screen, too, as I no longer have a cursor, but am writing blindly.

    • You’re the second person to report this. Anyone else having this problem?

      No idea what could be causing it. The file is fine.

      Maybe clear your browser cache or update Adobe Reader?

      • Sally Sanderson Fay :

        I click download and nothing happens. Adobe is updated. just can’t get it to download — it does nothing,

      • Sam Larsen-Ferree :

        I’m having some trouble downloading it as well. Look forward to reading it. Happy Holidays, sir.

  32. Jon, I use Ubuntu. Even when I am prompted to allow all scripts, I still get a window saying the sevrer is down. I do not think it is your problem. But can you or anybody in here advise me? Or can you just send the templates to me by email? Thx

  33. Thank you! It downloaded easily for me. The message is clear with great fill in the blanks. Really appreciate your generosity.

  34. I waited a while for the pdf document to open but was just getting a blank screen.

  35. I downloaded it just fine, and I’m on a Mac :)

    I’m a believer in good headlines. I wrote one headline using what I felt were a bunch of cheesy tricks, (“Warning! Are You Making These 25 Personal Brand Mistakes?”) and my wife, who never opens my newsletter emails, said “I thought 25 was a lot and just had to see it”.

    That response blew me away! And the post traveled far on Facebook, without me asking people to share it.

    I recently purchased Premise, which comes with an awesome headline writing seminar. On my third listen thru of the seminar I came up with this:

    “Why Networking is Useless in the Modern Entertainment Industry”
    “What My Weird Stint On A Reality Show Can Teach You About Landing Your Dream Job”

    Two big winners for me! Without the seminar I would never sneaked the words “modern” or “weird” in there, and I don’t think they would have been as effective it.

  36. Hi Jon and Copyblogger,
    I’ve read it – a great report and very generous Xmas present. I run an Image Branding Agency and agree with you that an eye catching headline is how you connect with your audience; getting the instant effect “of standing out in the row of yellow ducks”.
    I am sharing this present with my followers as a must download and do as you’re told – read – implement -Be Winners.
    Thank you for sharing, Hana Guenzl

  37. Thanks for providing this report for free Jon!!! Just took a quick skim and already have some ideas for new posts!!

  38. Wow, Jon, this is definitely a CHEAT sheet. This is evil genius stuff. Awesome report.

  39. Thanks Jon! Especially for adding your helpful tips and insights, versus just making it a list of sample headlines to follow. A great gift! (Gosh, I didn’t get YOU anything!)

  40. Great gift. Just what I need as I start ghostwriting for a business school blog. Takes my mind of one of the most crucial parts in writing an article – a headline that glares out like a neon sign.

  41. thanks! That’s one a week. I can do it!

  42. Thank your for your generosity. I need all the help I can get. My intent is to get serious in 2012.

  43. Whoa, awesome. I can tell I’m going to find this ebook insanely useful just by skimming over it, and I’ve already got a few ideas. Thanks for sharing! (And I had no trouble downloading it or viewing it with Preview on Mac, by the way.)

  44. Love, love, love. Happy holidays, man, and thanks.

  45. Awesome !!! Definitely a good start makes the work half done :) Though I had initial problem in opening the pdf but it’s working fine now.

    Thanks !!!

  46. Can you please email it to me? I’ve tried all day yesterday to download it, and its just not working for me for whatever reason. I’d sure appreciate it. Thanks so much. Make it a glorious day!

  47. This is a great christmas gift (well in advance). I was always looking for the secret book on headlines and you just handed it over to me :)

    I just skimmed through the book and already made ten to twenty notes to work on. This is certainly going to keep me working on for a very long time.

  48. Thanks so much for sending this! I have been looking for something like this for a long time.

  49. Waiting breathlessly for the webinar! Writing headlines, leads, and subheads are among my favorite parts of writing a news story! I’m excited to see what I can learn from this.

  50. Seriously – you just gave us that report for FREE?! Thank you, Copyblogger! Best Christmas gift ever:-)

  51. I started reading the report and I said “Oh, f*ck me” out loud because, well, now that I’ve seen these headlines, I can’t unsee them. I always have a hard time coming up with good headlines — and the good ones I’ve come up with, I feel, were completely by accident — but with these, it seems like I’m going to have a blast from now on.

    Thank you so, so much for this report!

  52. It won’t open for me, either. Adobe reader is current. Message says ‘file is corrupted and cannot be repaired’. Could I ask for an email with the file PDF, please. And, thanks.

  53. By far, the best free report I have ever read!!! I cannot believe there is no cost for this report. Thanks so much.

  54. appreciate the generosity, Jon. Thanks Copyblogger!

  55. I just downloaded it and it’s excellent. You definitely could have charged for this, so I really appreciate you making it available for free — it’s a nice little gift for those of us whose budgets are wiped out by Christmas shopping. :)

    Thank you!

  56. This is one sweet report. Good thing I have my digital highlighter handy. If it was a real one I would have worn it out!

  57. I must say, blogging was an area I really struggled with when I first began network marketing, never
    realizing just how important it was.
    Your course has taught me many different ways to create my blog and has helped explode my business.
    This report is phenomenal.
    I must say thank you very much for being so willing to share, reach out and
    help so many that are struggling in this area.
    Have a very Merry Christmas.
    Can’t wait to see what you bring to us in 2012!!

  58. Thanks Jonathan. Great report. I like having list of headline templates in my arsenal. It’s free and not even an opt in. Pretty generous of you.

  59. I just downloaded my copy. I am glad I did, because I am already getting loads of topics in my head, just within a few minutes of reading. They’re not just topics, but Killer Topics. Thank you

  60. Tried but got an “oops” message. Would really like to read this.

  61. Hi,
    I think headlines are very important to grab a reader’s attention, and hold them dead on their track.

    I frequently read newspapers and go over main header, sub headers and analyse why they are so important to captivate reader’s attention.

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I am sure going to use many of them in my blog content.

  62. Hey! This is not free. You want me to subscribe to something in exchange!

  63. I got the Headline Hacks through the Guest Blogging program, and I’m working on them now. Just reading the samples gets my creative juices flowing. Thanks for such a great resource.