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Struggling to Write Headlines? Try the Amazon Technique

A lot of bloggers either struggle to write irresistible headlines, or they just don’t think they’re that important.

Well, they are.

Your headline, alongside the featured image and the opening paragraph, form your hook, and it’s the first anyone who visits your blog notices.

That being said, there are a lot of formulas for writing headlines, and there’s quite a bit of advice available on the web.

Now, the best way to go about writing headlines is to:

a. Build your own swipe file of examples (especially headlines from articles you normally wouldn’t read but somehow felt compelled to by the headline)

b. Practice, practice, practice.

But maybe you want a better way, one that doesn’t feel like doing a lot of homework, and one that ensures you come up with some original headlines while ensuring they’re popular enough among readers.

That’s what we’re going to explore today. What I like to call the Amazon Technique, and it requires but two simple steps.

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That One Time My Post Got Shared With 25 Million People

Exactly three years ago, as I was walking home from the gym, I noticed I was getting a lot of likes and comments on one of the posts I had published on The Art of Blogging.

I was also gaining a lot of new followers, around 1 new follower every minute or so.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on. I had been featured on WordPress Discover.

Those of you who had blogs on WordPress.com in 2010–2015 or so might remember it as Freshly Pressed.

You even used to get a nice badge to place on your blog’s sidebar.

So, my post got shared with 25 million people. Not only that, but it was the only post that got shared on WordPress Discover on that day, so I got 24 hours worth of exposure.

What Happened?

During those twenty four hours, my article:

  1. was viewed by 17,160 people
  2. received 437 comments
  3. got shared 164 times, including 46 shares on Twitter and 26 shares on Facebook
  4. received 2,617 likes

I also gained 768 new followers and received two new orders for one-on-one mentorship, worth about $300.

Overall traffic for the day was 36,350 views.

What Made This Post So Special?

Obviously, I haven’t reached out to the editor who selected this article, so I can’t speak for their motivation, but I’d like to share with you my thoughts on why they chose to feature this article.

As a side note, this was a repost of an older article. The first time I published it, nothing extraordinary happened. About a hundred or so likes (which was the usual number of likes most of my posts received back then) and 10 comments.

I waited a couple of month and republished it as it was. I didn’t change a thing. And it got featured.

This shows that sometimes an article’s success is all about timing, a bit of luck, and whether or not there are significant current events that might disrupt the normal flow of traffic.

A Short Disclaimer

There aren’t many articles around about, “How I Won The Lottery,” and there’s a good reason for that.

All the had to do was buy a ticket. There’s no formula for their success, so it can’t be replicated, by them or others.

But I did read an article about this math teacher who was certain he had cracked the code, and could win the lottery as often as he liked, but I guess that just shows how irrational we can be sometimes.

In any case, the idea is that a blog post going viral is 50% pure luck, maybe even more, and there’s no recipe to help you become luckier. It just happens, which is why I’m not a big fan of this endless pursuit to share viral content.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, your success is not worth much. You are at the mercy of forces you can’t understand.

That being said, the goal is to analyze this article and see what exactly attracted so many people, and why it resonated with them. There’s a recipe for that, and it’s something that can be replicated.

So, let’s get started.

1. The Headline

What is the first thing a potential reader notices about your blog posts?

The headline.

The headline, alongside the featured image and the first paragraph, act as a hook.

The title of the post is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers.

It’s kind of funny, or better said, it’s got a bit of swagger to it. Just a little bit. It’s obviously a spin on Stephen Covey’s super famous book. It’s also clear that it’s a listicle, and we do know that those tend to attract readers.

A couple of things I’ve noticed:

  1. Odd numbers work best.
  2. More than 5 items/steps/etc, less than 10.
  3. 7 seems to be a sort of magic number. All the articles I wrote that included this number performed extremely well.

Another often overlooked rule of writing irresistible headlines is that you’ve got to state at least one benefit for the reader, or, ideally, an insider benefit.

This article provides a list of seven habits of highly effective bloggers. It makes the reader curious to know if they have those traits. If they don’t, they’re not highly effective bloggers.

Simply put, the title makes use of qualities that everyone wants to have ( I mean, what blogger does not want to be as effective as possible) to ensure that folks are curious enough to read it.

2. The Introduction

Do you want to be a successful blogger? Do ideas for posts randomly pop into your head whenever, wherever? Do you think about ways to improve your blog?

How to write more? Better? Faster?

Do you study what the most successful bloggers have done to get to where they are right now?

I was writing this introduction and imagining readers nodding their heads and going all, “Yes, man, yeah, yeah… now just let me read the damn thing!”

A blog post should build momentum right from the opening line. There’s an emotional and intellectual journey that you’ve got to map out with each sentence.

The emotional undertone of an article is something most bloggers tend to overlook, especially if they’re part of a niche that’s heavily biased towards “adding value.”

3. The Rest of the Damn Thing

Of course, now I proceed to list my habits.

As a four minute read, this is just the right length not to be considered an investment in time and mental energy, so it appeals not only to those who are genuinely dedicated to improving their blogs, but also those who are kind of curious.

Some people found some stuff in there funny. Want to know a secret? I wasn’t trying to be funny. I never do. I was just writing my opinion, and trying to be clear about it.

What was it that I thought of those habits, and how did those habits affect me as a blogger.

I also make use of some analogies (like the one with the Chinese bamboo tree) and metaphors and such, all in the hopes of better translating how I felt and what I thought into actual words that you could understand and relate to.

4. The Call to Action

What do you think the most important trait of a top blogger is?

What do you think?

After all, I just wrote this article for you, and only for you. I wrote it because I had some knowledge that I’d like to share with you, so that we can both succeed as bloggers. So that we can both solve certain issues and meet certain goals and expectations that we have.

Yes, asking questions at the end of posts does ensure that people will comment; you know, to answer the question.

But it’s also important to take a few moments to think what question to ask, and how much does it relate to your blog post.

I thought that as people read through the list of habits that they’d come up with new ones, that maybe they’d disagree with some of them and come up with different ones to replace them, and that they’d offer me feedback in that way.

5. The Emotional Undertone

99.99% of people take action when they feel like it. People don’t read an article because you want them to, and probably most shocking, they don’t even read it even if they need the information.

People read an article because the author made them feel this inexplicable urge to find out what is what.

People do not comment on your blog posts because you ask them to, because you wrote something that is useful to them, or interesting, or even amusing. They comment because they felt like commenting.

Always, always, always try to understand the emotional undertone of your article, try to figure out what buttons you’re pushing and why, and be intentional in setting up certain expectations and then delivering on the promise you make in your headline and introductions.

Also, I believe that great content tends to divide people, so rather than trying to please everyone, try to focus on engaging readers on an emotional level.

Blogging is not an exact science. It’s an art.


Writing an engaging blog post is more than just following a certain recipe.

There are a plethora of factors that influence a blog’s success. Too many to even count.

From the trust your audience has in you to the number of highly engaged readers to what current events are dominating the headlines on the day you publish your article.

Of course, you can’t control those factors, but you can control the quality of your content, and the truth is that the basics are just as easy to follow as they are to ignore.

Writing a great headline, a fantastic introduction, being aware of the emotional undertone of your blog post, and genuinely doing the best you can to add value are the only things you can control.

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7 Unconventional Questions That Will Change Your Blogging Game

As the cliché goes, if you want better answers, you should ask better questions.

The right questions at the right time can help you become aware of your mistakes, adjust your strategy, and begin your journey towards the blogging stratosphere.

No, seriously. The right questions at the right time…

Okay, let’s stop fooling around.

Here’s me asking you 7 questions that just might point you in the right direction.

And you know that the right question at the right time…

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7 Key Differences Between an Artist of Blogging and an Amateur

Do you sit around waiting for the muse to inspire you? Do you have trouble punching the damn keys? Do you often struggle to stay consistent? Are you looking for that magic trick that will turn you into a blogging superstar?

What about your content? Is it good enough? Why isn’t it great?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you might either be an artist of blogging or an amateur.

But what better way to find out than to go through the seven key differences between an amateur and someone who punches the damn keys like an artist, right?

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Once in a While, Write an Article No One’s Ever Going to Read

During my nine and a half years of blogging, I’ve been asked thousands of questions by other bloggers. 

About content, about networking, about selling stuff. I’ve been asked about my success, about my failures, about my headlines, about my introductions, and about the way I choose the photos I place at the top of my articles.

But never have I been asked this, “When were you the happiest as a blogger?”

Do you want to know the answer to that question?

It was when no one was reading my stuff. I had just discovered blogging. I was happy to be a beginner. I was punching the keys, and it was all about fun. No one was reading my words, and I wasn’t expecting anyone to read them.

Then I kind of got lucky, people found my blog, and they liked what they read, and six months later, I was doing my best to serve daily content to an audience of over 20,000 people.

That’s when I started to earn quite a bit of money, enough to call myself a full-time blogger.

It was even more exciting, and it gave me energy like nothing else. For a while. But then it got complicated. Or I became complicated.

You see, this is the thing about writing for other people. A lot of other people. 

I was writing for money, I was writing to impress my readers.

Blogging was no longer about expressing an idea, about writing into existence an idea that would keep me up at night.

To be honest, I was never afraid of rejection. It does not matter what one reader thinks or comments about my content.

What I struggled with, however, was the fact that I was trying to please all these people whom I called my readers.

Then, something worse happened. I got cocky. Plain and simple. It happens to most bloggers, as they become popular. You’ve got this twenty-something Romanian guy, writing a bunch of 300-word essays on life and love and death and fate, and hundreds of thousands of people read and comment and share on those silly little essays.

It’s a lethal combination that one. Trying to please people while thinking you’re better than just about everyone else. 

Of course, I failed. Not the kind of failure where you give up, delete your blog, and move on with your life.

The type of failure that is slow. The most usual type. Day by day, I’d lose a bit of my drive, a bit of my passion.

I’d complain to my mother, from time to time, and all she could do was shrug.

Pardon the cliche, but I felt like a hamster on a wheel. Like Sisyphus rolling that damn boulder up a hill.

I kept punching the keys, of course. No satisfaction guaranteed. Until someone commented something that went like this, “How come you have over 100K followers and only 2–3 comments on your articles?”

That was my wake up call.

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How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (as a Blogger)

If there’s one thing I’m quite the expert on, that’s alienating a large, engaged audience.

Seriously.

I started my first blog back in April 2012. By November the same year, I had over twenty thousand readers. I was earning about $100 every single day, and my articles were read by close to a thousand people within the first 3–4 hours of an article being published.

Somehow, in my quest to increase my numbers, both in terms of readers and income, I lost friends and alienated a lot of people.

Just take a look at this statistic:

Here’s how you can do it as well in a couple easy to follow steps.

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11 Things to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing a Blog Post

Here’s a secret I am kind of ashamed to admit. Even though I write at least 100 blog posts every month, I never feel like writing. I’d much rather scroll the day away on social media. But I don’t. How do I do it? How do I write two articles before everyone in my neighborhood wakes up? I have a system.

Here’s what I do when I don’t feel like writing a blog post.

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Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?

Correct me if I’m wrong: you know you should write a blog post. After all, it’s been a while since you last hit that publish button. Yet, somehow, without you realizing it, you spend hours on Twitter and Facebook “working,” only to wonder later what happened…

You comment on other blogs, telling yourself that you’re “networking,” never mind that none of those comments actually lead to anything.

You have a growing collection of books and courses promising to teach you all the secrets in the universe, but they have been labeled “to be read” indefinitely.

In the back of your mind, you know you can do better. Technically, you even know what to do.

But something inside you refuses to let you, and every day you struggle with whether or not you should just give up or find some other shortcut.

You know how I know this?

Because I’m just like you.

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Writing a Post With the Hope of It Going Viral

Viral. Defined as a piece of information that is circulated rapidly and widely from one web user to another. Usually, it’s a video of a pet doing something silly. Usually.

I have been chasing this for nine years now. Dreaming about one of my posts going viral. Writing certain posts with the intent of them going viral. Maybe, maybe… you never know, right?

The obvious side-effect was that there were times when I didn’t enjoy blogging as much as I should have. None of my posts reached the level of traffic that I envisioned. Blogging daily for nine years, not one of my posts has been read by a million or so people.

What did I get in return?

A few million views, well over two hundred thousand followers, thousands upon thousands of comments.

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The Strategy I Use To Grow a Blog From 0 to 5,000 Readers in 6 Months

With over half a billion blogs and newsletters out there, strategy is more important than ever.

That’s, if you want to get people to read your article, if you want folks to engage with your content.

But how does that look like?

Let’s take a closer look at how I develop a growth strategy in 2021.