How To Write Better Headlines - For Content, Email & Social
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How To Write Better Headlines - For Content, Email & Social

Massively increase your skills as a web writer by mastering the craft of writing better online headlines.
4.5 (63 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
445 students enrolled
Created by Nick Usborne
Last updated 3/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $75 Discount: 87% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Write better headlines for blog posts
  • Write better headlines for evergreen web content pages
  • Write better headlines for website homepages
  • Write better headlines for email and e-newsletters, including subject lines
  • Write better headlines for social media across multiple platforms and devices
View Curriculum
  • No formal qualifications are required. Just be sure to bring along a passion for creating quality online content, and a desire to master the craft of writing headlines for online media.

In this course, I tackle writing headlines for online media

Why the focus on headlines?

Because writing a better headline is the fastest way to achieve a massive improvement in the performance of every content page, email and social media update your write.

The headline is the first thing people read.

And most people don’t read any further.

This means the headline is the first and principal point of failure for pretty much all web content.

By extension, it’s also the greatest point of opportunity.

Write a better headline, and you hold onto and engage more readers and prospects.

Master the headline, and you master the page.

“The author has a very engaging style of teaching. His lectures are detailed and thoroughly explained. The information provided here is very useful. Thanks for sharing the craft with us. This course has been a wonderful experience.” Sladjana Stamenkovic

“Nick is a master educator — love his understated style, dry humour, and his frank approach to saying what’s on his mind. He deals in real substance.” Jim Mahannah

This course comprises 23 lectures. Go through them all, do the homework provided, and you’ll learn:

  • The craft of writing powerful online headlines
  • Best practices when writing headlines for 6 different types of online media 
  • Secrets from my library of 13 proven approaches to winning with online headlines
  • 8 Important headline questions - asked and answered

"This course has been a tremendous help to me. I didn't realise that there was so much to writing headlines. Having been aware of an uneasy apprehension about headline composition I found this alleviated very early on as I took in the information. Nick’s delivery is exceptional with an easy to listen to voice and helpful tone. His knowledge and experience comes through at the outset creating a reassuring environment from which to learn and process the material. Every step of the way was clear and I loved the practice sessions which were on offer." Mariah Haylen

Who is the target audience?
  • Freelance content writers who want to create more powerful content for their clients, and give themselves an advantage by offering deep expertise in the craft of writing headlines for online media.
  • Freelance copywriters who want to leverage the power of web content and web content headlines as a way to drive more sales.
  • Entrepreneurs and growth hackers who are looking for ways to maximize readership, engagement, signups, subscriptions and sales.
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Curriculum For This Course
24 Lectures
2 Lectures 11:51

This is about my background as a professional writer and copywriter. This is what I bring to the table as a headline writer, content writer and content marketer.

Preview 05:53

Now let's look at why headlines are so important, and how writing better headlines for web content makes you a better content writer and content marketer.

What headlines achieve and why they are so important
Where We use Headlines Online, And Why.
2 Lectures 16:44

When writing for the web, there are plenty of places you expect to be writing headlines... like for blog posts, evergreen content pages and website homepages. In all of these places, writing better headlines can make a huge difference.

Preview 06:13

In addition to the obvious places, there are plenty of other places online where if you're not writing a traditional headline, you are using a headline writer's mindset. This applies to writing email subject lines and lines of short-form content across social media platforms.

Unexpected places for headlines
The Fundamentals of Writing Great Headlines
2 Lectures 14:32

Before you start to write a headline, you have to first figure out who you're talking to. If you don't do that, it's like going on a first date while wearing a blindfold. If you don't know who you're talking to, how do you know what to say?

Get to know and truly understand your audience

In the last lecture we talked about defining our audience. In this one we take the next step, which is to achieve clarity in knowing what it is we are trying to achieve. What is the purpose of the content we are creating?

Define the purpose of your headline and content
The Craft of Writing Headlines Well
3 Lectures 24:15

One of the keys to writing better headlines for web content is to rehearse before you write. In other words, immerse yourself in the topic, and then write out a whole slew of headline ideas, before you find the best headline approach.

Rehearse before you write

It's important to bring the key words and phrases to the first half of your headline. Both your readers and the search engines will pay more attention to the first half of any online headline.

Frontload important words and phrases

Here's something you can learn from news headlines... Never tell the whole story in the headline. Always leave your readers wanting to know more. In this lecturer we'll also look at how you can work with headline design to make your headline stand out.

Don’t tell the whole story, and headline design
Writing Headlines for Different Media
6 Lectures 01:09:23
Writing headlines for blog posts

Writing headlines for evergreen content pages

Writing headlines for homepages

Writing headlines for email and e-newsletters

Writing headlines for social media
7 Proven Approaches to Writing Great Headlines for Content
2 Lectures 18:21
Lists, How-To and Promises

Feel Good, Easy Button, Provocation and Vulnerability
6 More Headline Approaches That Work Just as Well
2 Lectures 13:08
New, Questions and the Kicker

Secrets, a Shocker and Sharing
7 Questions Answered
3 Lectures 20:45
3 Headline questions asked and answered

4 More headline questions asked and answered

Final question, on the best length for headlines
Wrapping It All Up
2 Lectures 08:27
Celebrate your outsized advantage

For this lecture I'm giving you an updated list of additional reading and resources on how to write better headlines, in the form of posts and video posts.

Bonus Lecture: Additional resources on Writing Better Headlines
About the Instructor
Nick Usborne
4.4 Average rating
424 Reviews
1,872 Students
5 Courses
Online writer and copywriter. Author, speaker and instructor

Over the course of a copywriting and consulting career spanning over thirty years, offline and then online, Nick has worked with dozens of major companies, including:

Citibank, Apple, Chrysler, Franklin Mint, TV Guide, Diners Club International, J. Paul Getty Trust,, Technogym, Encyclopedia Britannica, New York Times, Country Financial, Adorama, Reuters, WebEx, and others.

During his years as a direct response marketer he wrote direct mail by the ton, and earned 15 awards, both in Europe and North America. In 1997 he stopped writing direct mail and has been working exclusively on business online ever since.

Over the years he has also worked as an advisor and consultant to various start-ups, principally in the area of consumer product sales online.

He has spoken at numerous online marketing conferences and has conducted in-house seminars and training sessions for many companies, including:

Yahoo!, Intuit, Walt Disney Attractions, Association of American Publishers, Novartis Pharma, John Deere, National Cancer Institute, Merck & Co., Textron, and the Information Technology Media Advisory Council.

Online, he has written literally hundreds of articles for,,, Business 2.0 and other online publications. He is also the author of Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy. Published in 2001, it’s still a good and valuable read today.

"In a world of instant pundits and stuffed shirts, Nick Usborne stands out as an astute, insightful and original mind. He's able to find substance when others see just fluff, and can cut right to the core of the issue." Seth Godin

"The best writers are also clear thinkers who can distill complex issues and processes into something entirely more manageable. Nick does this well as a writer, certainly. But his talents apply more broadly to business as well. He has a real talent for seeing through the clutter, and recognizing what works and what doesn’t work when marketing online." Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

"Nick Usborne is one of our most popular speakers at Search Engine Strategies, and I consistently get positive feedback about his presentations." Danny Sullivan, SearchEngineLand

Today he divides his time between online copywriting, teaching, consulting – and enjoying life.

He lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.