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Quiz Time! Are You a Headline Hero?

Anyone responsible for writing content headlines understands the challenge of optimizing for clicks while maintaining message clarity. Put your knowledge of effective headline development to the test below. Note, the questions are based on data from Buzzsumo’s survey of 100 million headlines published over a three-month period (available at

1. What was the top headline phrase measured by average Facebook engagement?

a. Will make you
b. Don’t try this at home
c. Shocked to see

2. What was the top headline phrase measured by average Twitter shares?

a. As it happened
b. This is what
c. The truth about

3. Article headlines including this number of words received the highest Facebook engagement:

a. 0-5
b. 12-18
c. 250-450

4. Emotional phrases are consistently effective on Facebook. What is not an example of an emotional phrase?

a. Tears of joy
b. Make you cry
c. In our analysis

5. What commonly used phrase in headlines receive the lowest Facebook engagement?

a. Control of your
b. The effect of

c. Both A and B

6. Headlines starting with a number tend to get above-average shares, but what is the most engaging number to start with?

a. 30
b. 11
c. 10

7. Despite “emotional posts” receiving a higher number of interactions, Facebook announced this in May 2017:

a. It would demote “headlines that exaggerate the details of a story with sensational language.”
b. Whatever language is used, a publisher’s posts won’t be seen anyway.
c. Users could manually remove “emotional” articles from their news feeds.

8. Headline phrases that provoke a sense of _ and _ perform well on Facebook.

a. Curiosity and voyeurism
b. Love and compassion
c. Ignorance and bliss

9. Which statement is the most true about writing headlines?

a. The key is to research what resonates with a specific audience and to test headlines.
b. Publishers should write sensational headlines.
c. Make readers cry so they will share posts.

10. What is the most popular first word that starts headlines (by average Facebook interactions)?

a. This
b. Trump


Answers are Below!







 1. A; 2. B; 3. B; 4. C; 5. C; 6. C; 7. A; 8. A; 9. A; 10, A.

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