2 Awesome Headline Formulas From A Writer With 17,000 Followers

Tom Kuegler
4 min readNov 15, 2022
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

So a writer named E.B. Johnson popped up in my feed the other day.

I decided to take a look at her profile. She’s been writing on Medium since at least 2019 and has over 17,000 followers.

I was really impressed with a lot of her writing and wanted to break down a few of her most-popular headlines ever.

So shout out to E.B. — go give her a follow for me.

Formula 1: Promise The Audience An Answer

Now. I don’t want to say that E.B. wrote these headlines just to get people to click. I think she naturally wrote the following headline in one of the only ways she could. Let’s take a look:

“Signs that you were emotionally neglected or abused as a child.”

I want to preface this by saying that this post is a whopping 17 minutes long. It’s dense and follows through on the promise of the headline. That’s very important.

It has over 5,700 claps and 29 comments. That’s incredible, and if I was a betting man I’d say the article probably got a good bit of traffic from Google search as well because of how dense and helpful it is.

Now, let’s look at the headline.

For me there’s three things happening here.

  1. It’s a topic that speaks to everyone.
  2. It’s a question lots of people have.
  3. We don’t know whether we fall into this category or not.

Let’s go down the list.

For one, we’ve all had parents. So that’s easy.

Second, I’ve often wondered whether things from my childhood were stranger than I remembered at the time. I was a child, after all. Lots of people have this question of whether they actually were abused.

Third, and this is the real genius (intentional or not) of this headline..

It promises me an answer to this…

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Tom Kuegler

Travel blogger. 30 years old. Currently in Mexico. Subscribe to my Substack: https://mindofawriter.substack.com/