Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

You Need This One Word in Your Headlines

Nick Nolan
2 min readOct 28, 2021

It’s in every single one of my top 5 earning articles

Now that I’m posting more often on Medium, I’ve wanted to figure out why some of my articles earn so much more than some others.

I’m looking at a variety of factors:

  • The day I post
  • The time I publish
  • The length
  • The topic
  • The headline
  • Engagement before and after posting

I know there are a lot of elements that play a role in the success of an article. I don’t expect very article to go viral. Some articles get 1,000+ views and some articles get >10 views.

I still believe that consistency is the #1 key to success. But there are some things you can do to increase your chances of success.

I understand the importance of good headlines, so it was one of the first things I looked at.

When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.
- David Ogilvy

The one similarity I found in my top earning articles was one specific word:


The word “You” was in all of my top earning article headlines, and in none of the other headlines.

I only have 44 articles published, which isn’t enough data to change everything you do, but it’s something I’ll continue to test and encourage you to add more you in your headlines.

Remember your audience is selfish

People don’t read your articles because they care so much about you. They read because they think your article will benefit them somehow.

I don’t read stuff on Medium because I want to support other writers.

I want to learn something that’s going to benefit me. If you write an article that’s useful for me, I’ll support you in return.

Instead of writing “How I Earned $5,740 Writing” write “How You Can Earn $5,000+ Writing”.

Nick Nolan

Freelance marketing consultant | Writing about Copywriting, SEO, and Social Media