When I was at the beginning stages of my business I had a friend who I would turn to for copywriting advice and guidelines (i.e, always hoping he’d do it for me, which he did quite often, but then I wasn’t really developing my own skills).
One of my least favorite tasks he would give me, specifically around writing headlines, was to write 50 potential headlines for what I was working.
I can’t say that I ever did 50, but I could come up with a good 20.
Here’s the problem with tasks like that without a solid understanding of what goes into them.
You just end up creating more crap 💩.
It wasn’t until I started understanding the power of good copy, the psychology behind why people respond the way they do, and the absolute massive impact good copy can have on your bottom line did I really start caring.
One thing I’ve noticed for myself though is that it wasn’t until I was completely immersed in something I loved that I really wanted to wrap my head around copywriting.
Even if the majority of what you create is audio or video, understanding how copy works and what makes people buy can greatly impact the quality and conversions of your content.
Here’s a crazy statistic for you:
8 out of 10 people only read headlines.
Don’t let that statistic get you down.
Instead, decide that learning to write better headlines is the first place you’re going to start when it comes to copywriting.
Take it from someone who avoided learning this skill for far too long… putting the time and energy into getting better at copywriting is one of the best things you can do for your business.
Headlines are the first thing people see whether it’s content, an ad, or your sales page.
According to Marketing Profs, “they can destroy or skyrocket your marketing campaign.”
Since I’m not a copywriter (I choose to think of myself as a student of copywriting who loves to learn, implement, and test), the goal of this post is two-fold:
- First, that putting time and effort into improving your copy skills is invaluable
- To provide you with some great resources to start writing (er, practicing), headlines
Before we get into the resources, I want to show you a few headlines I took a screenshot of from my daily digest of articles from Medium.
Let’s look at the above headlines in a little more detail:
- The 6 Steps of Building an Audience From Nothing:
The two elements highlighted in this headline (The 6 Steps and From Nothing) are the emotional elements that draw the reader in. Headlines with a number (also known as a ‘listicle’) are very effective. The ‘Audience From Nothing’ pulls on the emotional triggers of someone who is also starting out and needs a little inspiration.
- My Exact $2,000 a Month Online Side-Hustle Daily Routine:
This grabs the reader right away by showing a monthly income and the ‘Side-Hustle’. It’s a clear headline that might sound like clickbait, but it’s direct and tells you exactly what the article is about.
- I’m the Son of A Cop, But That Doesn’t Mean I Trust the Police:
Because of current events, this headline has the potential to trigger a lot of emotions. The first part of the headline makes you feel one way and the ‘But…’ makes you feel another way.
- Want to meet the love of your life? Stop dating.
Anyone who is interested in meeting the ‘love of their life’ is going to click through here. The initial question insights interest and the ‘Stop dating’ grabs attention because it’s contrary to most advice on finding the ‘love of your life.’
One rule of thumb when you’re practicing headlines is that ‘clear is better than clever’. Don’t get caught up trying to be witty or use words that aren’t part of the way you would speak.
That being said, it’s good to look for alternatives for common words.
Here are a couple of posts (there are plenty if you search, but these are a great starting point).
Book & Course: