6 Ways To Find Killer Headlines That Almost Force Your Blog Visitors To Read On
When it comes to writing killer headlines, you have to study successful copy writers and then you have to go out and do it yourself. Like any kind of writing, the only way you get better is to write…and then write some more….and then some more. Always be writing. That’s why it is so difficult if you are an internet marketer because there are so many other things to do that you almost have to be a jack of all trade and never master one. You can’t really devote your full attention to becoming a professional copywriter and that’s why many people outsource it to a professional.
How To Find Killer Headlines
So if you are stuck for a good headline that will almost force your readers to read the rest of your blog post but don’t have the time to become a pro, here are a few ideas to help you out.
All professional copywriters have swipe files. A swipe file is basically all the good stuff they have found while working in the industry. You should make your own swipe file too. You can split swipe files up into categories – like great email titles, great calls to action and, of course, killer or great headlines.
- You can find great headlines and even templates for great headlines at copyblogger. This is a fantastic resource for all kinds of copy writing but probably is more focused on online writing. Not only do they give you some great templates so that you can craft your own original headlines but they practice what they preach, and write great headlines. So “swipe a few of their headlines and also read the template articles on the blog.
- Magazines are a great place to find winning headlines. The front cover headlines are designed to grab your attention either on a crowded magazine shelf or next to all the impulse buys around a supermarket queue.
As it’s hard to always be on when looking for headlines and being able to record a good headline in your swipe file, it probably makes more sense to look at magazine covers online. You can go to the individual magazines websites (if you are in a particular nice then go for those types of magazines – they’ll also give you content ideas). Or you could go to a website that specializes in magazines like Magazines.com or even Amazon.
- Tabloid newspapers also have to fight for attention with seemingly mundane stories, so they will use powerful headlines to grab someones attention. Think of any tabloid and check out their covers each day. The National Enquirer springs to mind for me but you can also get look at British tabloid newspapers like the Sun. If you speak a second language look at tabloid newspapers in that language and you might get a twist on common English language headlines.
- Following the tabloid theme, check out tabloid TV news and current affairs shows. The Grand Daddy of these is 60 minutes. Check out how they craft a 30 second advertisement about a story or even the title of the story.
In Australia, there are programs like Today Tonight and A Current Affair that are effectively tabloid newspapers on television. They feature promotional snippets from forthcoming stories and have to use sound bites that will stick in a person’s head so that they will tune into the show. Think about how they do this and record your thoughts.
Outside of Australia look for tabloid style current affairs shows.
- Television advertisements are also a good source for a headline. It’s not as obvious to spot the headline in some cases, especially when the ad is slightly pretentious but just think about the feeling they are trying to evoke in you. This is what you want to put in a headline.
More obvious TV ads are the direct response ads. They will have a headline in them and it will be pretty easy to spot. Things like weight loss ads, exercise machines, free make up offers are examples products that will have direct response ads made on them. In fact any product that wants you to pick up the phone and dial right now ! You’ll get other great ideas for copy watching these ads too.
- Look at pay per click (PPC) ads in Google for ideas for great headlines. Firstly you want to make sure that the ad campaign hangs around – for a week or longer. This means that despite the ad costing money to run, it must be working to some extent or it would be taken down.
You will probably find that the ad will change over time as the campaign is split tested. Of course, you are interested in the ad title. This will not be as verbose as a blog headline as they don’t have as many words to play with but they will have a germ of an idea that you can adapt to a great headline.
Their PPC headline has caused people to click through so they must be doing something right.
Finally, read copywriting books – a brilliant contemporary book is Drew Whitman’s “Cashvertising” and an all time classic is John Caples “Tested Advertising Methods”. Both books are more about copywriting in general but have dedicated sections to how to write great headlines. They will be a great investment in your headline writing education.