The Ultimate Headline Writing Strategy

16 replies
Got time for a quick and painless headline writing lesson?

Yeah?

I used to really suck at writing headlines for so many years until I came up with this simple strategy and now headline writing is my bitch I typically churn out really great headlines in 2-5 minutes at a time now where before I used to spend hours trying to figure out what to say and how best to say it!

If you want the same relief and great results, then below is what you can do...

Let's get right into it...

There are 7 main questions your headline can/should answer (the questions are below).

Now if your headline does not include all 7 answers, it (the headline) could (and probably will) work if well written, but chances are you might see much better results if you answered all 7 questions quickly and effectively using as few words as possible.

By the way, don't worry if you've never written any headlines before or if like I used to, you also totally suck at writing headlines, just follow the 7 steps below as accurately as you can and you should do great... I've taught this exact tactic to 200% TOTAL NEWBIES at ad writing and they excelled in under 7 minutes each.

NOTE: Most times you have to keep writing many headlines before you choose one to use, so don't worry if your first headline is not SUPER. However, I seriously expect it to be since the technique is SO easy to apply.

Here it is...

THE ULTIMATE HEADLINE WRITING STRATEGY

Answer each question for whatever you choose to sell...

QUESTION # 1: What is ONE powerful word or phrase that fully describes what you're selling? E.g. Proven. Free. New. Breakthrough. Tested. In Beta. Secret. Unknown. Little Known. Hidden. Jealously Guarded. Insider. Well Documented. Specific. Timely. etc

QUESTION # 2: What kind of product or service is the headline selling?
E.g. Money Making System. Exam Passing Techniques. Job Saving Tactics. Marriage Building Strategies. Interview Acing Technology. Time Saving Software Program. Internet Marketing Private Site. Midwifery Skills Building Program. Computer Skills Building Tutorials. Computer Programming Tactics. Child Raising System. Parenting Guidance Rules & Regulations. Dare Devil Driving Wonders. Dating Secrets. Fund Raising Tactics. Online Job Seeking/Finding Techniques. Trick Or Treating Magic. Cassanova Love Making Techniques. Playground Anti-Bullying Tips. etc...

QUESTION # 3: What ONE word describes what this product has already done for someone (or a group of people)? E.g. Helped. Saved. Rescued. Delivered From/Into The Jaws or Hands Of Death. Compelled. Restrained. Challenged. Forced. Pushed. Stopped. Convinced. Sky Rocketed. Propelled. Extracted. Freed. Released. Exposed. Concealed. Enticed. Caused.

QUESTION # 4: Who exactly has used this product before?

You need to be specific about WHO has used the product or service successfully. Be as specific as possible. For example, if you're selling a solution for nursing mothers you would add that this solution has been used successfully by "a 25 Year Old Full Time Employed Nursing Mother From Arkansas, USA", you get the idea.

Specifying who exactly used your product or service will make it appear more attractive to people who are either exactly in the same situation or in a very similar one. It also makes your success story seem more believable and real-to-life. And that's the whole point of a great headline.

QUESTION # 5: At what pace and/or in what way were results noticed? E.g. Gradually. Quickly. Easily. Smoothly. Continuously. Constantly. NOTE: combination of pace & how can be used e.g. Quickly & Easily or Slowly & Constantly.

QUESTION # 6: What condition was left behind and/or achieved?

This simply means you should state the exact results the person or group of people experienced. Again be as specific as possible. E.g. Made all A's on 14 exams. Got the girl of his dreams. Designed and built his dream home. Made $47,987.56. Received job offer letters from 7 blue chip companies.

QUESTION # 7: What length of time did it take to see the above results?

Again, specifying an exact time frame it took to see results works magic on the right prospects. Never write a headline like this without sharing a specific time frame. E.g. Within Minutes. Within 7 Hours and 43 Mins. In 10 Days. In a matter of seconds.

Finally, some points to note that could help improve the results from your headlines and ads...

A) Try to keep your headlines SHORT and to the point. Usually don't write more than 17 - 20 words maximum. If you decide to use this to create short/space ads, note that sites like Facebook for example limit the words you can use in their ads so you should keep your mind focused on being SUCCINCT that is "get to the point QUICKLY" and in as few words as possible while still following the instructions in the above lesson.

B) Don't make up fake stories to sell your ad or headline, keep things truthful and believable. The truth may not always sell but lies can be found out and simply destroy you. In any case, if you follow the steps in the lesson above when you tell the truth it will still sound very attractive.

OK that's it. LESSON OVER!

That was as quick and painless as I promised, right?

So, go ahead and try the technique and remember to TIME YOURSELF!

Cheers,

Kunle Olomofe
#headline #strategy #ultimate #writing
  • Sniper Attack Alert!

    You may be subjected to untold criticism and abuse (and you'll probably be wondering "Why?").

    It's because you storm in and decide to teach us all a "lesson" in creating headlines.

    Best not to do that (even if there are some reasonable tips).

    Instead say - "Hi everyone, thought I would share my headline writing techniques with you, I've done well with them, let me know if you find any of them useful"


    Steve


    P.S. 895 words is never "quick and painless" any "lesson" above 7 words is long and agonising.

    However, if chosen well you can use any number of words if it lets people "discover" something good.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kunle Olomofe
    Wow. Talk about being edgy. I've been a contributor to several forums here (possibly this one too) for years so I didn't storm in. Just haven't had much time to share much in recent times.

    I gave my advice I don't have to sweet talk anyone into liking it or how I gave it. Jeez!

    The lesson's for those who need it not those who don't clearly. 895 words? You counted? Wow you have more time than I do lol.

    Criticism comes with public forum marketing. Been there done that so won't wonder about anything.

    Hopefully the post helps those who need it. Nothing here to get all tangled up about. Breathe. It's a saturday
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  • Either I wrote my thread too quickly and it wasn't clear.

    Or you missed the point by a country mile.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Kunle Olomofe
      No ure not edgy ure super cool and friendly as my bull dog after a rabbit. By the way ur comments were annoying bcos u presumed I'm new here. Do ur research b4 u dole out advice. Been on the warrior forum since 1997 mate and have been one of its top contributors for years.

      By the way, what's wrong with posting to advertise a sig? Are u kidding? That's what sigs and forum marketing are for lol.

      Some marketers (like you) are really funny. U get ur knickers twisted when u see ppl marketing are u for real? Get off ur 28 year headline writing high horse and let it be dude. We get it ure a pro and u were just sharing "friendly" advice. Thanks neither is needed here.

      PS: I noticed ur sig isn't hidden could that be bcos u have something to market/sell as u help out on the forums? Boy hypocrisy sure stinks. I personally hate the smell of it.
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  • Probably wasn't my best ever thread.

    ...but I think he did miss the point.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cool Hand Luke
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Probably wasn't my best ever thread.

      ...but I think he did miss the point.
      lol clearly.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    You had some valid points man, but I tend to agree...Quick and easy read it certainly wasn't.

    It's an alright formula for people who need to quickly write their own. Worth all this dick slinging? Probably not.
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Took less than 2 minutes to read that and it is pretty straight forward so.

      Maybe you could have finished with a couple of examples.

      For some reason a group of regular Copywriters on this forum think they are the only visitors and anyone with a suggestion gets shot down in flames.

      Sometimes it is deserved but not always in my opinion.

      Have to say Steve I am missing your point too and I am your fellow Countryman.

      Dan
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      • Originally Posted by jimbo13 View Post

        Took less than 2 minutes to read that and it is pretty straight forward so.

        Maybe you could have finished with a couple of examples.

        For some reason a group of regular Copywriters on this forum think they are the only visitors and anyone with a suggestion gets shot down in flames.

        Sometimes it is deserved but not always in my opinion.

        Have to say Steve I am missing your point too and I am your fellow Countryman.

        Dan

        Alright, my team of lawyers have asked me to make the following statement.

        It's been done on the hurry up so lets hope it is clear (I would edit it 28 times as I do with my professional work, but Suzie the barmaid has a pint of excellent ale waiting for me, and I'm due to play pool with some pals).

        I thought the OP might get some heated comments (to some, his post may ever so slightly have come across as a touch "I'm brilliant so I'll teach you all an ultimate lesson" - the possible and likely unintended red flags could have been the phrases "headline writing is my bitch" and "I typically churn out really great headlines in 2-5 minutes" And writing "total newbies" in caps. This potentially dangerous situation for an onslaught of fury not being helped by the OP's apparently sudden appearance out of nowhere).

        I have seen many "new" or "newish" posters in this forum get shot down in flames for posting their thoughts (almost regardless as to how well meant they were). Which can be very unfair particularly if the "poster" was just trying to be helpful.

        Personally I thought the OP's "headline" info was ok.

        Anyway before any possible "sniping" could start I tried to "explain" to the OP why such an awful thing could occur.

        I thought he had taken a fair bit of time and effort in putting his "headline" stuff together.

        Certainly it could be useful to many copywriters.

        And I didn't want the OP to be distraught if any heavy ammunition was fired in his direction. When all he was doing was offering advice.

        I did suggest how the beginning of his post could have been more "all things to all people". Which would help avoid any antagonism.

        And that's not easy to do.

        I then using my highly advanced copywriting skills tried my upmost to clarify that people prefer to "discover" wondrous things rather then being "taught a lesson" about them.

        My worldly view being we hate having to learn but love discovering.

        No offence, upset or stroppiness was ever intended.

        I'm only here to offer help and would never wish to hinder.

        And may peace, happiness, good health and prosperity be with us all.


        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
          Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

          No offence, upset or stroppiness was ever intended.
          Steve
          Bonus points for the word "stroppiness."
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  • Profile picture of the author Kunle Olomofe
    Thanks Dan. You're right about the examples. I pondered that but didn't want to sway the headlines people end up writing to be mere copies. Will consider adding them cos they could actually help.

    Was just trying to help those who need that kind of help and all this commotion gets thrown up. This forum is really a very odd place sometimes

    The point was he thought I was spamming didn't do his research or wait to see my clear intentions and jumped in with sage advice publicly that may have been better sent privately.

    I'm not new here have paid my dues and can post as I like within the forum rules so I resent such unfounded assumptions and silly self appointed forum policeing and personal attacks, it's just uncalled for. Anyway whatever. Said my piece and its nuf said.
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  • Kunle,

    Thank you!

    Personally I like Cliff note versions of topics.

    Everything is in bite size form and made sense to me.

    But like my sig says...
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    • Profile picture of the author Kunle Olomofe
      Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

      Kunle,

      Thank you!

      Personally I like Cliff note versions of topics.

      Everything is in bite size form and made sense to me.

      But like my sig says...
      Cheers. Yeah that was my aim with it. Have been writing for almost 20 yrs but headline writing was my issue until 2011 when I put those simple steps together for personal use and thot to share it. Glad you liked it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kunle Olomofe
    Great Steve. I deeply thank you. Pls let it be now so the thread can get back to its original purpose for those who need the advice I've shared. Cheers.
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  • Right then back on track, no swerving or detours.

    One thing that might help the good people put several of the "strategies" together is...

    You don't just have to use a "headline"

    You can of course do this.


    Preheadline

    Main Headline

    Subheadline


    Letting you proclaim several key points without making a rolling 67 word eye shattering monster.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Memetics
      Copywriters like to read things how they write them. One of the main principles of getting information across is to know your reader and "speak" to them in their own language.

      Your post is interesting but it's written in an academic format so won't naturally segue into the effortless flow of information beloved by the copywriting fraternity.

      It works both ways though. Any academic publishing a thesis headlined with the words :"One weird trick to..." would be remonstrated to the same extent.

      Don't worry though. Some things don't lend themselves to the structure of copywriting at all and a neutral format is all you can use to get the information across.
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