What Prince Can Teach You About Effective Blogging

Back in 1985, Tipper Gore founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), which eventually led to those “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” labels we all know and love.

What set her off?

She heard the song Darling Nikki by Prince.

Now, while that tune is certainly provocative, who knows how poor Tipper would have reacted if she had first heard Let’s Pretend We’re Married from Prince’s earlier album 1999, or pretty much any song from 1980’s Dirty Mind. And what must she think of some of today’s music, which makes Prince look tame in comparison?

Meanwhile, today Prince is still blowing the roof off of packed stadiums, based largely on the one constant in his career—musical genius.

These days, his show is purely PG-13, with no warning stickers required. He doesn’t play Darling Nikki anymore, nor does he even curse.

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7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work

image of magnetic headlines

Since people truly seemed to find my 10 Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work useful for coming up with headlines and post titles that don’t follow the typical “how to” and “list” conventions, I thought I’d share a few more.

So here are 7 more sure-fire headline templates that will work when you’re aiming to score more readers:

1. Give Me [short time period] and I’ll Give You [blank].

This headline promises a strong benefit to the reader, like all good headlines do. But this one is especially effective because it promises to deliver in a very short time period.

2. If You Don’t [blank] Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.

We love to belong, but feeling excluded is a real bummer. Whether it be a financial opportunity or the social event of the year, we simply hate it when we get left out.

  • If You’re Out of the Market Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
  • If You’re Not at SXSW 2007, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.
  • If You Don’t Edit Your .htaccess Now, Google Will Hate You Later.

3. The Lazy [blank’s] Way to [blank].

This headline has always worked well with time-pressured people, and that’s certainly true for most people today. No one likes to think of themselves as lazy, but everyone likes to save time and effort.

  • The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches.
  • The Lazy Dad’s Way to Quickly Getting Dinner on the Table.
  • The Lazy Blogger’s Way to Write Great Post Titles.

4. Do You Recognize the [number] Early Warning Signs of [blank]?

OK, technically this is still a list, but it’s wrapped up in a much more compelling structure than your typical “Top 10” article. People want to avoid problems, and this headline promises the critical tips before it’s too late.

  • Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure?
  • Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of an Employee Meltdown?
  • Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of Digg Addiction?

5. See How Easily You Can [desirable result].

We love quick and easy when it comes to learning something new or gaining some advantage.

  • See How Easily You Can Learn to Dance This New Way.
  • See How Easily You Can Own a Lamborghini Miura.
  • See How Easily You Can Increase Traffic With Social Media.

6. You Don’t Have to Be [something challenging] to be [desired result].

People almost always have preconceived notions about things, and this can be a barrier to taking action. Remove the barrier that stands between them and the desired result with your headline, and people will flock to read what you have to say.

  • You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Retire on a Guaranteed Income for Life.
  • You Don’t Have to Be a Geek to Make Money Online.
  • You Don’t Have to Be an A-Lister to Be a Kick-Ass Blogger.

7. Do You Make These Mistakes?

This is always a powerful attention grabber, since no one likes to make mistakes. If you’ve targeted your content well for your intended audience, helping people avoid common mistakes is a sure-fire winner with this type of headline.

Find these headline templates useful? Bookmark this page at del.icio.us for future reference. :)

For more headline advice, check out the Magnetic Headlines series.

About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger, CEO of Copyblogger Media, and Editor-in-Chief of Entreproducer. Get more from Brian on Google+.