The big news yesterday?
Blogging is finally being taken seriously.
The Federal Trade Commission announced that they will begin going after bloggers – as well as the companies that compensate them – for any false claims or failure to disclose compensation, free gifts, and other conflicts of interest.
This isn’t really a surprise.
You can write a headline in an infinite number of ways. However, certain types of headlines have proven themselves repeatedly for many years. By following the “formula” of these headlines, you can give yourself an edge when you are serious about persuading someone to read and respond to your copy.
The following 9 headline formulas are some of the easiest to write and the most powerful. When it comes time to write a headline, try one of these first. At the very least, this can give you a creative jumping off point to write a headline that works.
One thing any swashbuckling sailor needs is a good anchor.
Anchors are tricky things. Sure, they keep you from getting blown off course. But drop them at the wrong time and they can be a real drag.
It’s not just those sailing the seven seas who have trouble with anchors. In fact, knowing when and how to use an anchor effectively is a critical part of good copywriting.
So what’s a copywriting anchor?
Imagine for a moment you’re John Wayne. You know, a gun-toting, horse-whipping, tobacco-chewing kinda guy. A real cowboy.
Then imagine you have a blog (weird, I know). In this story though, your blog isn’t on the Internet. It has nothing to do with social media. Comments don’t exist. No, for the purposes of this post, your blog is something much simpler:
It’s your horse. And he’s dying.
They taught us about sharing and the letter Q. They taught us to jump rope in Spanish and how to count to 10. They taught us about life in the city, diversity, and the true love of a rubber ducky.
But did you know that Sesame Street actually has lots of lessons about how to be a better blogger?
There’s a reason Sesame Street is the longest-running children’s show in history. Actually, there are (at least) five reasons. And you can apply each of these to your blog, to create something that’s memorable, effective, and maybe even loved.
Let’s play pretend for a minute, shall we?
Let’s say you live in an old Italian Market. On your rounds as a door-to-door zucchini salesman, you drop in on two tailors’ shops that are quite different.
The first is run by Roberto Andolini, a very skilled tailor who has a ridiculous mustache and always greets you warmly, asking about your kids and your business. Roberto has a large collection of fountain pens and is always telling you about his latest acquisition.
Each time you see him, he cracks the same joke about making sure to keep the pens away from the clothes he’s tailoring. And each time he tells it, he’s so amused by his own hilarity that he uncorks a big, billowing laugh. You like Roberto very much.
When I was in law school, one of my professors—a no-nonsense New Yorker with a Harvard pedigree—liked to say that those of us who became trial attorneys would need to learn how to effectively communicate with a group of “shoe salesmen and janitors.”
That’s how he referred to juries.
Pretty brutal, I know. But his point was that despite all the high-level legal philosophy that was being jammed into our heads, we’d still have to learn to translate complex concepts into language an average person could understand.