The Cosmo Headline Technique for Content Inspiration

Beyonce Cosmopolitan Cover

Ever come up completely blank for a blog topic?

You’re itching to get a quality post out, something that attracts attention and enhances your blogging profile. But you just can’t seem to come up with anything compelling.

Here’s a technique that may work for you, and you’ll owe your success to that bastion of respectable women’s journalism, Cosmopolitan.

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The Problem with Waffly Headlines

Waffle

Headline writing is an art, right?

No it’s not. But you can’t have waffle.

So how would you define waffly-headlines? Waffly headlines have terms like this:

Does your office have workplace-stress?

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Clever vs. Descriptive Headlines:
Which Works Better?

Manga in Wired

I have a confession.

I absolutely love clever word play.

Puns, turns of phrases, neologisms, Spoonerisms, etc… I love them all.

I just don’t use them in headlines.

Browsing through the latest issue of Wired (yes, the actual paper magazine!), I noticed the title of the feature article by Dan Pink on Manga, the Japanese illustration style for comics.

Japan, Ink.

Now that’s a really clever title. The use of a homonym to make reference to the corporate dominance Japan enjoyed in the 1980s in the context of Manga made me smile. And I would expect no less from Mr. Pink.

But you wouldn’t want to use that as an attraction headline on the cover. And that’s why Wired didn’t.

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Warning: Use These 5 Headline Formulas at Your Own Risk

Magnetic Headline Formulas

There’s no doubt that my previous two posts on headline formulas have been extremely popular. But they’ve also caused me to take a lot of flak.

First off, you still have the doubters who wonder if 80-year-old headline structures can possibly work in the modern social media environment. Truth is, I used one such structure for a post this summer that received over 1,600 Diggs, while also making an appearance on just about every social media news site around and bringing in over 70,000 unique visitors.

And I never had a doubt that it would work. Why?

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The Persuasive Power of Specificity

Bullseye

Which one of these headlines works best?

  • How to Get 6,312 Subscribers to Your Business Blog in One Day
  • How to Get Over 6,000 Subscribers to Your Business Blog in One Day
  • How to Get a Torrent of Subscribers to Your Business Blog in One Day

Most of us would choose the first as Brian did in his recent article. Why?

This is one prime example of the power of specificity in copywriting.

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Are You Writing Headlines That Sell? Stop!

stop sign

Are you stressing over writing killer headlines?

Do you write your copy and then agonize, tweak, and rewrite the headline, only to rewrite it again?

Do you often go so far as to publish your article or sales page even though you’re still not sure the headline is the best it can be?

Well, you’re not alone. People who know how important headlines are often do overly dwell on them, and for good reason.

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