Magazine Headline Remix: Details Edition

Details Magazine

People seemed to have a lot of fun with the Cosmo headline challenge for content inspiration, so let’s do it again. In the interest of balance, this time we’ll pick on metrosexual men’s magazine Details and see what we can come up with from the headlines on the cover.

As with last time, I’ll hand out headline assignments to various bloggers to see if they can produce the corresponding post. Also as with last time, everyone else is free to join in. Simply drop the link to your post that uses a modified version of one of the original Details headlines, and I’ll do a link roundup of everyone who plays along.

So, let’s get started writing some headlines that will make even David Beckham look away from the mirror. Well, maybe that’s a stretch… but you get the idea.

Details Headline – “27 Secrets to Dressing Like a Leading Man”

Mike Sigers aspires to be the king of the audio interview, or as I call him, the Larry King of the South. Can you knock this one out, Mike?

27 Secrets to Interviewing Like Larry King

You don’t have to come up with 27 if, you know, you need to wimp out. No pressure. :-)

Details Headline – “It’s Time to Break Up With Your Boss”

Hmmm… this is a headline that’s adaptable to almost any situation involving discontent.

Steven Bradley, how about this one?

It’s Time to Break Up With Your Web Host

This is like the Pepsi Challenge of web hosting. And if you’re too young to remember the Pepsi Challenge, catch Pulp Fiction for the reference.

Details Headline – “The Jeans No Man Should Ever Own”

Skellie has her head together when it comes to smart blogging, so I’d like to see this one from her:

The Five Posts No Blogger Should Ever Write

As for the jeans, I’m positive my vintage Marty Mcfly Guess? ensemble will be back in style this year. Seriously.

Details Headline – “Worry Nation: Is Anxiety Taking Over Your Life?”

Jon Morrow knows that even troubled economic times present opportunities to make money for those who pay attention. Jon, how about this one?

Recession Nation: Are Money Worries Causing You to Miss Out?

I can’t think of anything witty to say here, so at least I’m consistent.

Details Headline – “Make Going Gray Sexy”

Let’s leave this one open for the taking. The whole key to this headline is the contrast between the subject and the ending adjective. It can be a bit tough to work with a four-word structure, but sometimes the constraint will lead to headline gold.

Some ideas:

  • Make Geeking Out Cool
  • Make Family Reunions Fun
  • Make Insurance Seminars Interesting

Um, I’m quite sure someone out there can do better than that. Have fun, and don’t forget to drop your link in the comment section in the next week or so.

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Reader Comments (61)

  1. says

    Ha, fun! I just dropped a comment in the Cosmo post about using “The Most Satisfying Marketing Position” the other day.

    Think I’ll wander off and start posting something along the lines of “Make Compassion Competitive.” Or maybe “Make Competition Compassionate.”

  2. says

    It looks like I’ve been challenged to write a post worthy of a headline. Good timing as I was just about to generate some ideas for a post tomorrow. I guess I now have a topic.

  3. says

    Mark I like it. Good advice.

    Sonia, this is totally true: I was going to assign the last one to you and offer this angle:

    Make Bald Your Brand: The Seth Godin Story

    But then I thought, don’t we talk about that guy enough? :-)

    Steven, sorry for the “ph” instead of “v” in your first name. Fixed.

  4. says

    Great post on the benefits of writing tantalizing headlines.

    Loved what I’ve seen so far….many of them captured my attention, brought a magical smile to my face, and made me want to Click.

  5. says

    Uuf, sooo many ideas… Make sitting in traffic fun! Make eating chocolate painless! Make public speaking pleasurable!

    I march on… great post as usual…

    Thanks Brian!
    Pam :)

  6. says

    Whew! Here’s my 27 Secrets to Linking Like a Master Networker.

    I thought it would be a real challenge, but it was actually great, writing a post with so many points, because it really helped me think creatively and add beyond where I might normally go.

  7. says

    Oh God. Details aka “27 ways to be a bigger douchbag that you already are” magazine. I abhor Details, yet I get it in the mail because some guy a year ago came to the house selling them (Office Space style) and I wanted to help him out.

    So now because I wanted to get some guy off crack, I dry heave when I open my mailbox once a month.

    Eh, at least it’s useful for headlines.

  8. says

    Wow. Just wanted to post an update on what an effective strategy this has been.

    To date, since I posted my article for this activity, it’s become my site’s most popular content (now accounting for about 20% of the lifetime traffic to my two-month-old blog), hit StumbleUpon top business content pages, and added some great members to my community.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. says

    I’ve come up with the following ideas, some of which I like more than others:

    27 Secrets to Working Out Like a Fitness Pro
    It’s Time to Break Up With Your Trainer (or Gym)
    The Five Exercises Nobody Should Ever Do
    Obese Nation: Is Your Weight Causing You to Miss Out?
    Make Exercise Sexy

    Thanks for the ideas! :-)

  10. Clare says

    Brian–
    This is a WONDERFUL site. Great work–excellent mix of helpful, inspiring, and funny. I am afraid to quit my day job and launch a freelance writing career, but you have some good posts here that I am chewing thoroughly…thanks!

    BTW, see if you can guess what my day job is from my entry in the headline challenge:

    Five Things You Should Never Say to a Pet Owner in the Exam Room

    5 – Sure, I remember your cat, Fluffy. She tried to claw my face off last time she was here.

    4 – The surgery went very well, and we found the cause of the intestinal obstruction–evidently he ate something from your underwear drawer.

    3 – Phew! What stinks in here?

    2 – Thanks for bringing in the stool specimen. Do you want your Tupperware back?

    1 – This is the ugliest puppy I have ever seen.

  11. says

    I’m about 2 years late reading this post but I will challenge myself to write an article about the above headlines to give me the opportunity to improve them.


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