Given the horrendous week this has been (don’t ask), I could only get to 5 for now, since providing my rationale for the changes that are made is important, too.
But I think we’ll also likely do this on a regular basis if you find it useful.
So let me know, ok?
Original headline: 12 steps to a sound sleep and lively wake up
- It’s usually not ideal to start a headline with “12 steps…” due to the negative connotation created by Alcoholics Anonymous and similar recovery programs.
- Even without the “how to” or “list” format up front, starting off with a strong, action-oriented lead catches attention (Wake up!).
- Make a beneficial promise by using the words “this” or “these” in reference to the content, and people will be more inclined to actually look to see what the tips are—the hint of specificity creates heightened curiosity.
Original headline: Why are you scaring your customers?
- While intriguing, the original headline didn’t give enough information to the prospective reader.
- Adding in a solution (which the bulk of the post actually provides) should definitely be in the headline. That’s the true benefit of reading.
- Using the lead-off “why” in the form of a statement can often be more powerful than the question format.
Original headline: Neat way to organize and find anything in your purse instantly!
- This is a perfect example of a good headline that becomes better simply by using “how to.”
- “Organize” sounds like work, while “find” is the real benefit.
- “Instantly” is a trigger word, so use it sooner rather than later.
Original headline: You’ve Only Got 30 Seconds or 20 Words…
- I like the original headline—it’s constructed well and the use of the ellipsis heightens the curiosity factor.
- My approach applies a bit more specificity, which tends to increase the drawing power.
- It also provides more information about the general topic of the post, which helps with non-regular readers and offsite avenues such as Digg and Delicious.
Original headline: This Idaho School Needs Your Help! Please Read This Post!
- Seriously, it’s ridiculous to think that if only 100 people who read Copyblogger gave up their coffee for one day and gave this school a mere five bucks, these kids could have some books they desperately need to effectively learn.
- I’m not kidding. I’ll be happy to not only personally contribute, but to also coordinate a donation fund to buy books for this school.
- Let’s do this. Send me email if you want to contribute, and I’ll run the donations though a trust account, and tell everyone what a generous soul you are.
- Or, send money directly to the school at the address listed in the post.
UPDATE: Thanks to Patrick Gavin of Text Link Ads for donating $500 to Pierce Elementary School in Idaho so they can buy an updated set of World Book Encyclopedias. I’ll make up the difference, so you guys are off the hook (unless you would like to donate directly or buy books and ship to them, which I strongly encourage). Thanks!
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