Are you displaying the message that your site visitors are looking for the instant they land on your blog? The one that lets them know they’re in the right place?
That’s your tagline. It’s what instantly communicates to people that you’re the resource that addresses their problem from a general standpoint.
No matter what the specific urgent need, people will look for a general signpost that says “Welcome, you’re in the right place and heading in the right direction.” This has to happen before anyone subscribes or buys, and even before anyone devotes time to reading your content.
Copyblogger contributor Sean D’Souza came up with an interesting analogy for this situation, and he drew that fantastic cartoon you see above (Sean’s new blog features his cartoons in every post… it’s fantastic).
Basically, Sean says that even if someone who steps off a plane has an urgent “call to nature,” they’ll still look for a more general sign (baggage claim) first to make sure they’re heading in the right direction before looking for the bathrooms.
Sean then gives the prescription for a tagline that works:
That tagline needs to be ‘un-clever.’
It needs to tell me quickly what you do.
It doesn’t need some cutesy-pie line. Or some vague line.
Tell me in plain English what you do. What problem you solve. What solution you bring.
You saw similar advice from James Chartrand a while back in his article about taglines. The amazing thing about that post is that the comment section turned into a tagline-writing clinic, with James and Roberta Rosenberg (and even other readers) offering specific tagline suggestions for those who requested help.
I spoke with James, and he’s agreed to do another tagline clinic, right here in the comments of this post. Maybe Roberta (or even Sean) will stop by to help… you never know.
So, if you’re struggling to write a killer tagline for your blog or other online project, stop by today and ask for help. Hopefully things don’t get out of control.