Headline Remix Madness – Part Two

This is the second installment of the headline remix series. You submitted content, I’m rewriting select titles and telling you why.

If you missed Part One it’s here. Otherwise, let’s carry on, shall we?

1. The Secret Selling Power of Color

Original Headline: Colors for Marketing

Reasoning:

In this case, the original headline communicated what the post was about, but I thought it could use a bit of jazzing up. I went with the old stand-by “The Secret of…” format since this information is not generally well known, and employed more vivid wording. While you want to avoid hyperbole, understatement is often not the most effective approach.

2. Discover New Music That’s Perfect for You

Original Headline: Discovering Music That You Like

Reasoning:

It’s hard to go wrong when you start a headline with the word “discover,” but discovering is a bit too unassertive here. Also, while “new” is implied, the headline gains a bit of momentum by its express inclusion. Finally, music that you “like” seems less than earth shattering. Speaking to the individual tastes and preferences of the reader in a general sense seems to be the best approach given that we don’t know what those tastes and preferences are.

3. Managing Remote Employees in a Rapid Growth Company

Original Headline: Remote Employees in Rapid Growth

Reasoning:

At first blush, I thought this piece was about the rapid growth of the remote employee sector of the workforce. But once I dove into the content, I realized that “rapid growth” meant a fast-growing company, and how the demands of that environment necessitate the use of remote employees based on geographic and economic constraints. The new headline isn’t terribly sexy, but it gets the point across to the target audience. The content was a bit neutral, so I didn’t go with something more results oriented, such as Thriving With Remote Employees in a Rapid Growth Environment.

4. Paper Trading: Nothing to Lose, Nothing to Learn

Original Headline: Trade for Real

Reasoning:

Here’s an instance where the original headline makes sense after you read the article. Remember, the job of the headline is simply to get someone to start reading the content, so you want to communicate enough information to make that happen. In this case, I tried to communicate the gist of the content message using a definition style headline and a symmetrical follow-up that was a bit provocative.

5. The Art of Traveling Light

Original Headline: Packing for Travel

Reasoning:

There are likely many ways to approach the headline for this piece, but I went with this one to demonstrate a tip that many copywriters live by. Even if you write your headline first, you may find inspiration for a better one in the body content after you’ve finished. In this case, the inspiration was in the opening paragraph, specifically the second sentence:

For the rest of us, well, traveling light is an art form.

Anyone can pack for travel. What we all want to know is how to do it well. And in this case, packing well means the subtle art of taking only that which is necessary and nothing more. I’ve forwarded this post to my wife. ;)

I’ll do some more either tomorrow or over the weekend. Ciao for now!

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Comments

  1. I like the new title and I will revisit the article using this headline. Thanks again!

  2. Nice work Brian. Did you get a chance to look at the headline I sent for Interspire.com?

  3. Thanks Brian – I’ll definitely be editing the post to reflect the new title.

  4. As usual you do wonderful work with headlines.

    Can I interest you in writing about 50 for me and then I’ll just write some posts to fit ;-)

    Like these yoda do.

  5. Brian;

    The Art of Traveling Light kind of threw me.

    I first visualized ‘light’ traveling in some colorful way.

    Not sure it was an intentional play on words or not.

    Mike

  6. Michael, yes, I see that now.

    Hmmm… “packing light” would clear that up, and still work I think.

  7. Glad you “see the light” :)

  8. Thanks, I always focused on accuracy but I see the wow factor is just as important.

  9. i understand the enforcement words’ role and i agree with your proposals.

    i have one question though:
    is there a size limit for the headline?
    is there an “should not exceed” number of character or words?

    thanks,
    if you have time, please take webee into consideration for headline madness ;)

  10. Thanks!

    I’m definitely giving this article a once-over and will update the title too.

    Brilliant :)

  11. I’ve a question: wouldn’t the copy in the original articles’ titles be more likely to be found in a web search?

    If someone was searching for ‘how to pack for vacation’ or something similar, wouldn’t that be more relevant? As Michael suggested, you’d probably find you get clickthroughs from people searching for information on relativity theory!

    Thanks, though, good article, raises some interesting questions.

  12. Thanks a lot Brian! Indeed, I do have a tendency to make my claims “less than earth shattering”. :)

    I changed my title according to your suggestion.

    By the way, what would you think of the variation “Discover New Music That You Love”? I think “Love” might have a more emotional approach that might fit to the musical topic.

  13. Dan, that’s an interesting question. The tough thing about that is whether the page would rank. Unless the site has a lot of link authority, probably not. So writing headlines with search engines in mind is a futile exercise. What you may want to do is write for people first, try to attract some links to the page, then change the title later to focus on keywords. I wasn’t focusing on keywords for this exercise, as that would require me to do keyword research.

    Flo, I think “love” works too. :)

  14. These are great.

    Really helps me to think outside the box a little to make my articles more interesting and exciting.

  15. Thanks for the good headline tips. I can see how careful wording would make someone want to read the article. I appreciate your tips.

  16. Brian. This is a bit off the topic of the post, but since it’s come up, it’s something I’ve often wondered about.

    If you change the title of a post after you have some incoming links wouldn’t that break those links?

    And if you changed the title but kept the post slug the same as before, that would allow the links to stay active, but not provide the url hook for the search engines as Dan mentioned.

    Just wondering.

    And I must say that this round of changes is superb!

  17. Edward, when you change the title later, the URL (post slug in WP) is not affected, so the links would be fine.

  18. so in essence make things flashy and dont exactly tell what the blog is about
    but do
    lol

  19. Well, not exactly, Broc. No worries, we’ll keep trying.

  20. This post and your website have really helped me – and of course, I now subscribe. Do you plan on doing more of these re-do’s?? I hope so!

  21. I updated the article today with your suggested title: http://www.chrisperruna.com/2007/03/19/paper-trading-nothing-to-lose-nothing-to-learn/

    Thank You!

  22. Brian – I like to save the headlines for last. Just like the cherry on an ice cream sundae. Plus they’re easier to write that way. There are so many options once it’s all written.

    I used to just put in a mock headline to start things off before I wrote my article. Now I just write the body of the article like a headless horseman and the headlines come out just fine. Thanks for these remixes. I enjoyed them.

    Lisa