How to write good headlines

If you want excel as a copywriter you MUST master the art of writing good headlines.

But before I give you professional advice about writing headlines I have a question for you…

Do you know what the purpose of a headline is?

If you said anything other than, “To get the reader to read the first sentence of the article,” then you’re wrong. It’s OK, don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that but do yourself and your copywriting a favor and commit this fundamental lesson to memory. Master it and you really will be on your way to having your wildest copywriting dreams come true.

Advertising Secrets of the Written Word

I learned this truth from legendary copywriter Joseph Sugarman. He repeats this maxim several times in his book Advertising Secrets of the Written Word (a great book about copywriting by thy way). And I’ve also learned that headlines are what make magazines like Cosmo and The National Enquirer millions of dollars each year.

But don’t just take their advice, think about it for yourself. It doesn’t matter how good your blog post, article or newsletter is if nobody ever reads it! You could have Mr. Sugarman himself write the article but if the headline fails to get anyone to read the first sentence — all is lost.

 

How long should you spend developing a headline?

Some copywriters suggest spending as much time crafting a powerful headline as you do on the entire article. Now that may sound like overkill but is it? I would say if nobody reads your article then writing it would be overkill.

You may not spend an hour crafting your headline but do you even spend five minutes? How would your copywriting improve if you increased your headline time to 10 or even 15 minutes?

I realize you’re busy but if you’re going to take the time to write professionally then do it right. Otherwise, hire someone who will.

Stay tuned, because in my next post I’ll share some practical tips about headline copywriting. But until then I want you to spend more time than you normally do on writing a headline. See what happens.

About Josh Monen

Josh is a direct response copywriter and marketing strategist who makes a living by achieving remarkable results for his clients. His unique understanding of human psychology and marketing principles make him a valuable asset to the clients he serves.

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8 Responses to “Learn How To Write Good Headlines and All Your Wildest Copywriting Dreams Will Come True”

  1. Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog September 24, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    Good points Joshua. Often, people ONLY read the headline, and it better be strong enough to leave an impression that brings them back to your site, or you’ve missed a golden opportunity!

    • jmonen September 24, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      Thanks Ruth. You’re absolutely right!

  2. Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing September 25, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    I’d retweet this…but I can’t see how to do it!

    • jmonen September 25, 2011 at 4:54 am #

      Thank you Carol.

      I know, I know. I need to add the social media sharing options to my posts along with an About the Author box. It just moved up on my priority list! Thanks.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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