Sooo… I’m really sorry if I turn people off by this obnoxiously opinionated post. But… (I’m not really sorry).
A lot of people ask me how to write good post titles or headlines as they are trés important. Your headline is your chance to hook your reader into sales copy, get views with a guest post, and make sure your subscribers actually open your email.
The “how to” is a pretty common one and I’m no where near finished satirizing it.
Exhibit A: My very own title!
“How To”s work because every human being has a desire to make life (and business) easier, simpler, and more enjoyable. I mean, we all want that, right?
But here’s the thing with “how to’s”… you have (and always will have) your very own method and process. Period. Of everything you can be taught, there are methods that will work for you and methods that won’t. There’s a way I put it when I was a cute, little 18-year-old whipper snapper attending Lee Strasberg’s Theater Institute and studying “method” acting: The “method” is just one method.
Your craft, business, writing, speaking, workshop-leading, organizing + systematizing – your thang – is BIGGER than all the “methods.”
SO what happens when you try to make someone else’s method work for you? It’s kinda like putting on jeans that are two sizes too small. “Oh hell no! This ain’t happening!”
That said, here’s what you’re not gonna get in this article: a big fat list of headline templates that will help you sound like everyone else.
Here’s what you will get: a big, fat kick in the pants to examine what you’re writing about and why.
I recently downloaded something called “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” because even though I’m a pretty confident writer, I still have my “ack! what the fack!” moments. You actually can’t be in the first year of business and not have those moments. (It’s scientifically proven.) Plus, the more you know what’s out there and learn, the more you can provide smarter services for your clients – and just be more awesome, dammit!
You see? The “How To”s even work on me! (No one is immune, okay? No one.) I picked up the “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” list because I wanted all the trade secrets! And you know what happened?
NONE OF THE EXAMPLES WERE MAGNETIC to me.
None. They actually made me wanna do a shot of tequila with a chaser of an entire pizza, because that’s how much they bored and depressed me.
Exhibit B: Get Rid of Your Unproductive Work Habits Once and For All
I was all “Really? This is the best we can do with Magnetic?”
In the interest of keeping you “magnetic” (i.e. polarized, attractive and real), I would like to offer my own version of “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” that will empower you to create your very own method. You don’t need a form, because forms are fucking boring.
1. Be a magnetic person. Seriously. If you’re boring, I can’t help you. Chances are, you’re not a boring person. You just need a little push to write something that is from a place of passion and inspiration. If you’re uninspired you can pretty much bet that whoever reads your headline is going to be uninspired too. So write something you actually fucking care about. The end.
2. Offer shit people actually want and are interested in. Maybe no one gives a shit how you can kick an “unproductive habit” because they don’t want to be a factory of production. They just want to be a successful human. And sometimes they’re tired, or sick, or hungover (like me writing this post right now, I admit it) and no blog is going to alter the exact percentage decrease of productivity that day. Can anyone tell me why I would read a post about being productive when I’m trying to be productive? Nope. Didn’t think so. So stop wasting my time, headline!
3. Do the market research. This should be step one in everything you do. If you’re writing a post that is either a. uninspired or b. un-researched, just fucking stop. Because who is it for? Just you? Cool. Put it in a journal. This goes for copy and blog posts and it’s so important that I cannot believe how few of us actually do it. We’re too busy reading other people’s terrible headlines and wondering what ours should be. *Luckily for you guys, I have an awesome researcher I’m going to share with you once her services go live. So hold your breath, she will change your life.
4. Connect and build relationships and fucking listen to what people want. Seriously. If you thought this business was about you, think again. It’s about them. So once you have a list, ask them what they need and want. Once you have clients, follow up with them and see how you can be of service. Always put them before you and craft your writing and offerings around how you can help them.
In short, the key to writing headlines that attract:
- listen and offer what people actually want
- do the research
- come from a place of service, and most importantly
- be your magnetic self
Because if you aren’t feeling magnetic – or hot, or inspired – then your headlines won’t be either. So fix that shit first.
It’s YOUR job to make your work exciting. YOURS. Alone. It doesn’t happen when a particular client hires you. It doesn’t happen when you get 1,000 views on a particular article or get your blog tweeted 500 times. The work is still the work.
And if your work doesn’t excite you – it sure as fuck isn’t going to excite anyone else, and you won’t have magnetic anything. Least of all headlines.
Once you’re CLEAR on your client and actually listening, you’re ready for more than headlines, you’re ready to write an About Page that converts like gangbusters. Wanna grab up my FREE workbook that will walk you through HOW it’s done?
BOOM! Click here (or on the pic below) to get your copy!
With love and punk rock fairy dust,