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Head Banger's Ball - The Key To Writing Perfect Headlines
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Remember the movie "Field Of Dreams"? A voice from beyond whispers, "if you build it, they will come". Kevin Costner, questioning his sanity, searches for the truth and finally with the help of James Earl Jones, reaches a cosmic conclusion. A ball field is built in the middle of nowhere and the ghosts of yesteryear gather to play a final game set somewhere in "The Twilight Zone".
Great entertainment, but the statement "if you build it, they will come" while holding truth for Kevin Costner, would be very bad advice for someone desiring success on the net. Simply stated, if you build it, hardly anyone will come unless they know it is there in the first place, and then only if you offer them something of value.
With literally millions of choices, many of them excellent, your site or offer has to stand up shout "LOOK AT ME" and then you better deliver on your promises, or you will literally be left stranded in a "virtual desert" with no oasis in sight.
The idea of writing the perfect headline, is of course only one ingredient in your "internet success cookbook" but it's an important one. When a potential customer is scanning classified ads, or looking at a list of sites on the popular search engines, you have only scant seconds to grab their attention. If you don't, you won't. Why? They will have already clicked on another link and your opportunity to gain their attention will be gone.
I don't mean to paint a picture of gloom, just reality, advertising is both an art and a science. It can be learned and MUST be practiced. So, that said, let's take a look at some of the ingredients that make up a good headline.
Keywords and keyphrases and crucial to you search engine placement and your headline.
YOU'LL LOVE THIS
FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
THE BEST KEPT SECRET
MUST SEE TO BELIEVE
The secret though, is using one or more of the above words or phrases in a new and innovative way. Whatever you're selling or offering, first and foremost, believe in it. If you do, you'll be communicating sincere thoughts and not hype. Sincerity can and does come through in your ad copy, in fact it must. All this takes is practice and experimentation.
STEP ONE. Practice. Write your ad copy using one or more of the above words or phrases, but don't do it once, do it multiple times. Ask friends and associates which one sounds the best and which communicates your idea in a way that would make them want to know more. Use the best of these suggestions, then write your amended copy.
STEP TWO. Testing. There is no better formula for success than testing. You could spend thousands of dollars on the wrong ad and generate next to nothing or significantly less money on the RIGHT ad and net a fortune.
Write for immediate action. Use words that will call the reader to action.
Strive for creativity. You should paint or convey a particular frame of mind or emotion.
Don't try to be cute or clever, communicate your ideas clearly.
Use strong verbs where you can.
Make every word count.
Try to identify with the reader, put yourself in their shoes and imagine yourself reading that particular headline.
Sell the sizzle but not the sausage. Meaning, draw the reader in but don't give away the whole offer up front.
You don't buy coal you buy heat;
You don't buy circus tickets, you buy thrills;
You don't buy a paper, you buy news;
You don't buy spectacles, you buy vision.
Promise a benefit and provoke curiosity.
You must give the impression that you will solve their problem
Sell one idea at a time. Hook them first, then you can expand your ideas in the body of your offer or web site.
DON'T WRITE YOUR HEADLINE IN ALL CAPS. No only is that considered shouting in the internet world, it's ALSO VERY DIFFICULT TO READ.
Don't make the reader think, make him/her take action.
Make it believable.
Make it interesting and compelling.
Fulfill a dream.
Arouse curiosity with sub-headings.
Use abstract numbers when possible. An ever popular topic is losing weight and making money, two (or I should say 2) tasks that effect nearly everyone.
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