Mister, This Is Your Headline Right Now Pigee Guitars Is Back!

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International Headline News

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Tips ... or Keys?

My original headline for today's Copyblogger post was 14 Tips for Writing Advertorials That Sell.

It was edited by the powers that be to: The 14 Keys to Writing Advertorials That Sell.*

Here's why I was wrong and why the new headline is better: it's more ultra-specific.

Remember the 4's of headlines? useful, unique, urgent, and ultra-specific. You'll rarely be able to get all four into your headline, but you should at least get two in there.

Clearly this post is useful. If all you do is see the byline -- by +Demian Farnworth  -- you know its useful. Plus, it promises the benefit right there at the end: advertorials that sell. Boom.

But here's why "keys" is better than "tips" ...

Because "keys" is inclusive and suggests a plan or system or formula to follow when writing advertorials. "Tips" could just be a random assortment of suggestions that you can pick and choose from. But Demian clearly lays this post out to be similar to the "11 essential ingredients of a blog post" piece we ran earlier this year. That is a set of ingredients, a grouping of elements that should all be included, not just a bunch of tips.

The word "keys" suggests this ... which is why it's more ultra-specific ... which is why it's the better choice for the headline.

+Sonia Simone rules.

What do you think?

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Perhaps the most important  #copywriting  community on G+ (and why you're missing out BIG TIME)

The way  #GooglePlus  leads you to the right connections knocks the wind clean out my sails (thankfully not sales) every day. My path to discovery of this community is yet another example.

The route here was:
• +Brian Jensen's profile »
• the public share of his post (http://goo.gl/wSSNAf, below) into the +***** Community (Content Marketing Community, if the + comes up with the ***) »
• the +Copyblogger article itself »
+Jerod Morris author box on said article »
• Jerod's "Posts" page on his G+ profile »
• A post on said page leading me here.

The reason I document the whole process is because headlines savvy enough to get me interested enough to click were laid out like the breadcrumbs that Hansel & Gretel left en route á la Chez Witch.

Metaphorically speaking, I ate up that trail like the inconsiderate birds in the Brothers' Grimm Fairy Tale. And here I iz.

I just hope that no one tries to fatten me up with chocolate and Belgian buns (who'm I kidding?) now that I'm here.

A big "Hello!" to everyone from Sunny Wolverhampton now that I'm here. Look forward to casting a hex or six here to weave the wizardry and witchcraft of the wordsmith. Have an amazing week! ☺

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Does Your Headline Need a Little Something Extra?

You will recognize a few of the headlines I wrote about in my latest edition of Headlines That Work ... because I posted them here. But #3 is new (and you won't want to miss it).

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A messy headline that still works. Why?

It's hooky as hell. And the content that follows is on the money.

Here it is ...

Why MLB hitters can't hit Jennie Finch and science behind reaction time

Straightaway, all the editors I've ever worked with are screaming for it to have the word 'the',  placed right before the word 'science'.

But I'm not arsed about that.

I'm scoped in on the specifics here. And the audience.

Let's break it down:

Opening with 'Why'
This promises me I am going to learn something that's probably new.

Using the abbreviation 'MLB'
Anybody who doesn't know what that stands for, isn't the target reader here.

What? These pros can't hit something?
I'm hooked.

That something is Jennie Finch?

But the headline doesn't stop there - it then promises to deliver the science behind reaction time ... just in case you haven't already clicked.

So, not only are you about to discover what the crap is going on and why these MLB hitters are messing up, you're also about to learn about reflexes.

What baseball fan (or sports fan) doesn't want to know that stuff?

Now, I don't care about the grammatical strike in this headline. I just love the major league specifics.

But what about you? Would you change it? And if so, how?

If you want to read the piece click here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20130724/the-sports-gene-excerpt/

-- Note: I personally didn't know who Jennie Finch was until reading the article, but David Epstein's readers (like the grown versions of the lads in the image below) are much more likely to know about her. Let me know if I'm wrong. --

Image credit: US National Archives (no known copyright restrictions)

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If this headline were a woman, I'd marry it

Because I love it so much.

It just gets right to the point with it's promise. And what Netflix user (a rapidly growing number of people, including myself) isn't going to immediately click on that? Especially if you've experienced an issue, which I have? 

Sometimes we overcomplicate this stuff. Just tell people exactly what they are going to learn, and if they're interested ... they will click! 

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One more reason why I have to see this movie ...

Kudos to Marcus Sheridan for this post and its headline. And since the G+ autofill headline below didn't do its job [shakes fist angrily], here is the headline:

The Best Example of Brand Storytelling Ever: The Lego Movie

Now, I do not like the whole "Best Ever" style of headlines anymore. I tend to find them tired, cliched, and lazy. BUT, I liked this one because Marcus actually chose to not rely on cliche and curiosity to drive aimless clicks. He makes the bold statement of "best example ever" and then tells us exactly what it is: The Lego Movie.

I think this is a brilliant move because he is capitalizing on the national buzz about The Lego Movie.

I haven't seen it, but I had a few separate conversations about it this weekend. So, naturally, when I saw this headline, clicking was irresistible. Basically, I wanted to see if my guess about what made The Lego Movie the "best example of brand storytelling ever" was the same as Marcus'. It was.

Well done Marcus.

What do you think?

Not a headline, but an observation

As I was scrolling through my feed today, I was taken aback by how often the term "content marketing" came up ... and how quickly my eyes just moved right on to the next headline.

I wonder if this is beginning to happen to other people. Is the term "content marketing" being used so often now that we're becoming blind to it or immune to it? (Or is this just a reflection of my feed, which is a reflection of my day job, and a sign that I need to diversify my feed sources!?)

Just curious what you all think. Because if "content marketing" blindness is starting to set in at all (again, just to the term but not the concept), would it be wise to start slipping in a different descriptive term into our headlines to differentiate, draw attention, and pique curiosity?

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This headline is so much better than the title of its source material

This headline sucked me right in today: How a Firm's Ethical Failure Can Increase Employee Satisfaction.

It should be easy to see why:

1) The old How _ Can __. Standard stuff (that works).

2) The contradiction jumps right off the screen and is curiosity-piquing: an ethical failure would not seem to compute with higher employee satisfaction. I needed to see the explanation.

But here is what I found especially interesting:

The headline for the source material (or, more specifically, the "Preface" for the study) is awful: Better than ever? Employee reactions to ethical failures in organizations, and the ethical recovery paradox

It begins with a question that offers no real context. It piques nothing. And the entire title is just too long and wordy; obtuse. I get tired head reading it, and I certainly wouldn't have clicked on it. And it doesn't give me anything more than a weak suggestion of a benefit for reading. Not enough to grab my attention. 

Luckily for the study authors, HBR.org knows what it's doing when it comes to headlines (they are consistently great) and will draw people to it.

What do you think of this headline?
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