How to Write a Killer Headline – A Lost Art Form in the Dirty World of Internet Marketing

Somewhere between keyword stuffing, article spinning and all the other sordid affairs of the desperate internet marketer, an art form has been lost.  What if I told you that spending an extra 5 minutes on your blog or article headline copy could make you 500%-800% more income from the display ads and/or product commissions written about within your articles?  Well, it’s true and no one knows this fact better than the late great “John Caples” and his 1927 advertising cult classic, “Tested Advertising Methods”.  Before you start whining and telling me that the online game has changed the marketing world so drastically that these ancient headline writing principles no longer hold up, I can assure you they hold up better now than ever.  In this post I’m going to try and convince you that you need to stop thinking you’re being sneaky with your headlines and start writing killer headlines to convert more REAL PEOPLE into REAL BUYERS.

Tips to Write Killer HeadlinesEarn More With Killer HeadLines

How Do You Go About Writing Your Article Headlines?

If you’re like most internet marketers you’ll write your page title and article headline something like this:

Learn2Garden.com – A Beginners Guide to Gardening – Grow Your Own Garden

I’m not sure which self proclaimed “guru” it was that told everyone it was a good idea to put your page titles in the format of “url – bunch of keywords – bunch of LSI keywords” but I swear every half assed guide and IM that I’ve ever met swears by this strange method of titling their pages and their article headlines.  If you type in a phrase into the search bar you’ll see what I’m talking about.  Somewhere along the line IM’ers started writing headlines for the search engines and not for actual people.  Good old John Caples would be turning over in his grave if he saw what a boring, monotone landscape the internet has become.  What you need to realize is that the advent of the internet allows you to get your message in front of millions of users – a huge advantage to you and I that the average writer never could have dreamed of back in the 1920’s.  So stop wasting your quality articles with shoddy headlines that are setting your projects up for failure before they even have a chance.

Why Are Intriguing Headlines Important in Today’s Digital World?

When you’re at the grocery store checking out, what do you do?  If you’re like most people your eye gravitates to the many shiny publications the grocer has placed in front of you to try and up sell you on your way out.  The writers and marketers for these publications understand very well why it’s important to put a head turning headline on their cover which will make you pick up their magazine and stand out from the others.  COSMO magazine has done such a good job of it that they’ve convinced all the cattle that wander through the checkout lane that they have 5 new secrets for the bedroom each month that are different than the past 10,000 bedroom secrets they’ve been writing about each month for the past 20 years.  It’s not that there’s anything new in the magazine that month, it’s the way they write the headline that gets you to pick up their magazine – even though deep down you know there’s nothing new of quality under that shiny cover.

Which magazine would you be more inclined to pick up?

“5 Secrets for the Bedroom – Get them here”

OR

“5 Secrets for the Bedroom That We Can Promise You her Ex Never Knew” (I’m serious… I actually saw that on a cover.)

That second headline is telling your subconscious that you’ll be able to provide an experience for your loved one that all their past lovers could not.  It’s touching on jealousy, envy and most importantly, the deep down insecurities of the reader and our primal instinct to ward off other suitors.  Surely your loved one would never leave you if you can prove you’re the best sexual partner they ever had.  All of these thoughts pass through the human brain in a fraction of a second and cause your hand to reach over and pick up that magazine and add it to all the other items in your cart waiting to be scanned.

Now take that same process and apply it to everything else we’re involved in as Internet Marketers.

  • Post/Article Headlines
  • YouTube Videos
  • Email Subjects
  • Press Releases

Now imagine 500%-800% more traffic from each of those resources and you can see why focusing on your headlines can be such a benefit to your online revenue stream.

Killer Headline Writing Examples and Tips

There’s never one single formula for writing a killer headline as your subject matter can vary so drastically but I’ll give you a few bits of advice to get you started.  Once you begin to really “get it” you can mix and match styles to create killer headlines on steroids that convert like crazy.  I’ll stick with the gardening niche instead of the COSMO headlines to keep you all from blushing too much.

Style 1 – The Secret

This style is perhaps the most effective at getting click through’s and relies on the centuries old tradition of offering something to the reader that they may have never heard of before (or with a twist).

Example 1: “I thought I knew everything about gardening until I discovered this clever secret”
Example 2: “If I only knew this trick last year my garden would have produced twice as much”

Style 2 – The Scare

Ahhh, the age old “read this first” scare tactic.  If done properly and sparingly, these articles can quickly become top converters in your arsenal.

Example 1: “Can you trust the food coming out of your garden?  Learn what I discovered the hard way”
Example 2: “Discover the big garden fertilizer myth and why you could be putting your family at risk”

Style 3 – The Quick Reward

The quick reward indicates to the reader that the article topic or instruction is short and sweet (easily digestible reading) and will have a very big reward for that little bit of effort.

Example 1: “5 Simple Steps to Get Your Garden Producing Late into the Year”
Example 2: “3 Easy Winter Gardening Projects to Double your Bounty in the Spring”

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Now that you’ve got the basics down of writing killer headlines you now need to make sure you write the article to live up to the hype.  Excite the reader with a killer headline and let them down with the copy and you just lost yourself a potential lifetime hungry buyer.  On the other hand, if you live up to the hype then your article will get a “social like” or “share”, they’ll click on your ad, buy the product you’ve recommended and then sign up to receive updates so you can repeat the buying cycle with them in the future.  What are you waiting for?  Go write down 5 ideas for killer headlines and get to writing today!

Gaurav Heera

Do you have a killer headline that has converted like crazy for your site?  Show off a little and share it with us below.

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