How to Write a Headline that Sells

Your headline is the single most important sentence of your entire Post. The rest of the page may be alluring. But without a strong headline, potential customers might never get that far. So, it makes sense that the process for writing your headline is different than for writing the post. Since it pulls the most weight of all the sentences, it requires special attention. Your headline’s sole purpose is to get that reader to read more. It must captivate the reader immediately and give a strong reason to keep on reading. You have about three seconds to get their attention with that headline. If you craft it well, that will buy you a whole minute to sell them.  So, let’s learn how to write a headline that does its job capturing the hearts and minds of your readers.

“Write 100 Headlines, Then Choose One”

World class copywriters will write as many as 100 headlines for a sales letter they’re working on. Only after completing all the headlines do they make a final selection. Now, if that is their practice, given all their experience and expertise, it should be ours as well. One key to success is to model what off of what works. Yes, 100 headlines may sound extreme. Yes, it takes time. Yet, if that is the habit of the top-notch pros, we should follow their example. Because you’re writing so many of them doesn’t mean you should put less effort into each one though. No point slapping together any old headline just to hit 100 of them. Each one of those 100 headlines requires your full attention and effort. The bottom line is if you want your business to succeed you need to create top-notch posts. That copy starts with an amazing headline. Follow the process the pros use and your headlines will be that much more powerful. you’ll grow in your ability to think creatively, on demand. It will take less and less each time. Remember never dismiss hours of contemplation and creative thinking as a waste of time. You are training your mind for success.

Use a Combo of Original and Swiped Ideas

Swiped ideas? Isn’t that unethical? Nope, it’s okay. Actually, having a great swipe file is essential to writing great sales copy, so it is more than okay You need to do it. Again, we want to do what the pros do. The best copywriters in the world use both their original ideas and swiped concepts. Using a concept and flat out stealing a headline is not the same thing. Augmenting concepts  If you don’t already have one is a good means to an end. start a swipe file now, you never know when a title with a few little tweaks will take off. Headlines come in so many different forms.  Headlines can be benefit-driven, shocking, humorous, factual. They can convey storytelling, questions, and comparisons. By developing and using quality swipe files, you’ll come up with headlines in formats you might not have even thought of on your own. Spend some time studying the headlines of successful copywriters you respect. There is so much to learn lurking in the background. Observing the habits of those who are the best in the business observe, take notes, and do as they do.

Work on Your Headline Over Time

Crafting an effective headline is not something you do in one sitting. Before you even begin work on your sales page, write a few headlines. Then work on the content of the post for a bit and write a few more. Now, go back to the post create some more headlines…and keep repeating the process. Once you’re finished with the sales letter, write even more headlines.  

Are you nearing 100 yet?

Don’t despair, here is another excellent way to discover new headlines. As you are working on the creation of the post your mind will be gestating. Different ideas at different stages of the process will come to you. You want to use that to your advantage. As you are writing, jot down your best ideas that you generated from each section of the page. When you’re done with your sales letter, take those ideas and use them to create more headlines. Use them for you for your list of options.

Let’s Look at That List of Headlines

By now, you should have a decent list of headlines to choose from. You brainstormed beforehand, then created headlines along the way. Finally, you take the ideas you jotted down as you wrote and craft, even more, headlines from them. What if you don’t have anywhere near the goal of 100 headlines and feel tapped out? Give it a break and come back to it later in the day. If you still can’t reach that goal, don’t beat yourself up, remember not to kick the puppy.  You will grow in the process and the more you write headlines, the easier it will get. Strive for progress. Baby steps count as long as you are moving forward. If you normally write two headlines, double it and be proud. Then aim to double it again.

The Selection of Your Final Headline

Now, once you’ve written out a wide range of headlines in the different formats, you need to walk away. If only for a moment or two. What this will do for you is to help sever any connection you might have developed during the writing.  That makes the selection of that final headline a little easier, as you will see it more objectively. Next, it is time to start culling your list of headlines. If you start from 100, you should be able to get it down to 10 no issue.  Eliminate the ones that aren’t packing the punch you want until you get down to a list of ten headlines. Now, the choices get a whole lot tougher. By the point, you will have already cut some really good headlines. What is left will be the best of the best. At this point, if you’ve done your job well, choosing the perfect headline can be quite the challenge. You can agonize over it endlessly. Or you can try out our favorite secret weapon for crafting killer headlines that hit their mark.

Consider Using  Headline Analyzing Tool to Make Your Final Selection

CoSchedule has a headline analyzing tool we are hooked on, and it is free to boot! It will give you a numerical value for each headline. It also analyzes your word balance by looking at the percentage of common and uncommon words. and words that are powerful or usher in emotion. This headline got a 71 29% on the emotional aspect and 28% use of common words. Next, it gives you an analysis of the length of your headline, as well as information about keywords. It also shows what kind of sentiment the headline produces. The program goes on to show you what the headline will look like in a google search and an email subject headline. I don’t know how I ever lived without it! I recommend it as a tool for the final selection process. and you can find it here:  

Apply and Enjoy!

To summarize, this is the process many top copywriters use to craft headlines that sell. Using a combination of swipe files and their own original ideas, they write 100 headlines. ( or at least a number that stretches you). After letting it rest a bit, they then pare down that list until they have one winning headline left. To make that process easier, consider using a headline analyzer tool. If you consistently apply this process you will find it more natural to create effective headlines. Culling them will become more intuitive. You will find the headlines you have chosen are working better for you. while having a positive impact on your bottom line. Do you have a favorite tool or tips for creating headlines that sell? We’d love to hear about your experience, feel free to comment.