You Don’t Have to Be Shakespeare To Write Great Headlines

shakespeareOk, perhaps Shakespeare wasn’t exactly renowned for catchy headlines – but he did write some fantastic plays and sonnets.

Headlines can be a real killer sometimes. I bet you’ve sweated for hours staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration to hit. No matter how hard you screw your face up, that illusive super-sales-generating-headline just won’t pop into your mind.

Shall I let you into a secret?

Most copywriters have a headline creating tool.

It works 100% of the time and helps them produce killer headlines everytime.

Want to get your hands on it? What to know what it is?

It is a swipe file. I hate that name as it sounds rather underhand, but basically that is what it is.

It is a collection of winning headlines, sales letters, adverts, magazine cuttings – in fact anything that uses a headline, phrase or sentence that is a real attention grabber.

But shouldn’t your headline be completely original?

Is there really any piece of writing out there that is 100% original?

Every writer in the world gets their inspiration from somewhere so, consciously or subconsciously, their work is influenced by an outside source.

Tried and tested formula

Headlines that work have been constructed in certain was to be effective. They have followed the same structure for years generating thousands or even millions of pounds. The same formula is adapted and put into different contexts and is used over and over again. So why change it?

Is a swipe file cheating?

No. All it means is that you write great headlines in a way you know will work. As your confidence and experience grows you can try an original approach – although as I said above, whatever you try will never be 100% original (I’m happy to be proven wrong there if anyone has any examples of something totally original).

Starting with these tried and tested templates you can immediately improve your blog post titles which should gain more readership and traffic.

Give it a go – start compiling your own swipe file today and start generating more traffic.

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#1 ShakespeareGeek on 07.24.09 at 3:32 pm

You missed the opportunity to point out that Shakespeare “swiped” all of his plotlines as well. However, he did write his own words.

I can’t resist chiming in on anything with Shakespeare in the title, so ya caught me. 🙂

#2 Jaimie Dobson on 07.24.09 at 6:11 pm

This is a great post. I love the idea of a “Swipe File” and is something I think I will adopt. Very informative.

#3 Kamil on 07.27.09 at 1:25 pm

Very, very good post. I just have searched for some tools for headline generating. Need more time for search and even more for practice, but here… thanks for this post to push me.


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