Half the battle of writing long copy, and how to fight it
There’s an old story of a man who wrote copy so great that anyone who read it would instantly buy the product that it’s selling, even if they had no use for it.
They say his words were like lightning that went straight to the heart of all who read them, twisting and pulling on their emotions, seeping into their minds, practically forcing their credit cards and cash from their pockets.
Yet no matter how great and accomplished this man became, there was one part of his copy that he always drilled away on for hours and hours until it became absolutely perfect:
And that is why we are here today – to discuss headlines, why they’re so important, and to let you walk away with a simple yet powerful exercise that will have you on your way to writing irresistible ones in half the time.
A little background on this exercise…
I gave a presentation in Orlando a couple weeks ago that was kind of a crash course on the basics of copywriting.
It was a killer experience too – the audience (33 people who were part of a super-focused mastermind group) was absolutely awesome, and nearly everyone participated in the exercises.
It’s the group that my brother Steve Hochman, Bedros Keuillian, Chris McCombs, Vince Delmonte, and Crag Ballyntine are running on creating a 6-figure info product. (Check out the website http://www.fitnessinfosummit.com/ for more info).
Now, here’s the thing. All of these guys are really huge in the fitness world. So that meant I had to really deliver some kick ass content that was just as good as all of the stuff they were talking about.
So naturally I waited till the last minute
Lol no I’m kidding. I prepared for like six months in advance (you think I’m gonna walk into a room of people who paid 14k for a mastermind unprepared?). Er… okay maybe not six months… but I just found out I was going to be a speaker two weeks in advance.
So I prepped for two weeks. And in that two weeks, I concocted some grand schemes of how to make people into brilliant copywriters.
This exercise I’m about to share with you is one of these evil schemes…
After all, if no one is sucked in by your headline, no one will read the rest of the page. That’s why I call headlines half the battle of writing long copy.
So, without further interruption – here’s the exercise
Disclaimer: It’s simple, but part of what makes this exercise so powerful is how simple it is.
- Step one: Write a headline.
- Step two: Reflect on what you think are its strong points and weak points. Compare your headline with other headlines that have been successful in your niche. Reflect on why you think those were so successful.
- Step three: Cross out the headline you just wrote.
Now here’s what makes this exercise so powerful:
Repeat these 3 steps at least 4 more times.
By the fifth headline, you’ll start to feel much more confident, and your headline will be much more to the point. Every time you cross one out, the next one you write will be even better.
Every time you find more and more reasons why the winning headlines are so winning, you incorporate that knowledge into your own headline writing. You merge your writing with the behind-the-scenes reasons that make good headlines good.
But don’t limit yourself – if you have a perfect headline on the first go, and you truly believe it’s perfect – then run with it. This happens from time to time.
Or if you need to do this exercise 20 times, then that’s fine too (sometimes I do it 30).
The point of this exercise is to get you really thinking and involved with your headline. It’s one of the most important parts of your copy, because if it doesn’t do its job of captivating your reader, then it doesn’t matter how brilliant the rest of your copy is…
No one’s gonna read it.
Also, good headlines are damn hard to write
I can pump out 2,000 words of copy in a couple of hours if I have my research done (not a final draft or anything, but a really good start). But a headline? I’ll work for days crafting it because they’re so hard to write – because they so important.
But using this exercise I cut down my headline-writing time by at least 50%. Often I’ll come up with my winner in a day.
Take care and, as another famous man once said, “I’ll be back!”
p.s. Leave your comments, and if you have any questions too.