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Discover the secret to a killer headline

As a copywriter, I’m incredibly lucky that I rarely get writer’s block. But when I do, it always strikes when I’m preparing a headline. And in a world where readers have access to so much content, the headline is undoubtedly the most important sentence of any communication. It’s the calling card, the bit that should cry out ‘read me!’ to anyone who stumbles across it.

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“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” David Ogilvy (AKA ‘the father of advertising’)

Despite many fellow bloggers claims to the contrary, I don’t believe that there is a perfect formula for writing a headline. I’ve read various pieces of advice, ranging from the sensible (“It should be 65 characters or less“: makes sense, so that it doesn’t get cut off in search results) to the downright peculiar (“It should be 6 words. No more, no less“: err, why??). In fact, the most repeated tip to headline-writing success is to produce a numbered list (“7 tips to guarantee results” or “5 ways to make your money work“). Whilst I’m definitely a fan of a numbered list, they are becoming increasingly common, and isn’t it boring when everything is done in the same way? Are there any other tricks you can deploy to get your headline noticed? Continue reading

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Entering the blogosphere

So whilst I’ve written umpteen blogs in the names of clients over the years, it suddenly struck me that I didn’t publish one myself. In an age where most technically-able people blog about everything from their work to what they ate for dinner, I decided that as a professional copywriter I should probably get publishing.

In fact, I got thinking more generally about why people blog, and, in particular, why companies blog. We all know that the internet is an incredibly powerful marketing tool and so many companies from small start ups to multi-national corporations are using blogs to create a very powerful online presence. If, like me, it’s a part of your marketing strategy that you’ve neglected to date, here are 3 compelling reasons why you might want to consider entering the blogosphere:

Reason 1: Knowledge is power. Whatever the product or service you specialise in, writing a blog can be a very useful and easy way to share your expertise with your clients. At first, it may seem counterintuitive to publish your intellectual capital for the whole world to see, but some carefully selected snippets of information can really help position you as a thought leader. For example, why did your research lead you to bring to market that product at that time? Do you have a real-life example of someone who bought your product or service and benefitted greatly? How has your industry changed over the past year and what have you done to keep pace? Writing honest and well-articulated blogs on specific topics will help your clients trust your brand and ultimately come to you when they need to. Continue reading

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