Headline, to Be or Not to Be

Headline; to be or not to be.

I study copywriting. Back when I was in marketing and sales it was one of the most important skills to have.

Back then I struggled the same as anyone/everyone (?) to sell online, despite having great products and traffic. The reason I learned was that I did not have good copy.

I began to study and learn copywriting and looking back can definitely say it had the most impact on the bottom line.

Copywriting is a good skill to learn, but if you go by veteran copywriters the headline is 80% of the battle. People decide based on your headline whether to read or pass on by.

David Ogilvy, often referred to as the father of advertising even went on record…

“On the 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

These days though the headline seems to be a thing of the past especially on social media like Facebook and Twitter. We post content online without a title or a headline. The past couple of days I have been deep into researching the IndieWeb and one of the primary discoveries has been that folks actually want to create and post content on their blogs without a title.

It’s a thing even on WordPress. Apart from the typical post formats like Posts and Pages, one can also use an Aside post format that lets you create and post content without a title, the same as posting on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Only in this case with the Aside post format, you can do it on your self-hosted website/blog and the search engines will recognize it and treat it as regular content.

I suppose that’s a good thing, now copywriters can dispense with 80% of their hard work that would ordinarily be spent in crafting killer headlines and spend just 20% of their time on the body. Lest you folks think I’m kidding, I’d like to remind you that social media marketing is a thing.

So what’s it gonna be, headline to be or not to be?

I’ll leave you with some excellent advice from Kevin Rogers, his No. 1 tip for writing a good headline.