Many of the best copywriters in the business use the same process to create a great headline. That process simply involves using a tried and tested ‘template’. Because why reinvent the wheel?
However, it’s also a great idea to write several headlines and then to choose the best one.
Can we do both? Absolutely. Just have a series of templates ready.
For example, I didn’t write the headline for this article before starting it. As I write this sentence, there’s a blank space at the top. Let’s create some headlines, using templates.
First of all, the numerical headline. This might be number + noun + verb + object, or verb + numeral + noun. I don’t know how many examples I’m going to use yet, but let’s say it’ll be five. So our first two headlines could be:
5 templates to help you write better headlines
Use these 5 templates to write better headlines
Next up is the headline that uses time to make the article seem like a must-read:
A two-minute read that will change how you write headlines
Not bad. Now let’s use the ‘benefit’ headline:
Learn how to write better headlines with this simple method
What about the ‘offer of help’ headline?
Let me show you a technique to write better headlines
Finally, let’s take a more ‘intriguing’ approach:
Can you write better headlines? Yes – and here’s how
These aren’t the only templates around. Here are a load more. It should be straightforward to compile a reusable set which is appropriate for our business. The point is, the idea is not just for fluffy content, such as this article. The right templates will work just as well on ‘Blue Widgets are low cost’ or ‘Company appoints new Financial Director’ articles.
Once we’ve gone through the set, as above, we could think of different words to describe the product/service and different benefits to highlight. This would make it possible to create 20, 30 or even 50 headlines in a very short time. The best ones should then jump off the page. And if the article was worth spending an hour (or a day) researching and writing, surely it’s worth 15-20 minutes coming up with the most critical element of all?