Little Creek Content

Horrible Headlines—How to Avoid Them in Your Copy

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Do you toss and turn at night, worrying that your copywriting and headlines fall flat with readers?

As a freelance writer, I’m fully aware of how important words are to generating interest—especially on a local level. In Austin, Texas, words like ‘y’all’ and ‘tacos’ create engagement like nothing else, but that’s not the case on a national level.

My point is, our audience often determines the words we use. In the online world, horrible headlines can push your website into the dark corners of the internet.

You don’t want that, and neither do I. Let’s take a gander at a few ways you can improve your headlines for the better

1. Do as the Experts Do

There is nothing wrong with taking a little inspiration from the top websites.

Browse through sites like Forbes, Copyblogger, or The Huffington Post and see which of their headlines get the most social shares and comments.

Engagement is good sign of well-written headlines, and reading through popular sites can stir your creative juices.

2. Verify Your Ideas

The internet is packed with free tools to improve your copywriting.

Once you’ve come up with one or two great headline ideas, verify them with tools like the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Value Headline Analyzer which gauges the emotional intelligence of your title.

Don’t leave your headlines to chance. Verify them to guarantee they will make a big splash with your readers.

3. Eliminate Annoying Words

That’s totally ‘fetch’! I tote’s agree with you.

If you’re like me, these words will sound like nails on a chalk board.

Eliminate words that your audience will find equally as annoying, such as ‘hustle’, ‘best’, and ‘upworthy’.

Get to know your audience’s likes and dislikes, and follow through with compelling headlines.

Interestingly, most audience’s respond better to negative words like ‘worst’, ‘awful’, and yes, even ‘horrible’.

Find words that create an emotional response, and remember that most people believe negative news over good news because we’re hard-wired to avoid pain. Opt for negative superlatives in your title for the best response.

4. Keep it Short

Long headlines cause disinterest. Get to the point without giving away the point of your post. After all, if you answer the question or spill the beans in the headline, why would people want to read your blog?

For length, a good rule of thumb is between 5-8 words, with 5 being the ideal number.

Of course, you don’t want to cut things short to fit this rule. Instead, focus on succinct and comprehensive headlines. This might be difficult at first, but with time it becomes increasingly easier.

5. Use More Power Words

Give your headline personal charm with powerful words that evoke emotion. Words like ‘scare’, ‘fear’, ‘love’, and ‘perfect’ work well under this rule.

If you’re using them in conjunction with a list style blog title, such as 10 Things You Need for Your Summer Trip, then all the better.

People use the internet to answer questions and find valuable information. They base what they read off your headline. Copywriting is important for the body of your article, but possibly even more so for the headline. Break out your dictionary and thesaurus, and start implementing more power words into your copy.

Conclusion

As a freelance writer I see a lot of headlines that are, quite honestly, garbage. They fall flat when stacked against the competition.

Using these rules and tools, however, can have a powerful effect on your blog and give you the added “oomph” you need to stand out.

If you’re looking for a freelance writer in Austin, Texas to help with your blog or copywriting, feel free to reach out. I’d love to help turn your headlines into emotion packed, engagement-churning titles that get people to click.

Copywriting Tips & Tricks To Turn ‘Traffic’ into Customers

Traffic, content

 

As a small business owner, or as someone in sales, your number one goal is to make the sale. You’re willing to do anything and everything to get people to click the ‘buy now’ button on your website.

But your single-minded focus to make the sale could be preventing you from reaching your goal.

The problem is, what you want doesn’t really align with what your customers want. They’re looking for a change in the way they live, a better way to make money, or an improvement in their physical or mental health.

It’s up to you to share the desires and goals of your customers through your copywriting. Here’s a few ways you can turn your ‘traffic’ into buying customers through your sales copy.

Forget About the Sale

If I ask you to not think about a large pink elephant, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Is it the elephant? Is it impossible to stop thinking about the elephant?

Marketing and copywriting is sort of like that. If you can’t unlock your focus on the sale, you’ll get lost in over-selling your products or service and lose your customers along the way. Fixating your writing solely on making a sale will put your customers off, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to do.

Understand Their Vision

So if your customers aren’t thinking about ‘buying your product’ what are they thinking about?

That’s the trick. You have to get inside their head to write copy that resonates with their needs.

Imagine for a second, that you’re a mom looking for a stroller. You head to the store and run into an overly zealous sales associate who hones in on the price of their strollers—assuming you want the cheapest version of the product.

Do you think the price is the most important factor?

Probably not. More than likely, you want to know about the safety features, the quality of the brand, and what other moms think about it.

When you handle your sales copy like the overeager sales associate, you’ll lose your audience point blank. You have to understand what they want, the information they’re looking for, and how to write it in a way that moves them. Then and only then, will you turn your traffic into customers.

Write for THEM

Now that you know what your traffic is looking for, it’s time to put it on the page.

If you’re trying to sell products your descriptions should reflect what your customer’s want to learn. Sure, tech specifications are great if you’re selling software but not so great if you’re selling strollers to moms.

Put yourself in a mother’s shoes. What would YOU want to know about your strollers? The exact dimensions? The colors available? No. You want to know what it does, how it does it, and how safe it is for babies.

Your customer’s subjective concerns should motivate and guide your sales copy from start to finish.

Use Active Language

If all you can do is hound on, “Get yours today!” and “Our product is amazing!” you will have trouble gaining your customer’s attention.

Instead, highlight the transformation your customers will make once they do purchase your product. This takes them beyond the initial sale and gets them excited to click the “Buy Now” button.

When you use active language like, “This stroller will give you peace of mind as you push your newborn or toddler through your neighborhood” you paint a picture for your target audience. One in which they are already using your product. This builds a connection and moves them past the purchase.

Don’t Be Mysterious

What will your customers experience when they place an order? Build anticipation by telling them what comes next after they make a purchase. Will they get a confirmation email? Let them know. Does your product come with special offers? Tell them.

Build confidence in the purchasing process by guiding your customers through it before they even go down that road.

Give your customers a hand by honing your copywriting skills and on-page sales copy. Doing so will ultimately give your business the boost you are looking for.

 

If you need help constructing copy that leads customers beyond the buy button, then contact me! I will happily take a look at your content and offer advice for creating better sales copy that entices your target audience.

 

 

What is a Copywriter & Why Do You Need One?

freelance writerPoets. Screenplay writers. Songwriters. Authors.

What do all of these people have in common? Their work is clear cut, and well defined in the eyes of the average individual. After all, who doesn’t love a good book or an inspiring block of lyrics?

Far fewer people, however, drool over a copywriter who can pull off an effective piece of sales copy. Of course, if you don’t know what a copywriter is or does it’s a bit difficult to understand why you need one in the first place.

Copywriter by Definition:

Put simply, a copywriter crafts compelling and engaging content for advertisers, brands and individuals. While they may form a larger group of writers and marketers, most work as freelances providing professional copy for brands and businesses in need of their services.

In addition to possessing excellent writing skills, copywriters have to have both:

  1. A deep understanding of the company or Industry they are writing for.
  2. Familiarity with their client’s advertising campaigns and marketing strategy.

However, copywriting doesn’t always play by these rules. Often times, small business owners and even large brands choose to build on what their copywriter comes up with, instead of the other way around. Copywriters also need to be able to work well under pressure and have a strong command of the language they are writing in (that should be fairly obvious).

Depending on the medium, copywriting can also vary in structure and in format. For example, writing content for an email advertisement is far different than writing a newspaper ad. The style, language used, and the message will likely differ.

Do You Need a Copywriter?

If you own a website, brand or company then yes, you need a copywriter. Here’s why:

  • Professional content sells. Amateur content repels.
  • Copywriters offer a fresh perspective of your business.
  • They know tricks of the trade (i.e. bullet points anyone?)
  • They can optimize your content.
  • To create content that outshines your competition.

 

Unsure if your website could use the finesse of an expert copywriter? Do you think you might need a content writer instead of a copywriter? If so, let’s talk…

 

 

 

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