Originality is overrated. In fact, it’s sometimes pointless and not even worth the effort. Maybe you’ve heard it said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” And recall that the poet T.S. Eliot once wrote, “Mediocre writers borrow; great writers steal.”
Now, hold on a second. We’re not condoning plagiarism or encouraging copyright violations. It’s just that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you need a pithy line for your next marketing campaign. There are a lot of perfectly round “wheels” out there that will serve your purpose if you’ll only take a moment to fit them onto your marketing “vehicle.”
At the risk of revealing insider secrets that could put some of us wordsmiths out of business, we’re going to give away some tricks of the trade that nearly every writer employs at some point.
Ready-Made Headline Formulas
Professional blogger Jon Morrow heard the same advice about stealing from a professor, but it took a few years for it to finally sink in for him. Since then, Jon has compiled a handy list of headline formulas that he calls “Headline Hacks.” His free ebook describes six different categories with 52 ready-made, fill-in-the-blank headline formulas that you can easily use for your own business writing. So we’re going to take Jon’s advice and steal a page out of his “Headline Hacks” (while giving him credit) to share with you.
Most headlines fall into the same basic categories. The reason you see so many “Top Ten” blog posts and “How To” articles is because they work. The reader knows exactly what to expect from such a headline, and knows they can skim the headings to quickly get what they need.
Six Basic Types of Headlines:
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