How To Write Kick Ass Headlines Which Hook Your Prospects By Their Throat

The difference between a good headline and a pathetic headline is the difference between Success and Failure in advertising, website copy or getting your blog article read.

Your headline is the most important aspect and the first thing your prospects see when he or she looks at your advertisement . . . blog article or website sales copy.

It’s an Advertisement for your Advertisement.

The ONLY purpose of your headline or title for your blog article is to get your prospect to continue reading. It must get your reader’s attention and it must pull them into your written copy.

Your headline’s job is to Hook your reader into wanting to discover more. Bore them for even a split second and you lose them.

I don’t give a toss how good your product or service is or how good your advertising copy is . . . if your headline sucks harder than a hooker on the strip in Vegas . . . your advert, sales letter or blog articles will not get read. All advertisements, letters, web copy . . . should have a headline.

Heck, even your business card needs a headline. Your f.i.g.j.a.m. logo, or your business name stuck right at the top means jack shit to everyone except you.

When you can grasp the only role of what your headline is supposed to do . . . you are on your way to increasing your responses. People have increased responses by 300% by adding one single letter, 800% by adding one single word, 1700% by testing 3 similar headlines and so on and so on.

There are 12 rules which you should follow when creating headlines as well as the 8 different types you can use, proven words to use in headlines and how you can create your own sizzling headlines. Plus there’s a 9 point checklist which I created as well. Over the next few days, I will post all of these for you.

Headlines are a critical aspect to persuasive writing which sells.

What is a “hook?”

A hook is a unique piece of your sales story which arouses burning curiosity and FORCES your reader to read your copy.

It is your slant, your uniqueness, which no-one else has.

You will instinctively know when you find your hook.

Here’s how you go about finding your hook.

You search for some detail of your product which others have paid no attention to.

And this is another reason why you need to research your topic. Do your due diligence and it opens so many doors for you.

Except this time, you are looking for the “human” connection.

When you find your hook, do you know the best place in your copy to use it?

It is in your Headline!

One way to do this is to ask your prospects directly. Sometimes this is called an ‘Ask Campaign’ and other times it’s called a “Most Burning Question Campaign.” You can call it anything you like.

You do this by setting up a small letter on the Internet and ask your prospects to leave their questions or, give them a specific question for them to answer.

By doing this you will not only get replies in the language which your niche uses – which is great for your persuasive writing content. You might also discover your headline’s Holy Grail – your hook.

If you already have customers, why not call them up or email them. People love to give opinions. Ask them what their biggest problem is about “your niche.” Or, “if I could give you something which would magically solve your problem in “your niche,” what would you call it?”

Probably one of the most famous “hooks” was John Carlton’s “One-Legged Golfer.” See the below for the Headline that he wrote:

“Amazing Secret Discovered By One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards To Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks And Slices…And Can Slash Up To 10 Strokes From Your Game Almost Overnight!”

Of course, if you use your hook in the headline you will need to explain it in your copy. Explain how your product or service can deliver on the promise made.

The one-legged golfer hook is “almost” unbelievable. And this is what is going to set you apart from your competition.

Something which is unusual, outrageous, curious!

Look hard enough and you will find your hook.

Here Are 11 Ideas to help You Discover YOUR Hook:

1. Your Guarantee.

A guarantee can be your hook. It will need to be sensational, every outrageous. If it’s so different, so unusual, it could be your hook.

2. Testimonials from your satisfied customers.

For example, a 65 year-old fat golfer, who won a tournament beating good opposition – including several pro golfers.

Obviously, the hook here is “65 year-old, overweight amateur, beats golf pros and wins tournament.”

3. Create a celebrity.

Get a well-known celebrity to endorse your product and work this into your hook.

4. Competitive Analysis.

Create a spreadsheet and list all your competitors’ points. Price, guarantee, major benefit, etc. And then look for ways to be better than them. You may find your hook right here – at the very least you will uncover better content for your copy.

5. Do the opposite.

If you find a competitor which has a really compelling hook. They may be bigger than you and you can’t hope to compete with them . . . however what you can do is maybe think of a hook which is the opposite of what they do. Or maybe something similar but with a different slant.

6. Book titles.

Visit your local Barnes and Noble or Borders. Look at the book titles. Especially the well-known ones. You may be able to adapt one of them. Some obvious ones come to mind, but do some research of your own.

There are also some terrific titles in the Public Domain.

Here are a few examples:

Think and Grow Rich (1937 version is in the Public Domain)
Eat and Grow Thin (a book title from the public domain)
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Scientific Advertising (Public Domain)
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Who Moved My Cheese

7. Song titles.

Same here. Let some famous songs inspire you to come up with a great hook.

One which comes to mind is the Beatles song: “Let It Be.” Other song titles are:

Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Pennies From Heaven
Over the Rainbow
Sound of Silence
Love is All Around

8. Movie titles.

Eugene Schwartz (legendary copywriter) reckoned you should see every top box office movie to put you into the mindset of your prospects.

Here are a few movie titles for you to consider:

Fatal Attraction
Nightmare on Elm Street
The Seven Year Itch
Rebel Without a Cause
The Da Vinci Code

And be careful about the demographics of your prospects.

9. News Stands.

This is great for finding your hook. Grab a copy of National Enquirer. See which headlines they are using.

Get a copy of the magazines which cover your niche. See what headlines are in use. For sure, they will be tried and tested.

Golf Digest is a particularly good example.

Study some of the articles.

10. Television Shows.

Another way to try and “brainstorm” your hook.

Here are 6 examples:

Big Brother
American Idol
The Apprentice
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Twilight Zone
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Deal Or No Deal

11. Random Words.

Use random words to fire your imagination.

Get topical words to create strong images in your mind.

Here are just a few:

Navy Seals.

Mark Joyner, in his book “The Irresistible Offer” refers to finding your “touchstone.” And one of the ways he does this is by coming up with random words and finding ways to answer the following questions:

i. What are you trying to sell me?
ii. How much does it cost?
iii. What’s in it for me?
iv. Why should I believe you?

What you must NOT do is try to fool your reader. Your hook must be honest and sincere. And believable. Even if it’s “almost” unbelievable.

If you look hard enough you will find it.

And don’t forget about the Internet as well.

You can visit news websites to check out the hottest stories too which can give you ideas for a hook or for an angle for your copy, an articles etc.

Happy Headline Hooking!

‘Dedicated to kicking your ass until you succeed.

‘Trevor ‘Toe Cracker’ Crook

PS. Next article will be: 12 Easy Rules to Writing Sizzling Headlines Which Sell. Subscribe to my reader so you don’t miss it.

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