Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Cole Schafer, the master/sensei of copywriting. For anyone who doesn’t know who Cole is, he runs the famous creative writing shop called Honey Copy, make-no-mistake, a six-figure revenue business, where he teaches copywriting and has a particular course for freelance copywriters. Be it going viral on medium or writing copies that raised huge funds on Kickstarter, or helping product launches, or copywriting billboards–he is someone who has pretty much done at all.
Let's start with CopyWriting for a headline:
Everyone has an opinion about what should be the headline’s idea, what emotion should it evoke, who should it talk to, etc. And we’ve all seen headlines that are 1-2 words and also ones that have about 18 to 20 words. And then there are tools like Sharethrough that give you a headline score.
Cole recommends that everyone follows the 20% rule when it comes to copywriting headlines. And what that essentially means is when you’re sitting down to write an email, a sales letter, a web page, make sure that you are spending 20% of the time you took to write the full copy to come up with a good headline.
There’s a sort of this phenomenon, or something about the human condition, where we assume that if we put a lot of time and work into copywriting something or creating something, then the world will sort of telepathically know that we had put in the hard work and that they owe us to read it or watch it or list 🙂 Unfortunately, that’s not how marketing works.
And so what Cole encourages people to do is – let’s say you’re spending an hour copywriting a headline, makes sure you are putting aside 20% of that time to sit down and write out a bunch of headlines. Media companies like Buzzfeed have all of their writers come up to 25 headlines for every article they write. They do it because they found not just an increase in conversion by 10% or 20%, but an increase in 500% click-throughs to go on those articles.
So the fastest way you could improve your headline writing is just by spending more time copywriting the headlines than your core piece of content is possible.
In the subsequent sections, Cole shares about:
---> The different styles of writing headlines
---> How to build trust with your audience using content
---> The Hemingway method of copywriting
---> Identifying and building your tone of voice
---> A case study of a Kickstarter campaign
---> The pain vs pleasure theory of copywriting for Saas, and more