What if you could harness the wit of Oscar Wilde wearing a white waistcoat, the virality of new sex tape of another has-been celebrity leaked on Jezebel, and the irresistible click-ability of the latest “#6 is my favorite” Buzzfeed article in each and every email subject line you write?
What if you could apply the same power to each blog post you plunk down on your site (like this one your eyes are beholding now)?
Think you could generate a few opens to your emails? What about clicks on your links? And let’s not forget blog posts read?
I want to let you in on my dirty, depraved, devilish little secret…
Sure, I come up with a fair amount of kick-ass headlines on my own… But the lion’s share of my very best headlines are generated for me.
That’s right. I’ll admit to being a dirty little sinner…
I flat out steal them.
You, too, can become a no-good, filthy, rotten thief to get more love for your emails, calls to action, and blog posts.
Here’s the tools I use to rip off winning headlines:
I don’t know exactly how or whom creates their wild n’ whacky headlines. And it doesn’t matter…
I’m guessing someone with waaaay too much time on their hands is sitting around the clock smashing 2 or 3 viral headlines together, spewing out ridiculous headlines as a result.
Some of my favorite email subject lines I’ve stolen directly from the site:
“Dating secrets from a North Korean prison camp”
“Toilet seat down…with a vengeance”
“Donald Trump is set to destroy the astroid belt”
And many other crazy combinations.
These headlines don’t fit your niche or topic at hand?
Make’ em fit…
…Or use the next tool.
2. A Topic-Related Forum
“Folks don’t care about your weedkiller, they only care about the crabgrass in their petunias.”
I’m not sure who I stole the above line from, so I’ll just take credit for it till someone comes a-poundin’ at my door begging for their cheesy marketing slogan back.
But it’s absolutely true. If you can connect on a person’s pain points you’ll go further in catching their eye than you ever could by trying to cajole them toward something pleasant they desperately want.
Where’s the best place to target your market and “hit ’em right where it hurts”?
Find a forum related to your topic at hand.
Just go ahead and type into Google: “Extreme Paddleballing Forum” or “Angry Vegan Forum“…Just about any niche worth its weight in piss will have a forum.
Most forums will even allow you the honor of filtering by most popular posts.
I bet you dollars to donuts that the top posts are going to be a bunch of whiny, cry-baby posts that are chock-full of “Crabgrass” you can steal.
Take the headline forum post subject line and run with it. (Bonus points are awarded if you can strip their stories and spin them into email and article fodder too!)
Personally, I haven’t read a single Digg article in ages.
Doesn’t mean I’m not tempted to dig into them on a daily basis.
I mean, these guys are coming up with some of the absolute best email subject lines every day. All you have to do to use them is subscribe to their email list.
Then just filter your inbox for “Digg” and before you know it, you’ll have a heaving heap of headlines you can swipe at will.
Do they all relate perfectly to your particular audience?
Get creative and brainstorm how you can tweak them to fit your audience’s needs.
4. Your Spam Bin
You know what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”…
Look at me spitting mad clichés!
Here’s the skinny… When you go dumpster diving through your spambin, don’t be surprised if you discover buried treasure in there. After all, a spammer is fighting all odds that his message will ever see the light of day so some of the savvy ones actually put a little thought into their subject lines. Anything they can do to get some more opens, boosts their bootie balance even higher.
Not to mention, you’ll find random messages from marketers you really enjoy.
I noticed that Perry Marshall had this hidden gem tucked away in my digital trash:
“Plastic Surgery Lead Gen Disaster”
I’m not sure exactly what he meant here so naturally I had to take a peak.
Don’t be surprised if your next peak into your spambox turns up treasure.
I only stumbled upon this handy-dandy tool recently… and I’m loving it!
Pick any singular noun that could be used in place of your topic-at-hand and shove that bad boy into the subject box. Voila! Out pops a kickass headline.
Don’t like the headline it delivered you? (As if you had something better in mind!)
Go ahead and click the refresh button as many times as it takes to tickle your fancy with a captivating subject line.
Scroll down the wall of any random friend’s Facebook wall and you’re almost guaranteed to see some over-the-top “click bait” headline…
I used to wonder, “Is there an exact science to creating these tantalizing headlines?”
Then I found this humdinger.
I no longer need to read thousands of Buzzfeed posts to come up with crackshot subject lines like:
It really doesn’t get any easier than this to fill your blog with articles that makes even gawker start gawking at your site.
And this works just as well for emails that your audience can’t resist opening.
Speaking of the only 7 resources you’ll ever need…
I’ll let you in on a big secret…
Sites that get massive link juice, shares, and traffic don’t just write an article, slap a headline on it, and call it a day.
Sites that are looking to squeeze every last ounce of attention they can get will first publish with 6 to 12 different headlines.
They want the absolute best when it comes to getting more eyeballs to their site.
Sites like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, CNN, Lifehacker, Forbes, etc…They work hard to create awesome articles but they know even the best written article can’t stand on its own without a badass headline.
They split-test the living hell out of their articles to find out a clear winner, then post the article with the most attention-getting headline only after it’s been thoroughly put through the ringers in testing.
Sound a bit too complicated for you to run yourself manually?
It probably is.
Well, that is until you test this bad lil mamma-jamma out: Thrive Headline Optimizer.
It does all the work for you behind the scenes, so you never have to wonder what the best headline should be. It will discover it for you…just like all those big dawwwg sites out there are doing.
…And if you find a headline that’s working, go ahead and shove that into your next subject line. I guarantee it will work there too. You did do all that testing already, after all.
When it comes to writing subject lines, headlines, and copy that converts, take it from my main man, Pablo Picasso:
Now go rip off your next killer headline, will you?