“There is nothing new under the sun…. Just give your reader something to talk about.”
Save yourself some TIME and EFFORT
One of the worst mistake you can make as a writer is to believe everything you do has to be original. You can’t afford to spend months or years dreaming up a daring new approach for everything you write. A better way is to watch what is and has been working for everyone else and then creatively adapt it for your own purposes.
True genius is clothed in the ideas of others
There is nothing new under the sun. The author of The Holy Bible did not write anything you; they simply stole the plots of previous generations and cultures and adapted them to their own needs and reality. Shakespeare, to make it big, did not start from scratch; he simply spent a lot of time adapting and rewriting the content from the ancient Greek and Roman plays. Even Thomas has to plead guilty; he practically plagiarized the Declaration of Independence from John Locke.
More than often, the key to great writing is blatant and unrepentant theft; the best writers are often the best thieves.
None of those irresistible headlines you may see on the covers of the greatest magazines are new. The same is to be said about all of these blog posts that go viral. If you look carefully at any great headline, you can distill it down to some “Fill in The Blanks” templates that works for almost every topic you want to write about, whatever your niche and audience.
There is nothing new under the sun
Deal with the complexity of life looking at the headlines and great papers that have worked time and time again for some of the most popular authors and publications in the world.
Carefully consider what you read. There is nothing new under the sun. Everything has been said and written. While reading, consider every theme that is being exploited, stop at every headline and write down a few that you can adapt and use to suit your own needs either in your blogs, articles or book.
You want to go VIRAL?
You want to go viral, pay specific attention to one of the most successful headlines ever, the “Granddaddy of All Headlines”, the “HOW TO” headline that has been used for almost 100 years.
Why is that headline so powerful?
Only because most readers are naturally biased toward articles that help them do something. Ideas and opinions are great, but for most people, they have no lasting practical value. To really get their attention, they need an expert to show them how to apply those ideas in a practical way that applies to their specific situation.
This should be the premise, the foundation of all your writing.
If you are successful in teaching people useful, something that can save them TIME and MONEY, people will not resist reading you, clicking and buying your books.
Most people are not just interested in “WHAT TO DO”; they are also concerned with “WHAT TO BE” and “HOW TO BE” what they want to be. Most people are interested in reading about anything about HOW TO transform themselves in almost any way they can imagine and struggling to become.
By figuring out which traits your audience most desires and then putting them into your headlines, you will harness this natural curiosity people have in transforming themselves into something more, into something they are not, into something they aspire to become.
Most people do not want to settle for just being good. Most people aspire to be, to become the very best at what they do. They want to dominate their area of expertise. By recognizing this inherent desire of most people to “STAND OUT”, in every one of your headlines, they quickly move from a simple promise of help to an irresistible lure, especially if your headline is written in the form of a “LIST-BASED HEADLINE”.
Lists based headlines are a highly efficient way to organize the information you want to disseminate. People know exactly what they are getting into before starting reading and clicking. It is all about perception. A list based headline is approachable and nonthreatening.
Subconsciously, most people have this natural tendency to believe that most of the ideas or hints of an article will not work for them; but none of these people cannot resist the idea that maybe they may or will find one idea that will. The more ideas your article offers, the better the chance for them to find one that applies specifically to their situation.
Give your reader something to talk about
You want people to read your blog posts, your articles?
You need to make the readers curious. You need to use these power words and easy sounding list based headlines that will motivate the reader into checking out your blog post, your article or book.
Your headline shall be designed to harness the curiosity of the reader that is already there. Your blog, article or book shall give the reader something to talk about. It shall reflect the promise to satisfy their curiosity as well as give them something interesting to talk about.
Your blog, article or book shall offer comfort and reassurance. Especially when times are tough, people like to be confirmed in their opinion and, the prospect of spending time reading someone who understand their situation and offer some relief is strongly appealing.
Not belonging or feeling a part of something bigger than themselves is one of all people greatest fears. No one wants to be or stand alone. While opinions may be plentiful, it is always very difficult to resist a headline that presents an interesting take on a topic you care about.
Readers who will agree with you will click to validate their own ideas. The more skeptical readers will click and read your blog, article or book to find out if there is any weight in your claim. The more controversial or shocking your viewpoint or idea, the more people will want to find out whether you can make it stick.
Write to solve your reader’s problems, not yours
Most people these days are busy and when problems come along, they want to solve them as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Sometimes it is a problem you already know something or everything you know about. Other times people will raise problems you and many others like you are or were not aware of. Either way, offer your readers a fix to put this or these problems behind them, so they can get on with their day.
Any fix that will provide people with more TIME and save or make them MONEY is a winner. No one can resist such a headline that promises such results, and offer them a fix in the same breath. People will bookmark your blog post, they tell their friends about it, and retweet it and you can get traffic from it for years.
Write a great headline and “GO VIRAL”
You could write a post every day for a year and not even come close to exhausting all the possibilities of writing a great headline. Sometimes, the difference between a good headline and a great headline is only a well-chosen word dropped in exactly the right place.
Just add a little interest in your headline by simply adding a power word to your title, power words, powerful adjectives that will add strong emotions to your heading, emotions like anger, excitement, disgust and desire, thereby setting it apart from those that have come before.
Owner of Bunkumless.com and King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation, JMD, a former attorney, is a Columnist for The Futurist Daily News and editor of the Social and Political Blog JMDlive.com Follow JMD @ jmdlive