This morning got me thinking about the copywriting secrets that separate the pros from the rest of us.
- Testing everything
- Bullet Points
- Strong Headlines
My friend Thom Scott put out a tweet that mentioned the power of 3, 7 and 10 for making a list when you can’t think of what to blog. I had other plans, and replied that I ought to write a post about the Top 3 numbers… a catchy headline, but I meant it as a joke. I know he’s right though. I’ve tested it.
Next I saw “The Secret To Driving Blog Traffic” by Jason Falls How can you pass up a headline like that? Jason is right, I’ve tested headlines myself and nothing works better to increase readership.
From there I went to Google Reader.. where I have been practicing not reading all the 100’s of posts I get each day, but skimming for the best headlines and subjects, marketing them with a star and cutting out 80% of the time it was taking to use Reader (my best source of inspiration, news and ideas)
The last 3 paragraphs are my story. A good story makes anything you write more readable and is much easier to write than the more boring non-fiction style we learned in school.
I took what I know, what I have tested, and a spark of inspiration to make a list of 3 very important items to share with you. I didn’t use bullet points.. I wanted to emphasize that TESTING beats the other two.
Put Bullet Points in Everything
Every letter, most emails, many of my blog posts and much of my conversations with people are based on bullet points. I use them to:
- Emphasize the essence of the message
- Visual stimulate you to keep reading
- Group ideas together.
If you haven’t guessed, my favorite number is 3. I’ve tested longer bullet point lists, 3 is most readable..(except when you have a lot of info that has to be included)
Did You Like My Headline?
I didn’t spend 90% of my writing time on this headline.. but I did think about it for 2 hours before writing. It came from inspiration, so I need to test how it will go over with you.
If you liked this headline, the bullet points or the talk of testing, say so below in a comment. Let’s discuss what you’ve found. I’m sure that your results won’t be the same as mine.
I hope this is the start of a discussion, not the end point. Let’s all work together to make our books, blogs, information products and marketing more engaging and persuasive.
Are you with me?
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The Perfect Post, Warren! Good content, concise, and easy to read. Thank you. 🙂
you are too kind.
Thank you for the encouragement
Warren, I love how you take a different view on these questions. Like you said, testing is number one and I agree that three bullet points are easiest to read. This is the kind of post people love to read.
It started with a conversation about the numbers 3, 7, and 10 .. but I didn't want to waste such a good headline without talking about some other substance 🙂
Thanks for sharing your work with everyone. I know from life experience that you need to test everything, including some ideas that are “set in stone” Lest we forget.
1. I am looking forward to better blog writing and better content on my blog.
2. I know my readers (both of them) are anticipating this.
3. This post of yours will take me a long ways on my next level.
I just about ignored your comment.. then I saw the list.
Got to read lists
Warren, your mental table is always filled with food for thought, but dessert is always how to activate those thoughts. Thank you.
Great post, Warren. I have also found that using these numbers is helpful, but I precede them with my keywords. For example, I may write something titled 'Article Marketing Tips – 3 Ways To Make Sure Your Articles Are Read By Your Propsects'.
This is a good thought. I plan on using this whenever possible.
Jeffery W. Dukes
” I Read It On A Church Sign”
I feel that it's my obligation to feed you Tom.. and occasionally share some knowledge 🙂
that certainly can aid the SEO. I'd want to test both variations if I was expecting a human to click
I hope whoever you had write that comment got a chance to read the post. 🙂
These sound a lot like the rules for old slide builds – you know the ones that needed film and a projector. They still hold true today.
Man cannot live by bread alone, but breakfast with you is a double feast! Especially when you pick up the tab. But, my treat next time!
I usually prefer to say NO RULES.. do what works.. but testing shows us that people prefer certain number
Good Info Warren! Thanks so Much…
hope you'll find 3 ways to use numbers 🙂
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Thanks for this post. Great idea about the reader. I just recently started to really think about headlines more and more.
Warren…yes I did like the headline. It caught my interest and it's an important point that can be used for blog and articles headlines. I won't forget…3,7,10.
I think 3 is the most natural, easy to do and best looking of the numbers
(note the 3 reasons in that sentence 🙂
Warren…you are a:
Love the idea of 3…and, 7!
Yes I like the bullet points. I use them in my Orlando Yoga Examiner articles on Yoga. I also bold groups of thoughts for easier reading. I liked your headline too.
Award-Winning and Best-Selling Author The Only Way Out Is In: The Secrets of the 14 Realms to Love, Happiness and Success! and Co-author Americans Saving Ourselves Together: How to Thrive in the 21st Century