Your readers decide whether your blog post is worth their time within a few seconds. Most of that decision is based on the post title (or “headline”).
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Some of the highest paying work in the copywriting business is creating headlines for magazine covers and tabloids. Think about it. Aren’t you sometimes at least tempted to pick up those magazines in the grocery store line? That’s the power of a great headline at work.
Nobody wants to lead an average life—at least nobody I talk to. But it's easy to do. We get lulled into a coma of ease and familiarity. Then we medicate our boredom and futility with entertainment. Before we know it, half our life is spent and we've done practically nothing important.
Jon Acuff's new book, Start, is the perfect alarm to wake us up and help us pursue a truly meaningful calling. The subtitle says it all: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work that Matters.
If you’re a blogger who wants more traffic, more readers, and more engagement with your tribe, this post is for you. I’m sharing a simple five-part framework that will make your blog post titles (“headlines”) more compelling.
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In my work as a marketing consultant and copywriter, I see this problem all the time: great content obscured by boring titles and headlines.
I have been pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to connect with some big hitters online. Aside from Señor Hyatt himself, here are a few of the others who have been gracious enough to give me a significant portion of their time.
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Conflict is an almost daily event in organizational life. Wherever two or three are gathered, one is likely to disagree!
Most people choose one of two classic ways of handling conflict: management or resolution:
When I started out in blogging, I didn’t know how to put a blog post together. I started by simply typing out my thoughts. But it quickly became clear that, if I wanted readers, I needed a better plan.
However great a writer you are, your posts will only get read if they’re well structured. That doesn’t just mean having a gripping introduction (though that’s an important part of it). It also means getting the main body of your post right.
When I was in college, I cared about what people thought of me. Too much. It affected how I dressed, spoke, ate, exercised, and what classes I took. I rearranged my life to make others happy, and went with the ebbs and flows of their opinions. I didn’t serve my true self, or the calling that was inside me.
Then I heard a story that changed me.
Once, there was a community of wise monks who lived in the desert. One day, a man arrived at the monastery, asking if he could stay and learn wisdom from the monks. The old abbot came out and greeted the traveler, then asked why he had come.
“Remember, ultimately you are in control of your workout! I can motivate you to push harder. I can try to keep you from giving up, but in the end, it’s all up to you.”
This statement of our cycling instructor stuck with me because I see people give up control over crucial areas of their lives all the time.
“I don’t have a leader title.”
“I don’t have anyone who reports to me.”
“I don’t have experience leading people.”
I used to say these things, as an excuse. I used to say I am not a leader. I used to believe I was not a leader.
My backside aches this morning. Forty miles of riding a bike with a well worn seat will do that to you. But this pain is nothing compared to what almost happened yesterday.
As Kellie and I ventured through the countryside on our twenty-one speeds, we experienced a pain that many people experience in their own personal lives and don’t even know it. Here’s what happened and how it relates to you.
Fiascos are inescapable. A change of circumstance. A wild goose chase. An obstacle that thwarts what you had envisioned.
- Flights get delayed.
- Guest speakers cancel.
- Donors drop support.
- The flu comes around.
- Equipment breaks down.