I really enjoy writing marketing copy for coaches and authors. Especially when my clients get really involved in the message development process. When they do, the one topic I tend to discuss with them the most is headlines.

  • Headlines for their online program sales page
  • Headlines for the back cover of their book
  • Headlines for their eblasts, etc.

The importance of writing strong headlines can never be overstated because headlines are the most valuable real estate in marketing copy

When coaches and authors ask me what’s the one immediate thing they can do to improve their existing marketing materials, my answer is always the same:

“Improve your headlines.”

Keep it simple

When I tell clients to improve their headlines, some of them make the common mistake of trying to dream up headlines that are catchy, zippy, and sexy.

However, trying to craft witty Madison-Avenue-style headlines is usually a big waste of time and energy.

Here’s why.

The goal of every headline you write is really simple:

  1. Grab the attention of your audience, and …
  2. Motivate them to read your body copy to learn more.

To motivate your audience, you don’t have to be crafty, clever, or cute with your headlines. In fact, a clear crisp headline that states or implies a benefit often works the best.

Guidelines for headlines

Here are a few basic guidelines you can use to measure every headline you write.

  • Communicate a big benefit or promise
  • Make it clear and easy to understand (simple words)
  • Be tight and concise (you don’t have much space)
  • Tap into a desire to learn more

Now, do all your headlines have to follow these exact guidelines? No they don’t. Instead, use these guidelines as just that – guidelines.

Draw from proven headline types

When it comes to creating headlines for your programs and books, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Here are several of my simple go-to headline types that I draw from when writing marketing copy for authors and coaches.

All of them have proven to be quite effective over the years. And as you’ll see, none of them are zippy, sexy, or catchy.


Reverse Your Chronic Pain Without Drugs

How to …

How to Build BIG Wealth After Age 50

Great Escape

Travel to the Most Dangerous Places on Earth!


Discover the secrets that help this legendary sales team double client revenues

Reasons why

7 Reasons Why Day Trading Can Set You Free

Numbered list

9 Things Every High School Kid Should Know About Money

Success story

How I Went from Broke to Bragging in 18 Months

 Provocative question

Are You Ready to Hire Yourself?

Startling fact or news

The REAL Causes of Heart Disease Will Scare You

 Be afraid

Do You Know What to Do If You Get Arrested?

There are many more headline types. But this brief list shows you clearly that attention-getting headlines can be very simple and straightforward.

And again, the goal behind every headline you create is to get attention and motivate your audience to want to know more. It’s that simple.

Video Blog Coming Soon!

Starting in February I’ll be publishing this blog weekly with a slightly different format.

Each blog I create will be written around a quick-tip video that will be embedded in the middle of every post.

This means there will be a little less writing and a little more conversation about writing marketing copy.

I’m calling these videos my Quick Answers to Copywriting Questions. Each one will be three to four minutes in length.

I hope you enjoy the new format.


Will this post make it easier for you to write simple headlines that grab your audience and drive them into your body copy? Please leave a comment and let me know!

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