This will upset some copywriters.
But it will cause other copywriters joy.
You see this is a piece about how to write more engagingly.
But it’s not entitled 15 Tips For Writing More Engagingly.
I dislike those pieces.
I dislike them immensely.
I see them all over the Internet. On Twitter, on LinkedIn, littering my inbox.
10 Rules for Content Marketing, declares the headline.
How To Write More Engaging Content, suggests another subject line.
The 9 Best Ways to Write Good Content claims another.
Please stop using such headlines.
“But Glenn, they’re good for SEO.”
No, the piece itself might be good for SEO. But your crap headline is a wasted opportunity.
“But Glenn, people like lists.”
Sure, but when they’re in a rush, they would rather know the ONE thing that’s going to save them.
Or even better, they would rather be engaged by an actual idea. Not just a description of the article you’ve written.
“But Glenn, they work.”
You think you’ve somehow discovered the greatest headline ever and it happens to be 15 Tips For Writing More Engagingly?
A stronger headline will work better.
Why does it upset me so?
It comes down to a simple case of ‘show, don’t tell’.
When I see those kinds of headlines, I know – without reading any further – the piece will likely be a waste of time.
If the writer actually delivered good advice on how to write engaging content they would advise you to always write a disruptive, interesting headline that gets people’s attention.
If they aren’t giving that advice in the piece, it’s pointless.
If they are giving such advice in the piece, they’re still not worth listening to because in using such a generic, forgettable headline themselves – they don’t value their own advice.
I mean, be honest…
Would you have read this if it said How To Write More Engaging Content?
At best, you’d have maybe saved it until later.
But later you’d have been busy and you’d end up deleting it anyway.
Yet if you’ve read until this point, not only did you open, you’ve also engaged with the piece to the exact point I wanted you to engage to.
All because I started with an idea – upsetting copywriters. It’s something a little different and not just a bland description of what was to come.
So, while I do have your attention, I won’t waste it with 15 half-arsed tips…
I’ll give you ONE practical and quick idea for improving and piece of written content or copy…
It’s something simple, but something that will definitely help you to write more engagingly.
Here it is:
Once you’ve written your first headline or subject line for a piece – write ten more.
Don’t overthink it.
Just write as fast as you can ten different ideas.
If you’re struggling, just look at the first headline you wrote and ask: Why would someone read that? The answer will give you another headline option.
Nine times out of ten, you’ll find you write a more interesting, attention-grabbing headline by doing this quick and simple exercise.
So, run with that one.
P.S. If you’d like even more ideas for how to write more engagingly, you should pick up a copy of my book here. There are a load more ideas…and from the nice feedback it seems people find they are delivered in an engaging way.
P.P.S. Agree with me on this…or disagree? It’s cool either way. But I’d love to hear your thoughts, so do comment below.