Why do these headlines suck so much?

Finding a soul mate is a big deal. Like finding a network marketer to team up with. Rules to attract someone right and fun for that first look at least, are the same for both.

Some headline boo boo’s finding a soul mate:

“At,” write Chip and Dan Heath, ” you have two key ways to communicate something quickly about yourself: a picture and a headline. (Just like on NMC – kk). The pic of course, should embrace the social norm and be from 10 years and 20 pounds ago.

“With the headline, you can start from scratch. Given the stakes, these headlines should really zing. They don’t.

“Our search yielded headlines like this one: “Hey.” Another said “Looking for love.” Well, duh, you’re on At least two-thirds of the headlines said nothing–and did it poorly.

“Why do these headlines suck so much?

“Fear. Fear of saying too much. Fear of saying something clever that someone might think is stupid. Fear of saying something revealing that might turn someone off. The headlines try desperately not to exclude anyone. In doing so, they succeed at boring everyone.”

Boy isn’t that zeroing in on the problem: we all try desperately not to exclude anyone, and then end up boring everyone. (E.g. “Everyone will want this.”)


Suggestions for provocative headlines to attract a right one for your business, to go with your profile, wherever you display it online?

Writing key person ads is what this new 3-CD Recruiting with Ads program’s about. Hear what I did. Test ads you create yourself with New School principles. This program is not $97. It’s $37 here for the 3-CD set. Check it out first so you see what you get. MP3s here ($25)

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim

    This might be too general but here’s what I’ve done on some biz cards.

    Are you a healthy pet nut, like me?

    Does your pet suffer from allergies, like mine used to?

    Does your dog have a sensitive stomach, like mine did?

    Looking for picky eaters for taste tests. Any and all breeds welcome, dogs of course.

    Then I put:
    Contact me for a consultation or sample of dog or cat food I market.

    Too general? Too boring?

    I know these are more for the product.


  • There’s an awesome book called Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples which explains how to write great headlines and ad copy, and gives examples of ads that have and haven’t worked, i.e. they tested them and measured the results. Highly recommended! Apparently the secret is to create a “hook” in your headline that requires the prospect to read the rest of your ad in order to satisfy a question. One of the most effective headlines ever written was something like “Do you make these mistakes in English?”, which was advertising a correspondence course. Note that while the headline asks a question, it can’t be immediately answered with yes or no, and the human brain hates unanswered questions… It worked so well because you have to read the whole ad to see which mistakes (“these mistakes”) the headline is referring to! Simple but powerful.

  • OK, thought I’d try two entries as I didn’t see anything against it. – Derek

    “Life sucks and then you die.” – Mother Earth, 2007
    Cheery thought? No, but I’m feeling kind of down right now wondering how much time I have left. I thought I had a lot of good years still in me. But then you grew and started cluttering me up with garbage and toxic chemicals; they can harm your health and are threatening mine. You sure didn’t get that from me! Maybe I went wrong somewhere along the line. Maybe I’m just a bad Mother Earth. But I know you can do better. Sure it takes effort. You have to be willing to change. Invest some time and money. Make a commitment. If you’re not up to it, well then, maybe Momma Earth just won’t look after you for much longer. But you can make a difference. And you can benefit by helping others do the same. If you really want to. Call Derek at 1-403-328-7710. Make your Mother Earth proud!

    We don’t need your kind around here.
    Cluttering up landfills with packaging waste. Dumping toxins into the air. Filling your own homes with chemicals that threaten your health, to say nothing of the well-being of your children and pets. And then you sit around and whine about feeling poorly, about all of the pollution you see, and about poor little Johnny’s asthma kicking up again. You see the news reports about global warming, think something needs to be done, then hop in your SUV to drive two blocks to the store. Nope. Don’t need your kind, that’s for sure. We’re looking for people who want to make a difference. People who aren’t afraid of change. People who care about their health and the health of this planet. People who can see the benefits of an opportunity to improve their lives while helping others do the same. That’s the kind of people we need to call Derek at 1-403-328-7710. But we don’t need your kind around here.

  • Working from Home-Is it for You?

    This is what I use for my email contacts. What do you think?

    Nancy Carlson

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