Every now and again I like to draw from the pool of expert writers and entrepreneurs on the net. This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com



Without a doubt, your headline is the most important part of your sales message. Many copywriters spend hours… days… weeks writing headline after headline, trying to come up with the one magic gem that’ll boost response to incredible levels.

Entire libraries can be filled with tips, tips, and techniques that’ll help you write stronger headlines. However I can provide you a brief overview of this complex subject.

As you begin writing, frame your mind around “benefits.” Benefits should be first and foremost in your mind whenever you write any sales message.

Forget your book. Forget your bio. Toss out any thought except these:

What will my book do for my reader?

What is the primary benefit my readers will receive when they read this?

Answer this question in a compelling way and you’ll sell books. Tons of ‘em.

That being said, I need to make one more thing very clear: You may not know what your primary benefit is right away. That’s why the best marketers test, test, and test some more. They’re also voracious researchers. More about that in a bit. But first, let’s talk testing.

Testing, although a fairly complex subject, can be broken down like this: Suppose you have two headline ideas. Love ‘em both. Can’t decide which to use.

Well, use ‘em both. Send half your list to one sales letter using one headline, the other half to the other headline. The headline that pulls in the most orders will become the headline you use. Rather simple, eh?

Ok. I admit it. This is a grossly simplified version of testing, but it works. You can tweak this method and keep testing various ads. And even when you have a clear winner, you’ll want to keep tweaking your ad, honing your headline, you never want an ad to become stale. Just keep tweaking and testing and your sales will steadily climb. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. Back to writing headlines.

I mentioned earlier that great copywriters are voracious researchers. This is true because as you get immersed in your book, you’ll sometimes lose sight of your audience. You know a ton about your subject. In fact, you’re probably the resident expert. Such an expert, in fact, that it’s likely you’ve become slightly myopic about your reader.

A basic mistake book marketers make is assuming that they resemble their readership. Think about it for a moment. You’ve spend (sometimes) years researching a subject. As you progress through the writing process of your book, this information literally steeps into your blood cells. It becomes a part of who you are.

Meanwhile, your potential readers are padoodling through their lives, in all likelihood not giving you or your book, or (sometimes) your subject a second thought. In other words, while you’re immersing yourself in your subject matter, your potential reader is knee deep, concerned about themselves in their own life, their own challenges, their own routine.

While you’re entire world view is shifting to accommodate this new knowledge you’re acquiring, your potential readership isn’t. This means that information you now view as “common knowledge” is anything but. You’re now viewing the world through a new set of eyes, while your potential audience probably isn’t.

What does all this mean to your internet sales page?


After you’ve written your book, got it published, and it’s now available for sale, you must once again become the person you were before you started writing. You have to somehow plug into the psyche of your reader and pull their emotional strings.

You need to acknowledge your expertise while still viewing the world through your reader’s eyes. And your sales page must reflect this. You need to know your audience inside and out. You need to understand what makes them tick. What keeps them up at night? What are their fondest dreams? What do they desire above all else?

Your headline must instantly connect with your reader and address these issues.

You get to know your audience in this way by reading what they read. Watch what they watch. Speak their language. Talk to them. Surf to their favorite websites. Ask what they want. Then GIVE IT TO THEM. Know them inside and out. Once you do this, your headline will be closer to the mark… but you’ll still need to test, test, and test some more. Does all this sound like work? Of course it does.

Marketing isn’t for the faint hearted. In fact, most authors don’t give this information a second thought, instead relying on something outside of themselves to sell their book without any effort.

This sounds somewhat depressing, but it’s good news for you. Because those who apply a little effort into marketing stand a much better chance at success.

So, let’s get back to it.


Leave a Comment »