THE SALT AND PEPPER TECHNIQUE FOR WRITING HEADLINES

How do you write the perfect headline?

Every copywriting guru has a different take on this.

And seriously, there are a million and one ways to approach this topic.

Personally, I like to think of it as adding salt and pepper to your food.

Here’s what I mean:

You want to start with a base benefit, topic, or something that grabs your readers attention.

Some examples of this might include…

“Lose weight”

“Save money”

“Look younger”

Or even something like…

“Donald Trump”

Or…

“Climate change”

(Just note that these are BAD examples. They’re too simple. When doing this you want to be as ultra-specific as possible and zero in on something that the reader is extremely interested in.)

This topic or benefit forms the base of your headline.

I call this the “salt” and it’s the thing that grabs or hooks your readers attention.

In this post our salt is the phrase “writing headlines.”

If you’re still reading this, it’s because you want to learn how to do that.

Now, everything else which surrounds the salt is what I call the “pepper.”

These are basically words which add to the flavor of your headline.

A lot of the time this pepper includes your standard headline formats.

I’m talking about things like…

“Why…”

“What…”

“How to…”

“10 ways to…”

The pepper can also include other words which enhance the flavor.

Things like:

“Weird”

“Strange”

“Unusual”

“Groundbreaking”

You’ll also want to add in curiosity generating phrases like:

“What you don’t know about xyz could kill you.”

“Why most people never discover the truth about xyz before it’s too late.”

“10 reasons why your xyz isn’t working.”

And so on and so on.

(In this post our pepper is “The salt and pepper technique…”)

When we mix it all up we get:

“The salt and pepper technique for writing headlines”

Believe it or not it’s really that simple.

Start with your salt.

Find a benefit or topic that excites your audience and grabs their attention.

Next, add in your pepper.

Use weird, colorful, or strange words and surround them with curiosity generating phrases.

With this simple technique you can write headlines quickly.

Not only that, you can use it to write email subject lines, sales letter headlines, article titles, YouTube titles…

…or anything really.

Until we meet again,

Alastair Walton

GET CLIENTS QUICKLY WITH THIS UNUSUAL METHOD

Many years ago I was trying to break into the world of freelance copywriting.

At that point I was really struggling.

No matter what I did, no one would hire me.

But then I heard about an interesting way to find work.

With this technique you can quickly get as many clients as you need.

Not only that, it provides copywriters with a few additional benefits as you’ll see below.

What is this technique?

Well, what you basically want to do is find people with existing sales pages (one way to do this is by visiting Clickbank and getting in touch with product owners.) Send these people a message and tell them about yourself and that you’re a copywriter. Then tell them that you want to rewrite their sales letter…for free…and that they only need to pay if you write something that converts higher than what they’ve got at the moment.

Now, before you turn your nose up at this idea, there’s a good reason why you should try it.

First of all, this is a no-brainer offer because there’s zero risk to the client – which means you’ll actually GET clients. What’s more, offer this service to enough people and you’ll eventually strike gold i.e. you’ll actually write a letter that converts and get paid for your efforts. In fact, this may even turn into ongoing work if you’re lucky.

There’s also another benefit which most people don’t think about.

You see, when starting out as a copywriter there’s one thing you need more than anything else.

What is this?

EXPERIENCE.

You need to get to the point where you’ve worked with a handful of clients…

…and written at least 2-5 sales letters or other pieces of copy.

More importantly…

You need to have written copy that actually converts.

Only by doing this will you gain the experience needed to move onto more serious projects.

Bottom line:

If you want to break into freelance copywriting then consider offering a free sales letter rewrite.

Doing this is a great way to gain experience and confidence.

Plus it helps you build up a portfolio…

…plus you might actually earn some money.

Alastair Walton

P.S. One more thing before I go: If you’re going to do this make sure you have another source of income i.e. don’t quit your day job to become a copywriter and then work for free. The reason why is because you’re probably not going to make a lot of money (or even get paid.) In my experience most people don’t run your copy and will ignore you after it’s delivered. If they do use the copy and it makes money…well…there’s no guarantee they’ll honor the agreement. Remember, you’re doing this purely for experience and not money, so don’t concentrate on that until later…

THIS GUY WROTE FOR 17 YEARS (BEFORE EARNING A PENNY) HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM HIM)

Steven Pressfield is an American author of historical fiction.

Like most writers, success did not come easy. In fact, it was 17 years before he earned a penny from writing and another 27 before his first novel got published (The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was later turned into a movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.)

But his real break-through came when he wrote a book called “The War of Art.”

Maybe you’ve heard of it?

To give you a brief summary, this book is basically a guide to pressing through the barriers which hold you back from doing creative work. It’s sold well over a million copies and even after all these years, is still incredibly popular.

But there’s a good reason for this.

First of all, the title – which is basically a play on the “Art of War” – is brilliant.

Second, this book is primarily aimed at people in the creative field – writers, artists etc.

(More specifically, it’s aimed at people who want to write or make art.)

And this is really why the book is so popular.

You see, these kinds of products are a dime a dozen. There are literally hundreds on goal setting, motivation, success, and spirituality. Unfortunately, 99% of these books sink without a trace. But the reason why the War of Art succeeds – and continues to succeed – is because if differentiates itself.

Instead of being aimed at the general public, this book targets people in the creative field.

And this is why it continues to sell…year after year after year.

Moral of the story?

Whether you’re writing a book, creating a course, or designing a new product, it’s critical that you do something different. Whether it’s targeting a subset of the market (like The War of Art does) your packaging, or what the product does, you have to find a way to make yourself different and stand out.

Do this and you’ll drastically increase your chances of success.

Alastair Walton