One of the first lessons I ever learned as a copywriter (from Simon Hayward, a far better writer than I) was that I should never, ever, under any circumstance, begin a headline with: 3 reasons why….
Nor 5 reasons why. Nor 10. Nor whatever the number of reasons why.
His position was that this would announce to the world that there was nothing at all special about the product I was selling because I had chosen the most conventional and overused headline to try and sell it.
Lately I have become aware of the 3-Reasons-Why approach creeping into my blog post headlines. Social media mavens Jay Baer and Michael Gass have both recommended this approach to me. (To be fair, they have recommend other approaches as well.)
But for a copywriter, it feels like a cop-out: The blogosphere is awash with 3-Reasons-Why type headlines, just as advertising used to be in its infancy.
It’s hard to create a distinct voice for your brand when you’re doing what works for everyone else, whatever the medium.
Guess this post needs a new headline then, huh.