Video:
Write Now! Persuasive Writing Prompts:
Jumpstart Your Headline Writing

Practice your copywriting skills with this prompt from The Professional Writers’ Alliance (PWA).

In this Write Now! exercise, try your hand at writing compelling headlines.

In this video by copywriter, Elizabeth Blessing, you’ll focus on a simple technique to stimulate your headline writing. (Or read the transcript below.)

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First, start off with a headline that you like and have reason to believe is a proven winner. Write that headline at the top of your page.

Next, set a timer for five minutes and for that entire five minutes write as many headlines as you can that mimic the style, tone and structure of your proven winner.

Now don't over think this and don't censor yourself! The point is to unleash a stream-of-consciousness flow of writing, getting as many headlines on paper as possible.

For example, I selected Boardroom's classic headline, "What Never to Eat on an Airplane." Here's what I came up with in five minutes:

  • What Never to Eat in a Fast Food Restaurant
  • What Never to Drink Before Bedtime
  • What Four Words You Should Never Say to Your Boss
  • What Never to Say On a First Date
  • What Five Secrets You Should Never Tell Your Spouse
  • What Three Things You Should Never Tell the IRS
  • What Three Things You Should Always Tell the IRS
  • What Three Things You Should Say to Calm an Angry Child
  • What Person You Should Never Trust With Your Email Address
  • Why Your Next Door Neighbor Just Might be a Cyber Thief

OK, that was a lot of fun, but did you notice what happened here? I went from what never to eat on an airplane to contemplating my neighbor might be a cyber thief, two very different ideas indeed.

Plus, once I understood the pattern of my sample headline, I gained the confidence to deviate from it ever so slightly with each succeeding headline.

So, now you give it a try – Use a proven winner to stimulate and strengthen your own headline writing ability … all in just five minutes!

Write Now! persuasive writing prompts are presented by the Professional Writers’ Alliance (PWA) — a professional association just for direct-response industry writers. Learn about the many benefits of a PWA membership.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: May 3, 2017

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