DIY advertisers: why titles don’t work, and headlines do

When you advertise your business, do you give the advert a title – or a headline?

Ads (a.k.a. “adverts”) with a title often are also “upside down adverts” which you need to avoid if you’re going to get the maximum number of leads and enquiries from each of your ads.

Why titled don't work in advertising

Books need titles: adverts need headlines.

Never forget that an ad – even a small, low-cost ad in a local magazine or “handbook” – needs to offer readers something “in it for them…” not just a title being your name or what you do.

Don’t forget that old-but-very-relevant point … “what’s in it for me” is what sells.

That means, to grab attention and hold it, you need to start your adverts with a strong headline. Not a title.

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10 terrible cliché images that kill your written content

Images in blog and social media posts are essential, the gurus say. Trouble is, too often people slap up the first (copyright free, of course…) image they find on Flickr that does nothing whatsoever to make their written content look anything other than a bunch of similar clichés.

Here are my top 10 pet image hates and why I think they make your written content look awful…

1.Someone on the phone

Why you shouldn't use cliche images in your written work

Shots of people looking important while on the telephone, don’t work. A very old pic of George Dublya Bush – sorry for the blur, but I guess he may be a bit of a blur now, too, bless him.**

…usually sitting at a desk, dressed smartly, smiling in a patronising way and looking Very Important. No-one is fooled by that any more and that reminds me the following joke … [Read more…]

Are you losing out because your adverts are upside down?

How often do you see adverts that are phrased, and proportioned, like this? (And this is a real one from a piece of email marketing, not made up…) It’s an unusually brilliant example of WE-WEE marketing… 

Why upside down adverts don't work

See how much more powerful it would be if we turn it right-side up again, and give it a little tweak…

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We are market leaders and have arranged £3 billion of funding for UK businesses over the past 20 years

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How To Write Better: thank you, 2 million page viewers in the last 4 years!

More than 2 million page views in 4 years! Nothing could have made me happier than being greeted on my return from Canada (Sept 10th, 2017) to find that our humble How To Write Better (the REAL one) has exceeded the 2 million page view mark since September 1st, 2013.

2 millions page views for HTWB
For a niche site that’s a labour of love (rather than the off-shoot of another site that exists in the USA as part of a large commercial enterprise…) I have to say I am truly proud of our achievements. [Read more…]

N O – or rather, yes! English business jargon starting with N and O

Are you the sort of person who would take a “no brainer” “on a go forward basis?” Or would you “nuke” the idea and say “not on my watch?” More business and general English jargon, this time from N to O.

More English business jargon demystified on HTWB - this time from N to O

It’s “not rocket science” to be “on the ball” if you wear an “old school tie…”

English business jargon starting with N to O

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Writing business we-wee is bad – but what about me-mee?

As you probably know I am forever advising businesses not to write about how “we” do this and “we” do that, unless they can relate that to how they benefit customers very, very quickly.

Writing about yourself in the first person

If you’re a sole trader, should you write about yourself in the first person?

That’s largely because people writing “we-wee” are too inwardly focused and forget to share with readers what’s in it for them, which in business is critically important. But recently I have been taking a look at websites belonging to, and I assume written by, individual solopreneurs and sole traders. And I have to concede, they have a problem that is harder to solve.

We, me, him, her or who the hell does “me” write as?

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