If you’re not reading tabloid articles about things in your niche, then you’re missing out.
Check out this article:
You can tell immediately from the fact that a) it’s a tabloid paper and b) the language, that we’re not getting a dossier on anything remotely interesting here. That said though, someone linked it on Twitter, I clicked through, and it’s pretty awesome for some copywriting knowledge.
To reiterate though, this is good if it’s in your “niche.” If it’s not, move on and find something.
Give the article a read, and you’ll find you can use this article for:
- Male dating
- Dating for Females
- Female Beauty
- Female Fitness
- (At a push, male beauty and fitness)
I could have written some of these lines while I was in “long form sales page” mode. Let’s talk about some of the reasons this article is awesome.
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(For those of you who are wondering… I’m not being tongue-in-cheek here. This is totally serious. If there were a product mentioned in the article, I’d be convinced it was a covert product placement.)
Actually, before we do, let’s talk about what to ignore from a copywriting perspective.
What To Ignore
This list is short, but crucial. If you’re a copywriter looking to make the most of reading tabloids for inspiration, here’s what you need to ignore:
- The personal stories. Assume they’re all fake, actors, actresses or just made up anecdotes. News sites do this anyway and affiliate marketers/online publishers (i.e. your clients) definitely do this.
- The comments. In the comments, you see all kinds of dorks. Feminists, MGTOW nerds, Pick-up artists. Everyone jumping in with their political theories. Forget all that, we don’t care. Effective copy is what matters.
- Any philosophical arguments. In the above, you could blame old men for wanting younger women, older women for wanting men, the economy, dating sites, fashion magazines and their unrealistic ideals… like the point above, who cares? You can’t fix the world yourself, but you can write copy. So that’s what we’ll do.
Let’s quickly move on.
The headline is catchy, universal and absolutely everyone who has the slightest hint of an interest in the markets I list above will click it. Men wanting a woman will click. Women wanting a man will click.
What’s more, it’s simple. There’s no 8 bullet point headline checklist. It has seven words, or a single additional sentence once you click through… that also acts as an attention grabber.
You can bet that headline has been tested, tested and tested some more. What’s more, you can lift it and use it in your own headlines. Here are a couple off the top of my head:
Where Have All The Good Girls Gone?
Five handsome, charming and financial successful men reveal their secrets about how they pick their partners, and why most women don’t measure up. Here’s how you can!
Why Does Every Guy Smell Like A Homeless Person?
Five beautiful and glamourous beauties all shared the one reason they rejected men, and they all came to the same conclusion!
Those examples are pretty weak, but they show how you can take a simple headline and switch it to a different niche, product and audience quickly.
Gold Dust For A New Niche
Look at this excerpt, because it could come straight out of a sales letter:
You have the statistic with no footnote, the piece of advice that’s only tangentially related to the study and you’ve got the shock, fear and dread thrown at any female readers who now think, “Christ! I’m competing with all these beautiful women and men can have whoever they want!”
Bonus points for the stuff not pictured: On the sidebar directly opposite this, all kinds of models and actresses in bikinis and the obligatory “Kim Kardashian displaying her boobs and butt in one photo” picture. Perfectly designed to ruin the amygdala of every female reading.
Of course… flip it on its head and you have the beginnings of a whole new “dating for 50’s men” niche. Read in that context, the whole article reads only slightly more realistically than one of Mystery’s old sales letters.
Fear and Envy In Simple Anecdotes
These types of articles go heavy on the anecdotes, and heavy on the fears.
In a moral society, they’d probably be illegal.
Take the anecdotes slightly lower on the page. The Daily Mail writer makes sure to exclude nobody in the age bracket:
- The perpetually single woman
- The divorcee with grown kids
- A woman of considerable means
- The woman who is super into fitness
- The mysterious dating coach who tells women to lower their standards
- Women seeking younger males
All of these archetypes come complete with a corresponding fear:
- “There’s nobody out there”
- “Men don’t want to take on kids”
- “Everyone is out for your money and success” (Objectification)
- “You’re competing with the best”
- “Your standards are too high”
- “All men want someone else”
So on and so forth. The more I read, the more I’m convinced this was ghost-written by the ghost of Gary Halbert or something.
Here’s the weird thing with anecdotes: You don’t have to prove any of it. It doesn’t have to be true. The claims never get questioned, only the veracity of the possibly fake opinion giver.
And people are more likely to believe a third hand, possibly fake account rather than the writer’s narration anyway.
‘Knowledge is power, so get the determination to take charge,’ she says.
‘You’ve got to make the choice to be that one woman in seven. It’s tough but possible.’
Nobody, and I repeat, nobody is as good as tabloid newspapers are at framing issues.
It’s been their whole model of business for hundreds of years. They have tested it, refined it and in some cases literally taken over the world by following very simple processes. Forget dork-manuals like 48 Laws of Power and Influence and study tabloids.
Take the above quote which ends the article… it’s perfectly framed using the anecdotes, vague “facts” and probably fake people, and added together with the ads, related content and writing style, created a hyper-reality where women are competing for something based on not a lot of actual reality.
I suggest you put the “You’ve got to make a choice to be the X out of X people who actually do something” line into your swipe file.
In fact, homework for today: Go through this article and pull out all the possible lines that you could use in your copy, because you can just tell that this article got a ton of clicks to the make-up ads in the Taboola section.