How To Write A Headline (i.e. The Headlines I Stole From Cosmo Magazine)

Hello everyone, my name is Clay Collins, and in this episode of the Marketing Show, I’m going to share with you five headlines that I stole from Cosmo, Glamour, and Redbook, and other trashy magazines. That’s what I’ve got in this episode of the Marketing Show.

So a lot of people don’t know this, but I subscribe to magazines like Cosmo, Glamour, etc. And it’s not because I enjoy reading the content. I actually don’t. I mainly just focus on the covers because these covers are great sources of copy and great sources of headline and subject line inspiration for when I’m writing copy. In fact, I have a whole swipe file with headlines from Cosmo and other such sources, and I would highly suggest that you do the same. These magazines, magazines like Cosmo, Glamour, the National Enquirer, etc., live and die by their ability to catch your attention during the half a second that you’re looking at them during the supermarket. That is the basis of all their sales.

So the copywriters that write these headlines, especially for again, Cosmo, National Enquirer, things like that are highly paid, very well-trained copywriters who do business by the numbers. If these headlines did not produce sales, they wouldn’t be used again. And in fact, when you look at these headlines repeatedly, you will notice that patterns emerge, and these patterns are absolutely tested and absolutely work. So what I’m suggesting is that whenever you are lacking inspiration for an e-mail subject line, for a subject line for a sales letter or some marketing copy that you look at this.

So let’s look at the golf market, okay. If I needed to write a headline for a golf newsletter, if I needed to write a subject line for an e-mail that I’m sending out to my mailing list about golf, here’s what I could do, and I’m going to generate five of these. All right, so the first thing is 50 Sex Tips Reader Should: The Naughtiest Moves They Discovered All on Their Own. So if this were the golf market, I could say, 50 Putting Tips: Reader Share Their Sneakiest Moves They Discovered on Their Own. That’s one example.

Something else mentioned here is Three Things He Doesn’t Have to Know. So if you were writing again for the golf market, you could have an e-mail subject line where you send something out to your list. The subject line could be Three Things Your Golf Buddies Don’t Have to Know or Three Things the Clubhouse Doesn’t Have to Know, or you know, whatever. You can totally spin this. The Butt Facial. Yeah, I don’t know how you’re going to make that one work.

Anyway, next up, Glamour magazine. I’m looking here that says Is Everyone Kinkier Than You? Exactly What Real Men and Women are Doing When They Do It. So this could be Is Everyone Better Than You, okay. Exactly What Real Golfers are Doing and Why They Do It, you know. You could definitely spin all of these.

Next up, Redbook. Make-Up Tricks That Erase 10 Years. Okay. So you could be like Golf Swing Tips That Erase, you know, 10 Strokes From Your Game. I don’t know anything about golf, so I don’t know if ten is realistic, but that is one adaptation of this. Another one. Great Clothes, Shoes, Jewelry, and More Under $50, right. You could say Great Golf Clubs, Great Golf Accessories, and Local Golf Getaways For Under $50.

So anyway, there you go. Those are five head lines that I just instantaneously took from this material, and I think you get my drift. But another point I want to make here is that I was showing this for effects. You don’t have to go and spend $5 per magazine and buy these on your own. You can certainly go to,, etcetera, and use these websites as a source of inspiration. I’m on the website right now, and one of the headlines is 13 Things That Make Him Bitchy. Keep an Eye Out for These Landmines. If you were in the golf market, you could say 13 Things That Make Other Golfers Hate You on the Green. Keep an Eye Out for These Bad Habits, right?

So there is an infinite number of possibilities here, and if you are finding that your e-mails aren’t getting open, if you’re finding out that your blog posts aren’t getting read, if you’re finding out that in general, you aren’t able to capture the attention of your market, this is a way to fix that problem. And what I suggest you do, as you go through these materials that you create a swipe file in something like Evernote. So here’s mind and these are a bunch of headlines that I’ve either copied or adopted from magazines like this, and from other sources as well.

So just a quick tip for tweaking up your copy, making your stuff better, and getting your attention when you weren’t getting it before by using proven formulas from proven copywriters that live and die by their ability to get attention with your headlines.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of the Marketing Show. If you found this fascinating, if you found this helpful, I’d be super grateful if you would share this episode on Facebook and leave a comment below. My name is Clay Collins and thank you so much for watching the Marketing Show. I’ll talk to you next time.