Ad Critique - Weak Headlines and How to Make Them Better

Hi all,

I'm reasonably new here but I'm hoping that unlike a lot of people I see posting similar requests I've actually read and absorbed the guidance on here before asking for advice. So, here goes - do your worst! I'm very open to suggestions:

NB: I have a bug with the image slider in Firefox on a mac, working to resolve but if you use chrome all is well. Much Appreciated.

- R

Here's what I think
Headline is in all-caps. It's like shouting. It's ok to capitalize a word or two, but only to highlight a benefit. As you can see, you lose its effectiveness when you capitalize every word in your headline.

The headline gives too many benefits--"boost creativity, solve problems, face fears." Pick one major benefit that you think that is most common with your target audience. Everything else you can mention in your copy.

"Ultimate shortcut." Why did you say it's the ultimate? You probably would have a better headline if this claim were more specific. Quantify your claim, then highlight this in the headline.

"Unlock the power of your mind." What power? We all know about mind power, but which one were you referring to?

Motivation to read
Can you see how important the headline is? Your headline has to grab the reader's attention. It has to give them an incentive to stop whatever it is they are doing and make time to read your copy.

As you can see in this ad, this headline failed to hold the reader's attention. There's too much going on and yet, no clear benefit is given to the reader.

What can you do for me?
Let's take a look at the sub-headline: "Did You Know? You’ll Spend Almost 3000 Hours Asleep This Year..."

So what?

Strike two. Next...

"...Now Get Something Back With DreamExtreme - from Marshall Supplements."

Imagine you were in your living room, having a great time. Suddenly, there's a knock on the door. You open the door and the salesperson starts shouting about who they are and what they do. They then show you these supplements, "You wanna buy these?"

What would you do?

If you were that salesperson, how would you do things differently? On the comment section below, tell me how you are going to rewrite the headline.

Is This "Killer Copy"?

I found this image off a copywriter's website. The author claims that this is killer copy that got results.

Take a good look at the image again for four seconds, then tell me--what do you think is the product? What can it do for you?

If you don't know what the answers are, how can this be an effective ad?

Website Critique For Social Media Marketing Company

Hi, I am looking for an experienced copywriter to review the copy on our corporate website. We are looking for someone who can write engaging sales copy for the website.

Kindly review the content on the website, as well as write new copy were necessary and make recommendations for improvements which we can upload to the site

We require this job to be completed ASAP as the site is live, we have a lot of work of this nature so there good be ongoing work for the right candidate.

Here are screenshots of their websites, above the fold, and below--

This 'Road Block' Is Not Good For Business

Click on the image to enlarge

I was trying to access two different websites that I previously bookmarked. Each time, I got such a web page telling me that my PC had a virus and that the site owner wanted to be sure that they were protected. Guess what I did? Same as you would have done--Click, Goodbye!

If you own an ecommerce website, you are losing potential customers. I emailed a friend who owned one of these sites to see if he was aware of this "road block."

I am suspecting it could be some kind of malware. I did not do the captcha test. I simply decided to go away. Let's see what comes up on the Internet about this issue.

Six hours later...
My friend emailed his site's tech support, then sent me the reply. They (tech support) said that this was a feature of CloudFlare (or something like that). It's a wordpress plugin and it apparently scanned my pc/network and detected malware--automatically restricting my access to the site.

I am running Linux on my PC. As you know, the Linux operating system is reputed to be the safest operating system in the market today. Just to be sure, I even ran antivirus and found nothing.

Why restrict access to your ecommerce site with such an obstacle? Isn't there a better way to make your website safe without blocking incoming traffic?

Remember the 4-second attention span? To the unsuspecting visitor to this website, the captcha is one more hoop for them to go through. I wonder how this plugin will affect traffic for this website?

Facebook Ad Bloopers

From Claude Hopkins

"...People seldom read the same news or story twice. Do not expect a second reading. Tell them everything that they need to know about your brand."

Try This As An Appeal For Your Next Ad

"Fear of Loss is greater than 
the Desire for Gain."

Site Analytics Update

Facebook Ads - How To Get More Clicks

Headline: The Hidden Audience
Offer: Turn web traffic into repeat customers with RETARGETTING. Get x3 rules, x5 tips and x7 tactics. Click here for the free cheat sheet.

'Tis not the way to do Facebook marketing

Status Updates Work Like Short Ads

How many words did you go before you paused to catch your breath?

This status update is vying for the World Record in longest updates without punctuation.

How To Build Trust

Hey Jim,

These are the two sites that need help in sales copy as well as SEO. I've also created a 5 day fallow up email campaign for both sites that is not converting. Traffic for these sites is low so rather hard to tell if it's the copy or the poor traffic.

I visited your blog and you are offering to take a gander and give your opinion. As you know lots of response and lots of promises too my ad. I like what I've read and will be making a decision soon.

fat loss website critique

My opinion
Your web copy looks sound enough. The headline, "Abdominal Fat Loss Diet" effectively flags prospects who are looking for such a solution. The copy then gets the reader engaged in the copy. I find the same with the "Conceive a baby" copy below.

How is the free ebook offer pulling for you? The copy looks effective enough that even I will sign up for the free ebook. I haven't read the copy for the follow up email, but I am assuming that you will find your leaks in those email.

How to gain reader's trust
You see, if people sign up for the free ebook, they want free information. They will give you their email to get that free information. But soon as you ask for money when you email them, your email gets filtered as spam and will go straight to trash.

Offering FREE e-books, this doesn't pull anymore. Everyone else is doing it. Take a look at the more successful Internet Marketers and you will see that they do not offer free e-books.

If you intend to ask for money later, then tell them up front. "This program will help you lose weight for only $xxx...Guaranteed." You then justify why your brand is the answer to their problem.

Your website comes across as an infomercial. It's there to sell and activates your reader's BS radar. Almost everything you say in this ad is going to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Others like me
If I were looking for a solution to my weight problem (or how to conceive a baby), I will be drawn to websites that will tell me how others were able to do it. You might want to start a blog, where the author is a person who is in the same boat as your prospects--let's call her Jane Doe.

In this blog, Jane writes about her thoughts, feelings, and experience starting as an overweight person. Jane writes how she struggles with this issue, which leads her to make the decision to lose weight. She tries everything, and eventually finds one that "seems" to work for her.

Social proof
In the process, Jane invites people into the conversation. She encourages them to comment and share their own experience as well. If the blog is engaging enough, readers will want to share this information with their own social network.

This is one of the ways to build credibility for your brand.

When you have such a blog, it will be easy to mention (in a subtle way) how this brand is able to help solve her weight problem. That's how people will find your infomercial website. By then their BS radar is down and they are then open to your suggestions.

Instead of running online ads for your infomercial website, advertise these blogs instead.

Internet Marketing - What Works, What Doesn't


From testing, I learned that what I thought I knew about internet marketing was wrong. These will not work by itself--will not get you new business:
  • guest blogging
  • 10,000 likes or followers
  • updating blog content everyday
  • updating status updates 3x daily
  • blog commenting
  • SEO

What has worked for me so far?
  • Finding what it is that keeps them up at night, and offering a solution for that.
  • Soon as you figure it out, advertise like crazy. Make sure everyone who is a potential customer will know that you offer a solution.
  • Use this in combination with any of the above and you have an effective marketing campaign.

You will then have more time for your Self, your business, and your family. That's what we are here for, isn't it?

Maybe I should call this something--"Sleepless Marketing"?

Do Business Through Your Website

Make it easy for your customers to do business with you through your website. Click here to learn more.

How I Learn What Works And What Doesn't

direct marketing

As a Direct Marketer, I am always testing. The only reliable source of information for me are my test results.

This button will IMPROVE ENGAGEMENT on your Facebook fan page

I am making tweaks in marketing my copywriting business online. I noticed that I am not getting good mileage using my FB fan page.

poor reach for fan page

These get good page rank but fail to convert - What you can do about it.

SEO copywriting does not work

The image above came from an article that I found from a social media marketer's blog. I took a screenshot above the fold to point out how the headline should tie in with your first paragraph, and the next.

SURVEY: Who Do You Think Will Go Out Of Business First--The Client Or The Ad Agency?

billboard ad fail

Did you get what was funny about this ad?

I didn't. I wonder who else will find this ad amusing? And why would it be time for me to switch to Cox Business? If this was about my internet connection, why should I switch over?

Now instead of a billboard ad, that was the message on your website's landing page.

Will it get a better response than the billboard ad?

How Do I Get Freelancers To Sign Up And Participate In This Forum?

"Hi Jim. I started this online forum for freelancers several months ago. The goal of this site is to provide a venue for online freelancers. The site makes money using Google Adsense.

What can you recommend that we do to get more traffic to this site?"

- Email Inquiry

Facebook Rains on Hootesuite's Parade

I use hootsuite. Almost all of my status updates, both for personal profile and fan page are scheduled to automatically post via hootsuite.

I don't think my business is going to be negatively affected by facebook's decision about third party apps such as hootsuite.

Do I really need Insights?
I barely check into Insights anyway. I post my Insights chart on this blog once a week, only to monitor how engagement is doing.

In the past, I never used insights as a gauge to monitor engagement anyway. I manage select clients only and I know which status update gets engagement or not. Both fan page and profile points to this website anyway.

What now?
I can still check Insights, but it is not going to bear as much weight as it did before. Everything that I analyze now is going to be with Google Analytics. GA tells me how much of my traffic are coming from Facebook. The important metric that I am watching is traffic towards my sales funnel.

In spite of all this, I believe that things happen for a reason. I look forward to that day when I realize that all this happened for the good of all concerned.

We'll see what happens.

This Week's Engagement Stats

*Click on the image to sharpen and enlarge.

Website Critique For A Gaming Website

"Hi i want to make my website popular? I have an online gaming website but it is not very popular. I have Google Ads but the site only make $1 a month."

First Impressions

The title of your site is "Total Amazing Games" but when we find your landing page, it's all text. What games can we find here? Don't tell us, show us. Include more games, make your site more appealing to your target market by including images, animation, videos, and all that.

Add social sharing buttons.

Remove that sign that says, "Advertise here." It makes your site look unappealing. Focus instead on getting people hooked on your games. When your site is getting enough traffic, advertisers will come knocking on your door.

The color of your text does not contrast well with its background. Use a different color combination, or make the font easier for us to read.

I don't have much to work with here. The site is practically empty at this time. Obviously, it's not going to attract any traffic. You are lucky to have clicks on your ads.

Do these things, then get back with me in a few months.

Jay Abraham - Secrets to Copywriting?

No, we do not want a blow by blow account of your tweets - Thank you.

This is why you should not auto-post from one social media site to the other. These come across as spam to the reader. Keep doing this and you will get "Unlike" sooner or later.

Gary Halbert on Youtube

How To Promote This Business Startup

"I recently started a business where I sell gift baskets and diaper cakes to new and expectant parents. My products include a combination of bottles, baby clothes, stuffed animals, diapers, baby booties, bath toys, etc.

I need help with advertising ideas. What are some ways I can get the word out about my business? I've had some success through word-of-mouth, but not alot.

Thanks, Miss L"

Content Sharing Groups - Good or Bad?

copywriting skills

I found these on my facebook news feed today...

The world’s first collaborative content sharing system.

...allows members to not only share their own content, but that of their clients as well. Sharing works on a point system. Members of the club must accumulate 5 points before they can share one thing of their own. You accumulate points by sharing available content on your network...

This group offers to share your content, but FIRST, you have to share their content with your social network.

I joined several groups like these in the past. It's fun when you are getting started. I joined with the intent to interact with other bloggers, also to learn and give back in gratitude. I decided quit after a month or two. It wasn't exactly the path that I wanted to follow.

Site elements that distract readers [Website Critique]

"Help! How do I increase my blog's traffic? I have a 2-month old blog where I write about computers, phones, seo and money making. The sad thing is that only few people visits my blog. Thank you very much."

website critique

Sure way to get your Facebook page Unlike'd

how to get unlike on facebook

It's a big sin to Like your own status update. To comment four times on the same status update? Priceless ;p

How this author is making a killing, thanks to social media

google plus profile

I found her on Google+. Tessie L'Amour is an author who writes erotica. To market her books on, Tessie L'Amout writes erotic short stories and shares them on her "profile" on Google+.

Each story on her Google+ status update has a link to her amazon store where she sells more of her work. There you will find that most of the books that she sells cost less than $5 per kindle book.

amazon page

As you know, it doesn't cost much to publish your own kindle book on Now, do the math.

Did I just see that "idea" bulb light up in your head?

How To Find A Good Social Media Marketing Professional For Your Business

You've probably seen this video. If not go see it first before reading this.

In this video, Gary Vaynerchuk mentions that a number of social media marketers out there have no first hand experience in growing a business.

I agree with him on that.

Here are some of the qualities that make a good headline

Take a look at these ads that were featured on my Facebook news feed--

facebook ad
Click on the image to enlarge

More clicks on your linkbait - here's how

It's a weekend, and you are surfing the internet to chill out. You then find this status update in your newsfeed--

Super Oxide Dismutase: The Anti Aging Factor We Can Change

Will you click on it?

oxide dismutase

My opinion on how to be a better social media marketing professional

The question on this thread was, "Which Blogs Do You Recommend for Social Media?"

Here is my reply. Instead of copy-paste word for word (not good for SEO), I took a screenshot.

Source -

Will this help you catch fish?

Imagine yourself going fishing using hamburger as bait. You will have a better time eating that hamburger than to site there for hours waiting for a bite, don't you agree? What I find admiring about this status update is that they are doing this all day - it's what they do for a living.

Who else outsources their social media management?

This is what happens when you outsource social media management to a non-english speaking contractor.


While watching this video, check out the sparkle in his eyes


5 reasons why I never bothered with guest blogging

guest blogging

Guest blogging? Not for me. Here's why.
  1. To be consistent with their brand, my voice has to blend in with theirs.
    One reason why people will choose to follow your blog is to see the world from a different perspective.
  2. SEO experts claim that guest blogging will benefit my blog because of spill-over traffic.
    When was the last time you clicked on a guest blogger's bio after reading their article?
  3. Blogging for someone else, you are adding to their brand value with very little return to yours.
    "I wrote for so-and-so" other writers will claim. They think that by writing for a famous brand, that popularity will somehow rub off on theirs.

    It doesn't work that way. It is still someone else's brand they are promoting. I would rather be patient planting seeds on my own garden, thank you.
  4. Once you get what building a brand is all about, you will NEVER write for someone else for the rest of your life.
  5. If I am good enough to write for someone else, why should I?

Can Your Website Pass This Five-Second Test?


weak web copy

This came up on my Facebook newsfeed this morning. An internet marketing firm was showing everyone the website they created for one of their clients. I did not want to critique their work in front of everyone, so I am doing it here.

Simple technique to get a response on Facebook

messed up status update

The caption reads--
"Email me a question re. copywriting, marketing or biz building- I’ll answer it on my weekly Ask PW post! Send your ? here:"

How many inquiries do you think this message will get? I was going to ask a question myself, but seeing that I have to send an email to do that, I decided that my question wasn't that important. Too much effort.

If you want to get engagement for your status update, make it easy for your audience to respond. In this case, allow readers to use the comment box below the status update. This way, other readers will see what the questions are, then may choose to join the conversation (Social Proof).

One more thing

It's OK to write as you would when sending SMS, but not with your marketing communications. The reader's mind starts and stop trying to understand what the message is. Writing this way makes your message less effective.

This detracts from your site's credibility

What came to mind the first three seconds when you saw that page?

The website is about Internet Marketing & SEO, while that article is about social media marketing. I thought the article was a movie review that tied in with internet marketing. Looking at the page, did it not create a momentary confusion in your mind as to what it was all about?

To convert traffic into customers, here are things you need to consider.