The “Rule of 25”—and how it can force you to get creative

What’s the “supposedly secret but hiding-in-plain-sight” way to write better headlines? Here it is - write at least 25 headlines each time. Here's why.

What’s the “supposedly secret but actually hiding-in-plain-sight” way to write better headlines?

(The way that’s probably going to make you weep?)

Here it is: write at least 25 headlines each time—for each piece of copy. 

Yes, 25. 

Back when I used to teach copywriting in night school—yes, this Rule of 25 consistently made my students groan. 

They hated me for it, but I haven’t found a better method of producing good work.

Because when you write 25 headlines, most of them will be awful. 

Some will be good or even great. 

And once in a while, you might come up with something incredible. 

Because by forcing yourself to keep going, you’ll push past what’s trite or cliché and get to something better.

Let me demonstrate.

Here are just 10 of the headlines I created when I wrote for Craig Ballantyne and his Perfect Life Workshop, in the order I came up with them.

1. Gain Hours Of Your Life Back—While Doubling Or Even Tripling Your Income—With the Powerful, Proven Strategies I’m About To Share With You

2. It’s Impossible to Go “Off the Rails” When You Learn These Simple Strategies—Instead You’ll Double or Triple Your Income And Save Ten Hours A Week Or More

3. Master The Secrets I’m About to Show You And You’ll See Phenomenal Results—You Too Can 2X Your Income and Shave 10 Hours of Wasted Time Off Your Week

4. My Amazing Process Will Help You Double Your Income and Rescue 10 Hours A Week from “Time Thieves”—And I Want To Show You Exactly How

5. Just By Using These Little-Known “Time Management Tricks” You Can Become Almost Superhuman—You’ll Earn More, Stop Wasting Hours on the Small Stuff, And Enjoy All The Good Things In Life You’ve Ever Wanted

6. Yes, You CAN Change the Trajectory of Your Entire Life In Only A Single Day—2X Your Income, Work 10 Hours Less Per Week, And STILL Have Time for Everything That’s Important To You

7. What Will You Do Once You 2X Your Income And Find An “Extra” 10 Hours A Week Of Free Time? The Possibilities Are Endless—And They’re All Yours

8. I’ll Help You Blow Through What’s Holding You Back So You Can 2X Your Income And Work 10 Less Hours Per Week. The Best Part? It’ll Only Take Us A Day To Do It.

9. How Does Twice As Much Money And 10 Hours a Week of “You” Time Sound? If You Said “Impossible,” You’re In For a Big Surprise

10. Most People Never Learn The Crucial Lesson I’m About to Share… Are You Ready to Join Me And Become One of The Smart Ones?

Some of those aren’t too bad, right? 

And that’s precisely what this process is supposed to do—help you get past the obvious ideas and dig deep into better headlines. 

Oh, and if you’re curious about what we ended up using on the Craig Ballantyne site, here’s what we ended up settling on.

We started with a pre-head.

For overworked entrepreneurs who want faster results…

Then we moved into the main headline:

What If You Could Cut AN ENTIRE WORK-WEEK From Your Month—While Earning TWICE As Much Money? Yes, It SOUNDS Crazy… But My Students Do It All The Time—And So Can You.

And finally, we used a subheadline as well:

It’s Not Only Possible… It’s PREDICTABLE When You Learn My “Millionaire-Maker” Formula for Earning an Extra $10,000 Per Week and Saving 2 Hours Per Day

No matter what you think of these—whether you feel they’re too hard-sell, or you think they’re not hard-sell enough—I wouldn’t have gotten to the final version without pushing myself to 25.

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