The Headline Writer’s Laws of Attractions

By: Christine Hogg Dec 20, 2016

Headline writing is an artform. But it’s also an important element of the copywriting realm that many people don’t think twice about. Remember the good old days of writing a university paper and slapping a title on that had enough to do with your topic for a solid B+? If you really wanted that A, you might have even included a “professional” approach with a colon (Selling Your Car: The Right Way) to stand out from the crowd. If this is how you currently title your auto blogs or web pages, it’s time to stop. Right now.

The key to writing a catchy headline is the difference between people actually reading your copy versus skimming the first few lines (or worse, ignoring it completely). Consider this. When you pick up your morning newspaper, do your eyes zoom in straight for the body of text, or do they jump to the bolded words at the top? The structure of your headlines and your attention to the craft is critical to the copy your business produces. If your headlines suck, even if your content is juicy and knowledgeable, nobody will read it. What’s worse, is your inventory will sit dormant and go stale because nobody will visit your site (are you scared yet?). An attention-grabbing headline is your saving grace because that’s what will convert your audience and ultimately sell your products.

So, how do you write a killer headline?

It’s not as hard as it looks, but it definitely takes practice. The secret to creating engaging, crisp, and convincing headlines is to know your copy inside and out. After you’re informed on everything the article or content snippet advertises, put your thinking cap on and get to work.

Law No. 1: Be a Tease

The internet provides us with millions of clickbait articles, listicles, infotainment and real news to the point that it might seem you can’t go 5 seconds without seeing another “How To” or “Why You” or “Top 5” article in your social network. With so much similar content, it’s critical to really find a unique angle that’s hiding within your copy and write a headline that both identifies what the copy is about, but also implies a strong CTA. The sense of urgency should be there too as a means to lend exclusivity to your brand. If your headline looks and sounds like everyone else’s, why should readers stick around? For example rather than writing “The Best Used Cars”, why not try “The Top 5 Used Cars You Need To Test Drive in 2017”. See the difference? The first one tells us what many of us might already know, or not care about. The second invites us to book a test drive and also stirs up a little bit of curiosity from the reader which leaves them wanting more.

Law No. 2: Get Some Action

Never let your headline sit on the page for the sake of acting as a title. If you’re going to do that, it’s best to not write anything! Headlines are essentially your guiding CTA which encourage the reader to learn more through reading the copy below the headline. The headline should be useful and outline some sort of benefit. Consider the following examples: “Custom Truck Detailing” vs. “Build Your Next Custom Truck In Less Than a Day”. If you were the consumer, it’s obvious which one sounds more fun and engaging. Never write a headline simply as a means to title a page. By doing that, you’re missing out on a bunch of great new leads and interested consumers who could bring in a ton of new web traffic and business for your company.

Law No. 3: Let’s Get Technical

Headline writing in the digital age has never been more challenging. The way we search for products online is changing and has a lot to do with SEO strategy. Search engines analyze content and context, location services and keywords in order to deliver consumers with the closest match to what they’re looking for. With that being said, you must write your headlines with this in mind. What are your customers looking for? Where are they located? It’s important to do your homework on your customers and analyze how they interact with your website. Once you have that down, you have a better idea of how to write for your audience. These insights will ultimately drive traffic, increase new leads and grow your business. Conduct SEO strategies to identify keyword opportunities that can be incorporated into your headlines and you’ll be on your way to writing a killer headline in no time.

Headline writing is no easy task. But, with the right balance of creativity, a sense of urgency, emotional leverage over your customers and maybe a cup of coffee or two, your online copy will have even the pickiest readers following along. And if you're still not confident in getting it right, our content marketing team at FlexDealer is ready to help. 

Christine Hogg is a deadline driven content writer for FlexDealer who comes armed with an Honours B.A in Journalism. When she’s not drinking lattes and typing away furiously at the keyboard, you can find her practicing photography, enjoying Toronto’s downtown core, or looking for the best all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant.

24 Car Dealership Blog Post Ideas

By: Michael Cirillo Sep 02, 2016

READING TIME: 5 MIN

If you like the idea of having a car dealership blog but are struggling to come up with topics or ideas, you're not alone. There's a good reason why more dealers aren't blogging, and that's because it's not easy. It takes a lot of planning and hard work, but it is doable, especially when you have plenty of ideas to work with.

Blogging does pay off, though. It's one of the best ways to build relationships of trust and grow an audience that thirsts for your subject matter expertise.

Consumers are going online every single day to research your products and services. Their research helps shape the purchase decision. The name of the game is to give them the information they are looking for as quickly and efficiently as possible.

That's why we've come up with this list of automobile blog ideas that you should definitely consider when you're ready to start blogging for your store. The trick is to make your car blog post topics as shareworthy as possible.


1. FAQs post

As a dealership, you're likely getting asked the same or similar questions all the time. Take note and answer them through a blog post. You can create different categories based on departments (e.g., parts, service, finance, sales, etc.)


2. Community Events post

Get involved in the community by helping promote and talk about community events. These posts are typically time sensitive but can generate a high amount of local traffic to your site. After the event is over, you can write a follow-up review post of the event.


3. Response posts

There is no shortage of opinions on the internet. Response posts are an excellent way to leverage existing content online and offer your two cents.


4. Comparisons post

What's the difference between car A and car B? You already know that people are online searching for this exact question. Why not answer it through a blog post?


5. Checklist post

What can we say? People love checklists. Especially if it helps them achieve something desirable. You could create something simple like a checklist that walks your readers through a routine vehicle safety check before driving.


6. ‘How To’ post

How to posts are going to generate a ton of traffic to your blog if they are about topics that people care about. These posts could range from 'how to sync Bluetooth with my device' to 'how to check my credit score'.


7. Behind the Scenes post

There is something about a 'behind-the-scenes' look that appeals to the voyeuristic appetite that most human beings share. These posts are a great way to give your audience a transparent look at what happens in the places of your store that nobody else can see. Though not a promotion post, there is a subtle promotional element to giving a natural look at your store, processes and desire to serve that will draw in an audience.


8. Series post

Consider taking part of your store, product or service and breaking it out into bite-sized chunks of information. For example, if you were talking about a vehicle, you could write a series of posts that cover its technical, safety, economy, comfort, competitive features.


9. Best of post

Using Google Trends, you can identify the most viral or popular content on the web (related to your industry) and write a post that compiles all the links together in one place. Remember, it's not about creating new content, it's about making it as accessible and easy to consume as possible.


10. Prediction post

Who doesn't like a good prediction? What are your thoughts about what's happening with your vehicle lineup? Will the concept cars from 5 years ago get produced?


11. Speculation post

We see speculation posts all the times when it comes to technology. Everyone loves speculating about the new features in the next Android phone or iPhone. There are automobile enthusiasts who get equally excited about new features in the upcoming vehicle lineup, so why not talk about it?


12. Reaction post

Reaction posts are an excellent way to embed, link, or reference breaking news and then share your reaction to it. Opinions are always highly readable and share worthy.


13. Review post

From parts and service to finance and sales, there is a plethora of products and services that you can give an honest, unbiased review of. The trick to review posts is just that. Talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly and your audience will appreciate your information so much more.


14. Contest or Giveaway post

Whenever there's a contest or giveaway at your store, you should be blogging about it. Share details about how to enter and qualify, and what the rules of the giveaway are. Case in point, people LOVE contests and giveaways.


15. Community engagement post

It's time to start branching outside of the four walls of your store and start building relationships and affinity with other local businesses. Similar to community events post, this post is where you highlight other local businesses in your community. For example, you might write a post about the top 5 burger joints in town. Those business owners will likely share the link and just like that, you have traffic coming to your blog.


16. Should Ask (SAQ) post

Similar to a FAQ, the SAQ (or Should Ask Question) is a post that outlines the questions that consumers should be asking with the associated answer.


17. Enthusiast post

From Corvettes to Tesla's, there are plenty of automobile enthusiasts who are always looking for more content to consume. Whether you are a sports car or rally car dealer, you should consider posting regular content that appeals the enthusiast audience.


19. List post

This very post is a list post, and it works for all the reasons you decided to click the link and start reading it. Everyone loves a good list.


20. Mythbuster post

You've likely heard a few myths about your products and services out there. Use the Mythbuster post to explain why the myth is bunk.


21. Picture of the week post

Share a cool picture that you or your staff have taken and write a commentary about it.


22. Content Aggregator post

I've mentioned leverage already existent content, and that's what the content aggregator post is all about. These posts are helpful because you can use content that is already being shared and talked about. It's important to link back to the source of the content though so that you're not getting penalized for plagiarism.


23. Company update post

What's new in your store? What's exciting? Who are the new hires? What processes have you changed to make the buying experience more enjoyable? Share them all!


24. Holiday post

This is not about religion, belief, faith or anything of that nature. Wishing your audience the best at the holidays shows your humanity. They may not get a ton of comments, but they will help people remember that you're not a robot, and that's a bonus in my books.


With these 24 car blogs topic ideas at your fingertips, you should never run out of things to blog about.

Perhaps the most crucial element of blogging is not to be over promotional. Keep it real. Meet your audience where they are instead of trying to force them into the 'buyer' bucket, and your blog will continue to turn the eyes of high-quality people to your website for the long-term.

What did I miss? What have you been blogging about that is getting a good response?


Michael Cirillo

Michael is the CEO and fearless* leader at FlexDealer. An enthusiastic team chearleader and defender of transparent business practices, he relishes long motorcycle rides and big ideas. As a bestselling author and keynote speaker, Michael works with dealerships of all sizes as well as fortune 100 and 500 companies to rise above the clutter and dominate the web. When he's not playing 'dad' to three crazy kids, he's shooting the breeze with industry leaders on his internationally-embraced podcast, The Dealer Playbook.

(* notwithstanding large insects)

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