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The Secret to Sensationalizing Your Headlines Like Matt Drudge

copywriting lessons headlinesRegardless of political affiliation or beliefs, you can’t deny that there’s no one outside of the media circles that can influence the daily news cycle like Matt Drudge. With a simple headline, Drudge could single handedly define the topics discussed on tonight’s news programs. Don’t believe us? Check out the astonishing statistics for yourself:

  • Drudge Report sends more web traffic to the New York Times, LA Times, CNN, Yahoo News, USA Today, and Fox News than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  • Only Google ranks ahead of the Drudge Report for driving traffic to those websites.
  • The Drudge Report is approximately 14 years old and is a static HTML website boasting the same design it originated with in 1996.

So how exactly did Drudge amass so much influence with an aggregate news site filled solely with headlines? Whether or not you like Drudge’s politics or his style, let’s face it: most marketers wish they could harness even a fraction of his power and influence.

The Secret(s) to Success

The secret to the Drudge Report is Matt’s ability to write compelling headline after compelling headline. To do this, be sure to:

  • Overpromise. When it comes to marketing, you always hear about how it’s great to under-promise and over-deliver. According to Forbes, though, the dirty secret of headline writing is to overpromise – and then over-deliver.
  • Rethink your target audience. The biggest mistake that content creators make is writing their headlines for their readers. Instead of writing for your audience, write for their friends too. When you start thinking broader, people will be more likely to not only share your work, but likely to click on it if a friend shares it.
  • Create mystery. While this might not be the best strategy for a business, it works great in content. Despite his massive influence, Matt Drudge is one of the most elusive figures in media. He lives in a penthouse, leaves emails unanswered, and is virtually unavailable. He’s created this culture of mystery and eccentricity surrounding his brand, which drives even more curiosity and an appetite for more.

While you don’t have to be as polarizing or fascinating to emulate the success Matt Drudge has experienced, perhaps the key lesson to be learned is to focus on simplicity. Through all the headlines, created mystery, and magnetic storytelling, the Drudge Report undoubtedly works so well because it’s simple, easy to remember, and convenient to digest.

How do you come up with attention-grabbing headlines for your content?

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