What Can You Learn From 1117 Copyblogger Headlines?


If you’re floating in the ocean of copywriters out there, you’ll have heard of Copyblogger.

Well, in a frenzy of copy+paste action, I collated every headline in their archive – 1117 of them (as of late August 2010) – on the hunt for stats. But why should you care?

Copyblogger lives for the art and science of copywriting. Its founder, Brian Clark, believes that you can apply copywriting techniques to blogging. So if you can’t learn something from Copyblogger’s headlines, then you’re already rich. And if you’re already rich, then why are you here and not jet-skiing across a champagne lake? (That is how being rich works, right?)

Here’s a handy infographic with the main findings:

copblung

A few extra points:

  • Please forgive my soul-crushingly amateur design skills.
  • From around 2008, the Copyblogger average headline length got longer. (Plus, the average length of the 30 current most popular post headlines is almost 9 words.)
  • The first ever Copyblogger headline in 2006 was the rather inauspicious “Sell!”.
  • How can you not love a site with a headline like “What Owen Wilson’s Pursed Lips Mean to Your Blog”?
  • Feel free to use this image in your blog or site, but please link back to this post or the homepage.

Anything else?

Before you go, spend a second looking at these word clouds. I love me some Wordle.

Here’s a word cloud of all 1117 headlines, with all common English words removed:

wdl

Note the focus on marketing, content, writing, copywriting, blogs and blogging. This is a website that knows its target audience intimately, and targets it ruthlessly.

Now all headlines with ‘the’, ‘it’, ‘and’…etc removed:

wd22l

You and your. Where would a self-respecting copywriter be without them?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Notice any other obvious headline trends?

Many thanks to Copyblogger. You’ve given me some good reads over the years.


24 Comments

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  1. I absolutely love it. I think I have read almost every one of those 1,000 articles over the years. Good luck with your website :)

    Reply
  2. Isn’t this the stuff they’ve been telling us all along?

    Thanks for creating this! It’s awesome!

    Reply
  3. Wonderful data crunching! I appreciate that you took the time to digest all of this.

    What surprised me the most was the use of numbers…I was thinking it would be higher…but then again, it is on par with the percentage for lists.

    And, I think your design skills did the data justice! Thanks again for the presentation.

    Reply
  4. Wow, that’s a noble endeavor to have collected all this information Paul! And great presentation of the results. I don’t think there’s a perfect formula for this blogging success thing, but you at least want to have your nose pointed in the right direction more often than not.

    Readers are desperate for engagement and to have their problems, their -specific- problems, solved as simply and completely as possible. Personal attention is the new little black dress of marketing – including marketing a blog through good copywriting.

    Thanks for this great post and infographic!

    Reply
  5. Excellent infographic. I applaud your diligence.

    Reply
  6. stan747

    Learn from the best and forget the rest.

    Cool idea to study these stats. Looks like a few basic marketing lessons are confirmed here.

    By the way, I like your infographic design. And the word clouds look great too.

    Reply
  7. Ha! This is brilliant. Nicely done. :)

    Reply
  8. I really enjoyed that. Always nice when people get creative like that.

    Reply
  9. Paul,

    Brilliant work there. Would have taken a lot of time for you to put this up. Copyblogger is pretty much the standout example for headlines and from the start of that blog, they have written some stunning headlines. Good to see them all analyzed and broken down to small interesting stats.

    Stumbled the post for you.

    – Ramkarthik

    Reply
  10. Paul (Author)

    Thanks everyone for the kind words (and thanks @Sonia for writing some of the very posts I examined).

    Reply
  11. Paul (Author)

    And thanks for the Stumble, Ramkarthik!

    Reply
  12. Great analysis. I will be taking more time over my blog post titles in future… often they are just afterthoughts rather than driven by serving my audience. You and Yours and How To will be part of my future!

    Reply
  13. Kenny Rose

    Fantastic. Short but sweet.

    Reply
  14. Kenny Rose

    So sweet I have to say it twice Fantastic.

    Reply
  15. Paul (Author)

    Cheers Conor and Kenny – appreciate the comments!

    Reply
  16. I did a quick Numerology analysis of all those numbers in your ‘1117 Copyblogger Headlines’ infographic — here’s what it said for you . . .
    “I see a long and listless ride on a slow moving jet-ski across the top of a never-ending mirror flat lake of champagne”.
    Seems like you deserve it. Thanks Paul.

    Reply
  17. Ive been reading blogs recently and yours is one of the best. I enjoy reading your posts clear and well written. Your page goes straight to my bookmarks. I got some nice inspirational thoughts after reading it.

    Reply
  18. Just found this today, and linked to it on one of my blog posts. I love your word cloud and the infographic – guess I’m a visual.

    Reply

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