But that’s another story.
I didn’t watch the awards this year, but seeing the blow-by-blow on the front page of cnn.com—and watching the trailers— I couldn’t help but think.
Those folks in Hollywood know how to do some things well, like sell their product in one line. They know how to entice us in 25 words or less.
They know how to pitch a movie idea—to the producers and to their future fans.
How thinking like a screenwriter can get you more blog subscribers
The scribes in Hollywood have it all figured out. They know that their screenplay can be the next Titanic, full of snappy dialogue, rich characters and amazing plot twists.
But when they meet with an agent or producer, the first question they will get is, “So, what’s this script about?”
If they can’t sum up their story in one sentence, in 25 words or fewer, they will have doors slamming on them all the way up and down Hollywood Boulevard.
They need a tagline.
Whether they mail it to an agent (who passes it along to a lowly “reader,”) or they pitch it in person, they need it.
And it better be powerful, catchy and memorable or the game’s over before it begins.
What bloggers can learn about taglines from Hollywood writers
When my daughter got a few bit parts on Seinfeld (and sadly ended up on the cutting room floor), I began to watch the show more closely. The more I paid attention to the marketing part, the more I saw that they had genius writers.
Do you remember the Seinfeld tagline?
“The Show About Nothing”
And, really it was about nothing, just like our lives often are. We got the essence of that show from a four-word tagline.
Movies do an amazing job with their taglines. We see them on the theatre’s movie posters and in the trailers.
Take The King’s Speech‘s tagline: “When God couldn’t save the King, the Queen turned to someone who could.”
Or The Social Network: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”
(That one is brilliant, just brilliant.)
Does your blog have a tagline?
Your tagline is your blog’s main message. If you have one, it normally goes right below the blog’s name, in your header.
It is your goal, your promise, your brand. It should tell your visitors instantly what your blog is all about.
Because they are click-happy and unless they can see some value in sticking around, they’re outta there.
I don’t like keyword soup, so I don’t stuff my taglines with search engine food. There are plenty of other ways to feed the SEO gods.
As an example of a blog tagline that works, I point to my friend Larry Brooks of Storyfix.com. His tagline:
“get it written. get it right. get it published.”
Larry writes novels and talks about the writing process on his blog. When you land on his home page, you know right away what his blog is all about.
He gives his readers tips on how to manage the writing process and get the work done (get it written.). He teaches form and structure so your plot doesn’t fall apart (get it right.). And he helps you explore publishing options and find the right one for you (get it published.)
With those three bold statements, I get a sense of his brand: he is a no-nonsense guy and he’s not going to sugar-coat things. (I gave him the sub-title: the “Dr. Phil of the Literary World.”)
The 5 components of a brilliant tagline
The best taglines are:
• short (10-12 words or fewer)
• powerful (image-rich, with strong verbs)
• clear (we know exactly what your blog is about)
• catchy (we remember it)
• built on your brand’s promise
It’s a challenge but it can be done. If you haven’t tried it, maybe you should. Because it helps you define what your blog is all about and that’s a good thing.
What about you?
If your blog were a movie, what would its tagline be?
If your blog already has a tagline, would you like to share it in the comments?