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It was January, 1971.

He watched me soar rope. He laughed and referred to as out, “Hey, white boy! What YOU doin’ right here?”

He floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee. He was The Best.

Me? No float. No sting. No one.

He had a degree. What WAS I doing there?

Oh, yeah. A annoyed school soccer participant, I would determined to be a boxer. So simply earlier than Christmas, 1970, I left The College of Oregon and headed for boxing’s mecca … Miami Seaside’s Fifth Road Health club.

The doorways flung open at midday. Media, microphones. Howard Cosell, Burt Lancaster, Angelo Dundee. Cameras, excessive rollers, cigars. Plus a number of dozen guys with bent noses and fats ears. The scene was surreal.

However I could not assist noticing an alarming lack of unreality contained in the ring. Ali pounded his sparring associate, critically coaching for his first Joe Frazier struggle. Glad I might give him amusing. Gladder but I wasn’t in there with him.

Three months later, my knee blew. I retired undefeated, unfought. “The Best” by no means observed.

Quick Ahead 19 Years

1990 was my 13th 12 months driving a county bus in Miami & Miami Seaside. I would began and failed so many companies, I misplaced depend. I could not promote a lick. Did one dumb factor after one other. Married with four youngsters by this time, I had price us tens of hundreds of {dollars}.

On breaks, I studied gross sales letters. I would written a pair dozen for different folks, with some small success.

I despatched samples to the Prince of Print, Gary Halbert, world champion unsolicited mail and copywriting genius. May I work at his $7,000-a-head Key West Seminar by the Sea?

A pair days later, the telephone rang. Halbert did not chortle. Did not name me “white boy.” He invited me to work for him on the seminar.

Dissed by Ali, however working with Halbert. YESSS!

Key West was bliss … for a day.

On Monday morning, I met the opposite copywriters: John Carlton, Brad Antin, David Deutsch, Gene Dowdle, Loretta Duffy, Brad Peterson. All legends at the moment.

I met among the audio system: John Eger, Dan Kennedy, Ken Kerr, Phil Kratzer, Carl Galletti, Invoice Myers, Ted Nicholas. Extra legends. I met Halbert. What could possibly be extra thrilling?

On Monday, Halbert and others shared their genius. It was great. On Tuesday got here the hotseats.

Whoops! Again to “white boy!”

Halbert referred to as an attendee to the entrance with himself, and three copywriters. The visitor described his enterprise. The panel requested questions. Then Halbert shouted phrases that shocked me to on the spot dread:


Halbert wished one headline after one other, pop pop pop pop pop pop. He wished high quality. He wished amount.

In time (and I imply weeks or months later), I understood the aim: the extra viewpoints and concepts, the higher likelihood to seek out many excellent copy-points for the gross sales letter. I now settle for this as absolute fact, and you must, too.

However not then. My routine? Sit at my phrase processor with a cup of espresso, assume leisurely, catch a good suggestion every now and then.

The opposite copywriters screamed out headlines. I sucked my thumb.

Tuesday was terrible. Wednesday & Thursday weren’t significantly better. By Friday, I started to get it … however the week was over.

After I left, I vowed I’d by no means, ever, EVER once more be so embarrassed.

Again dwelling. To the library. I obtained years of Readers Digest, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, and different magazines on microfilm. I wrote down EVERY headline … over 1,500 of them.

The individuals who wrote these heads earn tens of millions to draw consideration, to promote magazines. They’re the most effective. So why not leverage that brainpower? So I created a file of all of the headlines I culled from my sources, and I titled that file Shortheads.

I have been utilizing ShortHeads for over 15 years now. It is made me some huge cash. I used it to provide you with (amongst others) the most-recognized title within the historical past of community advertising: “Lifeless Docs Do not Lie!”. Your headline is crucial a part of any advert or article. In case your head does not seize and maintain consideration, the remainder of your writing is wasted. I strongly encourage you to compile your individual “headline file” that you could draw from anytime you head a great headline.


Supply by Richard Dennis

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