The Hidden Key to Cosmo Headlines: Sex and the City?

The Hidden Key to Cosmo Headlines: Sex and the City?

Reader Comments (41)

  1. Oh, my! Strong headlines, and personality typing/temperaments all rolled into one post? Got me hook, line and sinker.

    Plus an excellent point on the fact that not all persona’s work for all sites.

  2. Fantastic article!

    I definitely agree. Once you understand your target market’s persona, you can write copy to cater to them. You can create services to cater to them.

    The client persona drives the business.

  3. One thing that I find very common across many blogs, and my high profile pro-blogger blogs are eye catching, cosmo like headlines. Blogs are like newspapers and great headlines get the readers attention. I think all bloggers should be implementing great headlines as i find myself skipping over boring and generic headlines

  4. I think that it’s also important to think about your readers in context of what they will do with your content. Adding the personality types to this adds a new dimension to this exercise, and I’d never really thought about that before, so now I have a new challenge to diagnose:

    Which personalities are likely to stumble or digg a post, who’s more inclined to add an encouraging comment, who will refrain from posting directly on your site but link to a post or subtly add you to their blogroll, and who will bash you outright in the comments section or bring the debate to their blog?

    Thanks for the thought-provoking article, Jeff!

  5. Nice article, Jeff! I only wish I actually knew the first thing about these characters so I didn’t have to keep going back to cross reference the names with the temperaments–but that’s a very minor complaint. I especially liked your discussion of the ordering of hyper-links within an article that appealed to all the temperaments.

    Thanks for another well written article.

  6. Thought provoking indeed. I’ve never got much beyond thinking about the age group of my target market – baby boomers. Taking it further and remembering the different personality types will certainly affect the headlines and sub headings I produce in future. I tend to write long posts so the tip about the ordering of sub headings is really helpful.

  7. This post gave me a brilliant idea! I’m starting a blog about developing comic strips, and was planning a series on character development involving the 4 personality types. I think I will break up the posts into categories and TRY TO cater the headlines and writing for each personality that is being discussed. This could be a great series of either 4 or 16 posts. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Thanks for all the comments. I just wanted to answer a few of Tiffany’s really insightful questions.

    Generally speaking the idea of reader engagement will divide more heavily along the Introvert-Extrovert axis than the temperaments. Extroverts are more likely to publicly engage you with comments, etc. Introverts are more likely to privately e-mail you or subtly add you to their blogs via trackbacks.

    But as for temperaments, here’s how it breaks down:

    Competitives (thinking-intuitives) are more likely to debate you on the over-arching theories or on how your message does or doesn’t mesh with larger systems of thought. They are also more likely to be at ease with stirring up debate, even if that involves confrontation.

    Humanistics generally won’t be as comfortable with confrontation unless you really offend their deeply held values. They are more likely to interpret your message in it’s best possible light and to offer support, either through positive comments or links. They are also most likely to respond enthusiastically to an expression of humanistic values.

    Methodicals are the most likely to nitpick you on the facts. They’ll hold you feet to the fire over the details and the specifics. And I apologize ahead of time to the methodicals out there for using the word “nitpick” ; )

    Spontaneous are, well, spontaneous. They are the most likely to take action based on your post. Though what kind of action is hard to say. They might just DO what you suggest without bothering to post a comment.

  9. Thanks so much for getting in depth on that, Jeff. Really brings some interesting things to light to think about readers in this way.

    We in the blogging world tend to group readers into labels that work for us – lukers v. commenters v. bloggers. And I often wonder – how can I turn a lurker into an active participant on this blog? But this type of information makes me think, maybe that’s not exactly the right question.

    It certainly puts a new spin on things to think about the blogger’s responsibility to keep all the different types of personalities in mind when creating copy. Though it probably takes more work, it seems worthwhile to ask yourself “is there something in this post for everyone?”

    Thanks again!

  10. Marilla,

    Just an interesting tidbit, but Scott McCloud of Understanding Comics fame had his first major success with a comic strip whose major characters were developed based on Jung’s four proposed types of human thought: intuition, feeling, intellect, and sensation. It’s not an exact overlay to temperaments but it’s close enough to be interesting nonetheless. The name of the strip was Zot and you can read a little about it here.

    If you haven’t already read them, I’d highly recommend both Understanding Comics and his follow on book, Making Comics.


  11. I love all the content on copyblogger, but this one by Jeff was the first that stayed in my head all day. I saw it in my feed reader this morning and I kept coming back to it over and over.

    Just fabulous, Jeff. What a way to connect headlines with characters and what drives them. Wait a minute…I’ve just been reminded that that’s Copywriting 101. D’oh!

  12. Jeff…

    I am quite familiar with Scott McCloud’s books but thanks for the tip. I however did not know that Zot characters were based on the idea of 4 different types of thought. Intriguing. I’ll definitely have to do some digging on that.

    Thanks again for a great post!

  13. Dead on. I considered the personality concept a few months ago. I was writing a philosophy blog but was writing in a near-pundit style. I’ve since dumped the style for a more “cautious” and analytical approach to find my readership explode.

  14. What a great post. I like the characters in the show too, so it was cool to see you do the analysis on them. I won’t be buying a magazine anytime soon, even though I’m very curious as to what “the thing” is.

  15. Hi Jeff, cool post. Being new, I never thought about the how appealing to certain temperaments when writing a blog post can make a difference. Funny thing is that I think about this when talking to people face to face. So yeah, taking notes. 🙂

  16. Brilliant post.

    Your 4-DISC personality link is spot-on.

    I’ve always noticed the four-some friendship circle that’s represented in many shows over time.

    I had begun to put my finger on the fact that regardless of the show involved, those four main characters always appear to have the same four basic personalities.

    Thanks for sharing the insight!

  17. wow.. what an incredible article! This was clever.. I wish I wrote it 🙂 But that’s alright, benefiting from it’s wisdom will serve me just fine.

    I think this will be something I can easily implement on my blog..

  18. Hi Jeff – What an absolutely brilliant post. I have been noticing that some of my blog headlines attract more attention than others.

    Now, I’m going to try using this article to test different headlines. And hopefully if will teach me a lot more about my readers too. Thank you.

  19. I love this. I want to swipe this idea and do an analysis on communication/perception styles on Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch or something. Absolutely brilliant to peg the abstract labels to concrete characters (assuming one’s seen the show).

  20. I take it Jim is not the target reader for this SATC-inspired post, since he’s not as familiar with the characters.

    As silly as the show could be sometimes, I know a lot of women who very strongly identify with one particular character and would thusly respond to headlines written according to these archetypes. I’m a Charlotte, no doubt about it.

  21. Interesting though process there. It got me to thinking more deeply about the way I present my blog posts. I’ve even tweaked a draft post title while reading this.

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