Copywriting Exercise & Critique – How To Write Insanely Better Headlines


Come along with me as I take you through one of my favorite copywriting exercises ever…

I’m about to let you look over my shoulder as I critique 5 headlines on the fly – what made them great, what left me wanting more and what would make them even more powerful?

Hey, Posse! What’s up? It’s Alex.

If you’re following me on Instagram @copyposse, then you’ve probably seen my regular “Make It Hotter” posts…

Where I find an ad, headline, or subject line – and put it out to the community to, you guessed it, “Make It Hotter”! Not only is this one of my FAVORITE ways to practice, but it’s also a great way to see how other copywriters think…

Which ultimately helps you better understand WHY certain things work and WHY certain things don’t

And, the BEST part of this exercise for me is when I get to put on my Posse Prof spectacles and critique the top-voted submissions.

So in today’s blog, I’m going to take you through one of my latest editions of “Make It Hotter” and break down my critiques of each Headline—point by point.

So let’s get started.

First, let’s take a look at this post – where I asked the Posse community to make this headline even hotter.

This was a headline from Dance App – Steezy Studio .

The world’s best dance learning tools – at your fingertips. Start free for 7 days. ⁠
Get started.⁠

Well, with 167 submissions (and counting!)—the Posse seriously brought their A-game for this one!

But before I get to my critique of the submissions, first let’s critique Steezy’s original copy… What worked? What was lacking? And what could be better?

Now the first thing I notice is that they’re utilizing The Novelty hook really well, here they say “World’s best dance learning tools.”

That’s great, because if I’m the type of person who wants to improve my dance skills, then hell yeah I want the world’s best.

Now, looking at the main headline, it’s not bad—but is pretty broad. It’s not calling out a specific audience here at all… I mean they’re literally saying “for everyone”.

And everyone knows that if you try selling to everyone, you end up selling to no one. So I would love to see our Posse get a bit more specific in their rewrites.

Steezy has an awesome and clear CTA. “Start free for 7 days…” with a button “GET STARTED”.

I think it’s great. Remember that confusion is the biggest conversion killer, so your CTAs should always be simple and straightforward. Telling the reader EXACTLY what to do.

Overall, a good headline… but let’s see what the Posse thinks…

But first, here’s a quick recap of my 3-step formula for writing a H.O.T. Headline. A strong headline should:

  1. Hook Attention – Start with a concept or idea that grabs the reader’s attention by either provoking an emotion (fear, joy, controversy, FOMO, nostalgia, etc.) OR promising the desired result or clear USP (unique selling proposition).
  2. Open A Loop – Pique curiosity & incentivize your audience to read further.
  3. Target Your Audience – Making it crystal clear exactly who you are speaking.

Alright, so now let’s take a look at the Posse’s Headline submissions – along with my critiques.

These 5 headlines were selected for critique because they received the most amount of “likes” or “votes” from the community.

#1 – Beyonce will be sooo jealous of you. Try the best dance classes for free (7days) and become bootylicious! Start shaking it. —@das_feuer_chris


#2 – No one leaves you in a corner! With our classes, anyone can feel their best selves on the dance floor. You deserve your dirty dance moment! Get your groove on and start your free trial today—it’s 7 days’ worth of moves. —@federica.pitzeri


#3 – Move your body without moving out. The world’s best dancers come to your screen . Dance, Fall, Learn, Repeat. Get Started. —@doodlekhor.00


#4 – Horrible dancer? Well Steezy says otherwise with the number one dance app! You’ll be tick tockin’ in no time! —@heymscherry


#5 – ABCD: Any Body Can Dance! Set the dance floor on fire with the world’s best dance learning tool What’s blocking your way? Start free for 7 days. —@sakshisoundless



Everyone did such a great job on this exercise!

If you want to play along in the next edition of “Make It Hotter,” be sure to follow me on Instagram at @CopyPosse.

If you guys liked this blog and want to see more in-depth critiques like it in the future—make sure to let me know in the comments below!

And if you want to grab a copy of my FREE H.O.T. Headline Guide—so you can learn exactly how to write headlines that grab attention and stop scrollers in their tracks.

Until next time, I’m Alex – ciao for now!

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