Good news, friends. It appears we’ve righted the ship. After 5,146 lines, I’ve steered beyond the dark place and we’re back on course to the promised land of 100 days.
It feels good to be on the back half.
I’m on an upward trend of learning again—and I tried new things with this batch. Some worked. Some didn’t. But it was different. It was a new challenge.
And that, my friend, is pretty cool.
Your 10-post recap is below, Then the lessons and a feel-good moment.
- Food Truck Festival: This was the first time I honestly thought I might not finish a post. Writing for events is hard, y’all. Especially when there’s not one event, but a recurring series. I pulled it out, but it was a grind.
- When you see your yoga instructor in line, try not to make eye contact
- This is what cheat days were made for
- Method Cleaning: This was a hot item at Target for a while. Great product, good lines. They’ve got a clever brand voice, which makes it harder in a sense. It’s like I’m playing along rather than doing something unique. The reviews came in big time here.
- Keep every surface clean. Even the landfills.
- Buying Method feels natural because it is.
- Flippin’ Boss Glove: Crazy product. Part oven mitt, part spatula, part tongs. It’s designed to wear while grilling and seems functional. These were fun to write, but a little more base info would’ve helped. Overall, the list is well done. (←grill pun!)
- Nobody likes a toasted knuckle sandwich
- Junk Removal Service: You’d think these lines would be garbage (Ha!) but they turned out quite good. The reviews provided interesting themes—not quite what you’d expect—and I’m happy with how this turned out. Not super exciting to read, but I think they’d convert.
- Star Registry : The next 3 days were a test to see if I could link ideas between similar themes. The post came out OK, but I never found a hook I loved. This was also the first time I used song lyrics for inspiration—something you’ll see pop up again. The sites and reviews were very transactional, so not much to pull from.
- Now you can wish upon your very own star
- She already hung the moon. Now hang the stars around it
- Owl Adoption: OK, so time to see what we could pull from the star registry. Adopt a star. Adopt a bird. Same thing, right? Nope. Not even a little bit. But y’know what did help? Memes. I found all sorts of inspiration from ridiculous owl memes and puns—and it made the post fun. And I only made 2 hooters jokes! Such restraint.
- Give an owl a wing and a prayer
- Timeshare Monkeys: This one should be closer, right? It was a little—but it’s still a different beast. (Yup, more puns.) I recycled a few lines, but more importantly, I had lyrics, memes and puns at the ready. I also referenced Reddit for the first time. Good inspiration. Terrible people, but funny lines. This post was too ridiculous to judge, but I definitely enjoyed writing it. Note: this idea is 100% fake. Don’t get a monkey.
- Need a monkey, but only for a little while?
- They say you shouldn’t own a monkey. But you were never one for rules.
- The most fun you can have losing the security deposit on your apartment
- Revisiting Old Content: Take 3: The first 2 attempts at renaming my existing content went terribly awry. It resulted in Buzzfeed-y garbage that made me feel like a hack. But this time, I went with a more personal piece that had a bad headline to start. And though it wasn’t very challenging, I came up with several better options. So, headline templates do have their place, but there’s not much skill involved.
- How to make jokes about your boss while she’s watching
- There’s more to being funny at work than writing in a comic sans font
- The art of being funny
- 5-hour Energy: Oh, the irony! I was exhausted when I wrote this piece. See, I used to work for 5-hour and needed an easy piece I could breeze through after a loooong day. It resulted in a disappointing batch of lines that lacked punch. It needs a do-over because I know I can do better. This came out too generic—especially for how much I know the product.
- Sometimes you don’t have enough time to be tired
- Not a morning person? You are now.
- Red Bull for old people
- Loliware Edible Cups: You knew there’d be a Shark Tank product in here somewhere. This list came out decent but I had trouble finding the feminine voice. I never really got in to the head of the target consumer. Decent lines, but I’m not the right guy for this product. I had fun picking a fight with red Solo cups though.
- The cup that’s more interesting than your company
- If you can’t eat your cup, I’ll eat my hat
Before I dive into what I learned, I want to thank you guys again for following along. The emails I received after the last recap really pulled up my spirits and reignited my passion for the project.
It feels great to be on the back end. Now I can experiment and test a little more. I’ve got a few ideas to take learning to the next level—and I’ll keep the innovation going.
- When inspiration isn’t there, pull from sources outside the mainstream. Images, song lyrics, memes and puns helped me create some of the best lines in the bunch
- I’m making a few surprising connections between posts. Products you wouldn’t necessarily think seem relevant suddenly make a great resource. This project has already proved a worthy swipe file.
- I’m starting to write more and more lines on my own. I haven’t made it through a whole post without using the templates yet, but I’m close.
- Time to start challenging myself a bit. More services and topics I don’t like. They won’t be fun, but when you write 100 posts, not all of them will be.
Do you guys remember the Dumore Improv headlines? This was early and it’s still one of my favorite lists. I received a note from one of their instructors. The Headline Project inspired him to take on a 31-day blog challenge, which he wrapped up yesterday. Congratulations, Jim—and thank you for letting me know. It’s tough to put into words what that means. Even for a guy who just wrote 5,146 headlines.
See you in 10,
P.S. The Headline Service is officially in beta testing! Need help with a writing project? Let’s talk.