Next to the headline, the opening paragraph is the most important part of a blog post because it’s going to determine whether or not readers will want to read further. A boring opening sentence will not entice readers to go further.
Always remember that each sentence in your blog post must make the reader want to read the next one. As for your opening, without the right amount of drama, people won’t want to read on.
Open your blog post with a bang!
Did you know that one of the best copywriters today, Eugene Schwartz, often take an entire week just to write the first 50 words of his sales pages? That’s an awful lot of time for that few words. But this just shows us how critical the opening of a blog post is.
Successful bloggers need to engage readers from the second they see the headline, so here are 7 awesome ways to open your blog post with a bang.
Mention staggering statistics
Statistics are great attention grabbers. People will stop and read something that involves data because these are credible information that they can use.
For example, if you’re writing for small businesses and your topic is mobile marketing, an opening that says:
By 2013, 85% of consumers are expected to own a mobile device and 70% of them are going to shop for products and service using those devices.
will immediately catch the attention of small biz owners, especially those who still don’t have a mobile-friendly website. The reason they’re going to pay attention is they don’t want to lose customers to competitors that have gone mobile already.
Whenever possible, make sure to use statistics in your posts. Not only will these grab attention, they will also add credibility to your post.
Stop asking rhetorical questions
I’ve seen a lot of articles that use rhetorical questions as openings. They used to appeal to me but now, they annoy me a lot because many of them were used for the sake of having something to ask.
Also, most rhetorical questions are boring. They don’t tickle the imagination. If you’re going to use one, make sure that it’s thought-provoking. Boring questions make blog posts look like something written by inexperienced writers.
Don’t use these unless it’s really necessary. What you can do instead is to think of more provoking questions like:
What scares thee hell out of entrepreneurs and small business owners in 2013?
Is there a link between heart attacks and beer belly?
Is there a fool-proof method for bloggers who want to build a huge and loyal list?
Describe a personal anecdote
We all love to hear stories and these are perfect ways to open a blog post with a bang. A personal account of something is always interesting to read.
This is why success stories are very popular. We all want to relate to what others have gone through so we can tell ourselves that there’s a solution to our current problems and that we can get through it victoriously.
Share something you think your readers will relate to and can take inspiration from.
Instill fear–lots of it
Fear keeps people loyal. This, according to Rob Mariano of Survivor, is from the movie The Godfather and that it’s very true.
I believe him. Fear does keep people in line. And if you are someone who can get people to worry about something terribly, then you are in a good position to make them do what you want.
People who are scared are going to stick with you if they get the idea that you can alleviate their worries.
Take a look at the following examples and see how these can make certain readers scared.
Your customers will take their business elsewhere if your website is not compatible with mobile devices because most people shop for products and services using them.
Heart attacks and strokes are now common even in young people. Even those who don’t have a history may be surprised when they feel the symptoms especially those who don’t get enough exercise.
Make a false statement
The reason this works is that people easily spot inaccuracies especially in sets of data. Obviously, people will want to understand how a blogger can be “irresponsible” enough to miss very important information.
So, they’ll start to read your post. And now that you’ve gotten their attention, it’s time to correct your mistake and prove your point. They’ll be surprised and relieved after reading. They will even think you’re a clever writer.
Drop big names
We always listen to someone popular. An authority in some industry always commands attention so why not use them in opening your blog post?
Their opinion matters to a lot of people. You can write something like:
Brian Clark, the guy behind the awesome site Copyblogger, said that…
People in your industry who know how huge Brian is will definitely want to know what else he said.
Try these out the next time you write a blog post and see how people tend to stick more. Hopefully, you will see an improvement in your page views and sign ups.
Share your experiences below in the comments section. And, oh, follow me on Twitter for more writing tips.