What is the second most important part of your blog after the title?
Eugene Schwartz was one of the very best copywriters ever. We still “borrow” his material today. It was not uncommon for him to spend an entire week on the first fifty words of an ad–the headline and the opening paragraph. His specialty was direct-mail campaigns. Schwartz went beyond copywriting he captured great marketing.
Imagine this, suppose you construct a killer headline for your new blog post, but you end of losing readers because your opening paragraph simply does not have the muscle it needs. A great headline is premo, but if your opening is lame it is as if you invited the reader to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea as they read your post, but as the reader starts to sit down, you jerk the chair out from under him and walk away. OUCH!
If you want others to take time to read your blog posts, then you will have to take a few steps to insure that it will happen. You must capture the reader’s imagination and artfully root them deeper into your content.
So how do you accomplish this feat?
1. Ask a Question
Opening your post with a question is a rhetorical device, which creates curiosity and encourages the reader’s mind to begin thinking. Thinking equates to active engagement with your writing…winning situation.
2. Share a Short Story or a Great Quote
Quick stories tend to make people laugh. Everyone enjoys a good laugh. The story, or anecdote, will immediately establish the main point of your post. A quality quote from a recognizable authority or famous person also work wonders in capturing the reader. It can hold their attention in those first few critical opening seconds.
3. Stir the Imagination
A reader needs a strong mental image so they can properly engage with your post. You must use wording that will produce a visual in the mind’s eye. Creating visual imagery is one of the most powerful things you can ever do as a writer. Try using words such as “picture this,” “imagine,” “do you remember when,” etc.
4. Use an Analogy, Metaphor, or Simile
Analogies, metaphors, and similes are quite powerful devices when it comes to telling a story in a single sentence. What better way to capture a reader’s attention. These devices also serve as a catalyst to provoke mental imagery that allows readers to tell a story to themselves.
5. Shocking Statistics
Interesting facts or tidbits are a great technique and an easy way to start your post. People love interesting data, but only if it is truly unique, startling, or even shocking. The statistic should also be directly relevant to the point of your post as well.
Now it is time for you sit down to construct a killer headline, an engaging opening paragraph, and offer relevant information to your reader in the form of a winning blog post. Remember, it only takes 5 super easy steps to accomplish this!