Don’t even waste your time. No matter how good your blog posts are, if the intro doesn’t grab attention it’s no use. You’ve wasted your time on the rest of the post that will likely never even get read.
While blog posts are excellent content for social media marketing, your opening statement should leap off the page and get readers engaged. Just as with copy for, say, pamphlet or brochure printing, it’s the first thing they see other than your title and should give readers a clear idea of what to expect for the rest of the article. After all, what’s the point of tweeting a post if no one gets past reading the first couple of sentences?
So to ease your mind and ensure that your posts get read, here are a few tips for getting that opener to work for you, not against you.
Have you ever found yourself completely caught up in an article? What was it that grabbed your attention and kept you engaged? See what I just did there? I got you thinking by asking a question.
Questions engage readers immediately and get them thinking. They’re a great way to set the tone for the article as well. You may have to think through some different opening questions after you write your piece, but the goal is to get readers vested by making them think.
2. State Facts
“90% of all statistics on the web are outdated“, says Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, Illinois.
This funny little “fact” works as a solid opener because it has a few things we look for in fact statements. First, it’s a quote from a famous person. Second, there are statistics/percentages involved which lend to the credibility of the statement.
Of course, there are lots of different ways to approach fact statements. The key is to use the statement to grab attention. Point the reader in the direction you want to take them for the rest of the article.
3. Quotable Quotes
Using a blockquote statement at the beginning of an article can work similarly to the facts statement above, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be fact-based. This can be a more general quote that simply sets the stage for the rest of the article. Blockquotes should be 40 words or less, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule on the Internet. Typically a blockquote statement will have a different look and feel from the rest of the text content, so you will probably want to use the blockquote HTML code: <blockquote>.
4. Putting Time and Effort into Your Blog
Always remember that when you are creating a blog post, put time and effort into it. Your readers will be able to tell if you are just writing to fill your quota for the day or if you actually sat down and thought things out before writing out your blog post. Stay connected with your readers by being descriptive, talking directly to them, and by adding in quotes and statistics whenever you get the chance to do so. In doing so, your readers are sure to stay engaged and loyal to your blog.
Guest Author: Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.
Want to learn how to create and craft content for your blog that keeps readers coming back for more?
My book – Blogging the Smart Way “How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.