This is a guest post by Hector Cuevas.
Pop Quiz: How many blogs are there on the internet?
a. 50 million
b. 160 million
c. a Gazillion
If you said C, you’re wrong. But don’t worry, I thought it was C, too 🙂
The actual number is unknown but back in 2010, there was an estimated 160 million blogs online.
So, if you said B, pat yourself on the back (cuz I can’t do it from here).
Take a second right now and think about what I just did. How did I get you to read past the first sentence?
That’s what this post is all about and today you’re going to learn 5 ways to open your blog posts, or fix your old posts openings and get people to read.
Just like first impressions matter in life, the first sentence of your articles are just as important. Your readers use them to determine whether the post is worth their time.
After reading this you’ll be able to literally “copy & paste” these techniques on your own posts – and hopefully see better results. Here are the 5 ways you can open your articles…. with examples.
Ask a question
This is by far the simplest of them all and I use it on most of my blog posts. You can’t go a day without seeing this opening, and for good reason – because it works.
Not only does it help you get started writing, it also grabs your reader’s attention which entices them to continue reading your article. Here’s an example of this opening at work:
- “Do you ever wonder if the positioning of the elements on your website are really making any sense?” – How Effective Is Your Homepage? [Infographic] by Francisco Rosales
Start with a quote
Starting with a quote might seem like something you would do on a high school grade essay, but they’re very useful when opening blog posts, too. Quotes are great because they made “quotes” for a reason.
Maybe they inspired someone or made them think differently about a particular topic.
Whatever the reason, you should use them in your openings because they will have the same effect on your readers. If it’s a really good quote, they’ll want to know who said it, and hopefully why you’re quoting them.
- “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” – Simon Sinek Shares the #1 Business Principle that Changes Everything by Scott Dinsmore
Lead with a story
I love stories. We all do. That’s what we do all day long. When your best friend asks you how your day was, you don’t just say fine and keep it moving.
You tell them about that dude that cut you off while you were driving. Then you tell them how the cops pulled you over for speeding when you were just trying to catch up to the guy that cut you off, to do it back to him.
We tell stories. That’s what we do, and they’re another great way to start your articles. They get your readers hooked and that’s exactly what we want. Here’s a quick example of storytelling at work:
- “Picture three men racing through a tall hedge maze. The first man runs off and begins following paths randomly, hoping to stumble upon the exit…” – Why Blind Obedience is Killing Your Business by Johnny B. Truant
Go against the norm
The shock and awe approach. Works like magic. You can start your blog posts by disagreeing with what is commonly accepted as the norm. This builds an instant sense of curiosity and bring up questions that your readers need answered.
Use this opening with caution. You don’t want to shock your audience with a strong statement, or build a ton of curiosity and not back it up. Your content needs to clearly explain your point of view.
- “A common misconception is that you can only make money blogging when you write about blogging or making money online. We disagree.” – How Sarai Mitnick Attracts 380k Pageviews a Month by Caleb Wojcik
Short and Direct
Short. Sweet. To the point. There’s nothing sexy about this blog opening, but it works just as well as the others. I don’t use this one as much as I should, but it does make starting blog posts a lot easier.
Simply think about the one thing you want your readers to get out of your article and just say it. Tell them from the very beginning and I bet they’ll be more interested in finding out more. Here’s how I used this opener:
- “The headline is everything.” – 5 Tips For Writing Great Headlines That Work by Hector Cuevas
How do you open your blog posts? Please share some tips with us in the comments.