Do you struggle to write a blog post first paragraph? It is the most important paragraph, isn’t it? Many bloggers don’t focus on writing the first paragraph. They share their tips, and that’s it. Their content just starts with a dull blob. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You can focus on the blog post first paragraph better than the average bear, right?
But as bloggers, our task is not simply to share tips but to encourage our readers, to grab attention, make them feel good, to spark action … to be a good teacher.
But how do the best teachers inspire you?
Start with imagining your favorite reader. What’s stopping him from implementing your advice? Does he feel overwhelmed? Does he think he can’t do it? Does he feel it’s too much effort for too little gain? Let’s hope not.
When you understand what’s holding your favorite reader back, you can help him with specific advice. Give a pep talk or remind him of the benefits of implementing your advice.
Once you’ve defined the aim of your first paragraph, write a draft, and edit it for power and inspiration:
- Try the imperative to instigate attention
- Shorten your sentences for added energy
- Use power words to make an emotional connection
Here’s how you can attract positive attention from your target audience and get more views:
Blog post … Intrigue them with a question
Do you agree that an intriguing tone hooks people’s attentions right away? We do. This tried and tested method makes people think of a “what if” scenario that keeps them reading on to the next paragraphs. Open with this hook, and you’re sure to keep people interested.
Blog post examples … quote a relevant personality
People will associate the credibility attached to certain famous personalities with your work if you cite them. Aside from this, their name alone will turn heads – especially avid fans who are interested to hear the opinions of those who also follow in the footsteps of their favorite celebrity or public figure.
As an example: American motivational speaker Denis Waitley aptly states, “Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.”
Use shocking statistics
Seasoned writer Richard Evans, from editing service EduGeeksClub, states that “In the same way that is looking at an old life event from a different perspective makes it more interesting, starting off any topic with interesting statistics can catch people’s attentions. This adds credibility to your work and makes it more unique than simply describing the topic at hand.”
Blog post WordPress … start with a compelling idea
People are tired of hearing the same old thing over and over again. Jumping out at them with an interesting and unique idea makes your content shine through the competition. If you don’t have any snappy ideas yet, try to reframe a simple sentence into an engaging one.
As an example: Evernote’s above the folded copy is very simple yet presents a compelling idea. “Remember Everything.” It then goes on to describe how to get it done. “Modern life can be complicated. Simplify it with Evernote, the app to manage it all.”
Share a relatable story or joke
People prefer creative narratives over blatant self-advertisement, so if you want people to notice your pitch, lighten up the mood first and relate to people’s interests. Use familiar examples and stories that will pique people’s attentions and keep them from drifting off into a different page.
Here is a near perfect example: Brilliant 19th-century violinist and master showman Nicolo Paganini regularly performed at packed concert halls in Italy with a full orchestra.
Towards the end of one such performance, while Paganini’s unbelievable composition is putting the audience in awe, a string from his instrument suddenly snapped. Paganini continued to play and improvised brilliantly.
But luck was not on his side that night as another string snapped, and then the third one. Like a slapstick comedy, Paganini stood at the spotlight with three strings dangling from his Stradivarius. Instead of walking offstage, he completed his piece with just one string.
It happens to the best of us, but the key is not to give up. The show must go on.
Tell readers why they should care
You and I both know that change is hard.
How can we encourage our readers to roll up their sleeves and implement our tips?
Tell them why they should care. How will their efforts pay off? How will they feel better?
The paragraph below, for instance, is the closing of a post with six tips for conversational writing. To encourage readers to do the hard work of editing, they’re reminded why a conversational style is powerful:
Do you ever think back to a conversation you had with a friend? Do you hear her voice in your head?
That’s how readers should experience your content. Let your words linger in their minds. Inspire them long after they’ve read your words.
In a world of endless pixels and meaningless likes, we crave human connections and voices that resonate with us.
So, be yourself. Brew a cup of green tea. Offer your readers a slice of homemade cake.
And have a cozy chat.
Keep it simple
Don’t go over-the-top with your initial paragraph. Your purpose is to hook your readers in, not distract them with a wordy start. Keep it simple with a clear and concise beginning. Avoid putting in unnecessary descriptions or filler words that might move away from your main points.
“Don’t go into great detail describing places and things, unless you’re Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language” – Elmore Leonard, famous novelist gave his recommendation for writers.
As an example: A good hook is important in attracting an audience. People’s shortening attention spans have led them to skip through a bulk of the text to only the most interesting points in a paragraph.
Invigorate your readers
A good blogger understands the beauty of language, and how to use words for maximum impact.
But choosing the right words is a superficial form of beauty.
The real beauty comes from within … a willingness to help, to be honest, and generous. A spirited drive to share your ideas. A real sense of human connection.
The real beauty of writing comes from a deep understanding of your readers, and a desire to spark change, no matter how tiny.
Empower your readers.
Paint an image
A vivid picture in people’s minds will give your article a better edge. To create a neat but descriptive start, think of just one main idea. Once you’ve zeroed in on your chosen topic, describe it in the best way you can. Don’t resort to simple adjectives. Think of more unconventional and creative ways to paint that image.
Strengthen the core statement of the blog post
Once you’ve finished the body of your article, it’s time to go back to the start and strengthen your main idea in your lead paragraph. You can reword it or rephrase it into a different sentence that contains the same concept. Since repeating things to a reasonable extent will make people remember them more, going over your points quickly for the second time makes them more memorable to your readers.
Related post: 11 Updates to Starbuck’s Creativity and Innovation
Write a blog post first paragraph … reel your audience in
Achieving people’s total interest in your article can be a challenge, but it’s also very doable. Keep them reading with an intriguing start. Use good questions, quote relevant personalities, reframe otherwise mundane ideas, and most of all, relate to their interests. In writing, remember to keep it simple, but at the same time, let them in on important details that will bring your article to life.
At the end of it all, don’t forget to strengthen your core statement by going right back to your first point in the conclusion. Get off to a good start and reel in more readers!
The bottom line
Don’t let what you know … limit what you can imagine or maybe even dream. Confidence never comes from having all the answers. It comes from being prepared for, and open to, new ideas and questions. Prepare your mind for new ways of thinking. Only then will you take advantage of all the business lessons learned.
Need some help in finding ways to grow your customers? Such as creative ideas to help the differentiation with potential customers? Or perhaps finding ways to work with other businesses?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you. But believe in the effectiveness of collaborative innovation. And put it to good use in adapting to changes in your business environment.
It’s up to you to keep improving your learning and experience with innovation and creativity efforts. Lessons are all around you. In this case, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
Try. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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