We’ve got good news and bad news. The bad? There’s no single trick to hook your readers with the first sentence. The good? There are actually five methods you can use!
The digital world is a big and beautiful place, but it’s also shortened our attention spans – especially when it comes to reading content online. How are blogs supposed to keep readers hooked when there’s so much going on out there?
A strong first sentence is critical, and the following approaches can help you keep readers clutching to your blog from line one onwards.
The mystery author
We can’t help but pursue an answer when we’re confronted by intrigue and suspense. But why is that…?
The human brain has a hard time fighting the temptation to follow up when it’s exposed to an enigma. That’s why writing your first sentence with the mind-set of a mystery author can be such a successful technique. In the hunt for resolution, your reader will travel down the page with two eyes wide open in anticipation, perhaps even learning something valuable about your business along the way.
I’ve never told anyone this before.
There’s something you should probably know.
After reading this blog, your life will change forever
The personal storyteller
We all like hearing stories. In a world where everyone is constantly rushed off their feet, most people still have time for tales – even if only for ten minutes. By turning into a personal storyteller, you’ll appear less like a business and more like a buddy from the very first line.]
Let us tell you a story.
I wrote this first blog with £4.30 in my bank account, but things are different now.
I’ve travelled all over the world, but I’d never seen a place like this.
The big reveal
Like Alfred Hitchcock killing off his leading lady halfway through Psycho, you can shock your audience into staying glued to your page by unleashing a big reveal or plot twist early. This could be something as simple as a surprising statistic, a stunning statement (nothing too controversial!), or a little-known truism.
Only 10% of people in the world are left-handed.
Running a business is actually easy.
If you’re always late, you’re probably smarter than most.
Why not open your blog with a question? You want your readers to call up and start asking you questions, but one way to get them to do that is by first asking questions of your own. The great thing about playing The Riddler role in the first sentence is that you immediately involve the reader from the off.
Do you know what you want from life?
Is it possible to become a great writer in one week?
Would you know what to do if you got a flat tire?
The scene setter
Get your reader to begin picturing a scene before they can even think about tearing their eyes away from the screen. Directly telling your reader to “imagine”, “think”, “picture”, or “visualise” will assign them a task (pulling their eyes and minds away from other tabs in the process).
Imagine your business one year from now.
Picture your perfect holiday.
Visualise your future and think about how that makes you feel.
Things to remember
Attention-grabbing is good, but there’s no need to whip up big controversy in opening lines. You’re not a politician or Piers Morgan – you’re a business that wants readers to share your posts because they find them illuminating rather than enraging.
You should also make sure your first sentence relates directly to the main purpose of your blog. A snazzy opening line will be dressed down quickly if you don’t link it to pivotal and relevant points throughout the article.
First sentence, final thoughts
When it comes to blogging in general, there is no full-proof solution to craft the perfect first blog sentence. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find the ideal opening line for your business. Experiment with your posts to find the voice that fits your brand values and your readers can relate to. With a bit of patience and practice, you’ll soon start to see which starter sentences work best.
From the first line to the last, Making You Content can help you write blogs that your readers will be fixated by. Get in touch on 0161 6609 206 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our copywriting services.