With respect, I must disagree with Mr. Zinsser. We all know the most important part of any article is the title. Without a compelling title, your reader won’t even get to the first sentence.
After the title, however, the first few sentences are certainly the most important part. Journalists call this critical introductory section the “lede,” and when properly executed, it’s the bridge that carries your reader from an attention-grabbing headline into the body of your blog post.
If you want to get it right, try one of these 10 clever ways to open your next blog post with a bang.
1. Be Short and Direct
Minimalists rejoice. Less is more in some cases. This method seems to be especially useful for list posts with a compelling and descriptive title.
2. The Quirky or Funny Opening Sentence/Paragraph
A little personality goes a long way, especially on a business blog. So don’t be afraid to let loose now and again. When done tastefully (and sometimes not so tastefully), it’s bound to make people take notice.
3. Ask a Thought-Provoking Question
When someone asks you a question, you almost can’t help but think of an answer. Your reader will do the same thing, and you’ll immediately engage them in a conversation. Be careful though. Avoid any questions that can be answered with “no” or “who cares.” In other words, always make your question relevant to your reader’s needs.
4. Ask a Multiple Choice Question
A variation on the question technique above, the multiple-choice question is another great way to engage your reader. I don’t know about you, but I love multiple-choice questions. It’s like responding to a poll. As above, make your question relevant to your reader and the article itself.