You only need to get them to read the second sentence. That’s the sole purpose of your opening line.
Think about any TED Talk you’ve ever watched. No-one ever starts with:
“Hello. I’m Alice, a B2B copywriter and I’m here today to talk about openings…”
No. They immediately submerge you in the story:
“Amazing cakes? There’s a reason this copywriter’s about more than words.”
By switching your mindset to focus on how you can write enough to get your audience just to read the second sentence, not only do you hook them in, you’re showing your audience that you’re respectful of their time by not making them read paragraph upon paragraph of fluffy introductory filler.
And I’d advocate using this technique in any type of content – not just blogging. Get your value proposition in straight away. Then if you need to set the context or establish the ‘problem’ do so in paragraph 2.
So how do we get our audience to read that important second line?
These are some tried and tested techniques to give you some ideas…
Keep it short
Short and sweet. If you want the audience to read sentence 2, what better way than to get to it as quickly as possible? Ideally, you want something shocking or intriguing that’s enough to either jolt them into jumping feet first into the piece, or to pique their interest to see where the story’s going.
Alternatively, you can…
Ask a question
In conversation we naturally ask and answer questions. Your writing should be no different. Opening your blog with a question forces your audience to engage because they can’t help but answer. Our brains are programmed to answer questions so they make us stop and think.
And the best questions to ask…
Make the audience nod ‘yes’
This is a great tip I picked up from my behavioural economics course. If you can get your audience nodding along with what you’re saying, they’re buying into your way of thinking. I use this technique on my own website in order to qualify my audience:
Are you a small company?
Are you in the IT or tech sector?
Are you based in the Thames Valley?
If I’ve got you nodding ‘yes’ to all 3, you’re naturally going to lean in, be more engaged and want to read further because you’ll think that whatever I have to say must really apply to you
So there you have it!
3 lovely tips for opening your blogs in a way that hooks your audience in:
- Keep it short
- Ask a question
- Make the audience nod ‘yes’
Brownie points if you can achieve all 3 within the same opening!
Want to learn more about blogging?
Then request a copy of The Little Book of…B2B Blogging. It’s free and available as a digital download or hard copy.