In our previous installment of The Blog to End All Blogs, our team of content development specialists at Big Red SEO talked about one of the most important aspects of blog creation, the title. Titles can do a lot of work toward enticing your audience to read further into your content, but what comes next? Your content needs to do more than simply draw readers in—it also needs to get them hooked.
Once you have your audience invested in what you’re talking about, you can greatly increase the chances that they’ll join in the conversation by commenting and sharing your content on social media. This is a boon for not only your brand awareness but your SEO efforts as well! In this post we’ll give you some surefire ways to keep readers engaged and talking about your blog content.
The First Sentence, or How to Make Your Blog Content Matter
After you’ve drawn your audience in with a creative title that gets right to the point of what you’ll be talking about on your company blog, the next step to getting them hooked is in your first sentence. Let’s turn to some of the best-known novels of our time for inspiration:
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”—J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”—George Orwell, 1984
“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”—Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
“Call me Ishmael.”—Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Now, even if you’re not writing the novel of the century (which is probably the case for us bloggers), there are important lessons to take from examples like these:
- Write the unexpected! – No reader wants to read something they’ve read a hundred times before, so strive to come up with lines no one’s heard before. Whether it’s in your style or ideas (or preferably both), originality is key to an interesting company blog.
- Be memorable! – Whether your opening line is long or short, complex or simple, make it memorable. This ties in strongly with writing the unexpected, because people pay more attention to things that strike them as new.
- Be personal! – Great opening lines establish things like character, setting, and style, all of which are important to place a reader in the space you want them to be in. This is no different in the blog writing we do every day. Readers want to know why what you’re writing is important to you, and writing that reflects your personality is the best way to convey that.
Pulling Your Readers In
Making your writing unexpected, memorable, and personal is great advice, but how are you able to put these things into action? Here are some actionable templates that you can use to hook your readers right from the start:
- Start with a Question: When you ask a question you’re really initiating a conversation with your reader, so make sure your question is geared toward an issue that’s important to them (and ideally has something to do with your brand as well!).
- Start with a Statistic: If you’re trying to make a point about something concrete, statistics work well to solidify your position. Readers pay attention to statistics because they document real-world situations that can have a direct effect on them.
- Start with a Controversial Claim: This tactic can work wonders but you have to be careful with it. Few things draw out comments and interaction better than making a controversial claim, but you have to make sure the controversy you’re stirring up is for a purpose. Develop your claims with evidence and solid arguments that convince your readers that your way of looking at an issue is the right one.
Contact Big Red SEO Today at (402) 522-6468!
Our team of SEO and content development specialists hopes that this installment of The Blog to End All Blogs has given you some insights into the importance of that all-important first line! Next time we’ll go into more detail about how to keep your audience engaged all the way through your blog articles.
As an affordable SEO marketing and web design company in Omaha, Nebraska, Big Red SEO specializes in developing local search engine optimization strategies that take our clients to the top of search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. If your company could use more online exposure to draw in more potential clients and increase conversions, give Big Red SEO a call today at (402) 522-6468!