The bucket on the left contains sand. The other bucket contains an identical amount of rice. With my eyes closed, I bet I can tell you which bucket holds the sand without touching the bucket or any of its contents. How is the trick done?
A professional ghost blogger and blog trainer, I’m in the business of blog posts, not buckets. But this simple riddle from David J. Bodycombe’s book Mind Benders illustrates a very simple technique for engaging interest in a blog, and doing that in the very first sentence of each blog post.
Keep in mind that I, before reading the riddle, had never faced this precise dilemma of learning which of two buckets contained sand. Even so, I found myself wanting to figure out the answer. In a blog post, of course, the question or dilemma would be related to the topic the online searcher was looking for, describing a problem that reader had probably faced or was facing right then. That means the technique of posing a question at the start of the blog post would be even more effective at engaging readers’ interest!
- "Just prior to leaving for a week’s summer vacation, John wanted to completely turn off the air conditioning in his home. His wife Judy, disagreed, saying they’d save more money by turning the thermostat up to 80 degrees, so that the A/C wouldn’t be working so hard. Who was right?"
- Which is less damaging, foreclosure or bankruptcy?
- Is club soda or cold water better for dabbing on a food stain on your clothes?
- Is keeping the windows closed all summer a good idea for allergy sufferers, or should fresh air be allowed to circulate every few days?
The "trick" is to pose a question to arouse curiosity or debate, then "weigh in" on the question to demonstrate two things: You understand your readers’ problems, and you know the answers to this kind of common dilemma or question.
The simple two-step blogging process involves:
1. Opening with a poser.
2. "Closing" (the deal) with valuable insights and information to demonstrate searchers have come to the right place for the products, services, and information they need!