Yes, as I emphasized in an earlier post this week, opening lines are key in blogging for business. Why not, I suggested, use the opening sentence to make your thesis clear along with your topic? In other words, searchers should be assured not only that they’ve clicked on the right link to get information on the topic they typed into the search bar, but get a preview of your slant on the subject.
“To drive quality traffic to your site, you must think like a publisher,” content marketer Rustin Banks observes. One model Banks suggests online content writers should copy from print journalism is the inverted pyramid structure, beginning with a broad thesis, getting more specific as you get further into the post.
But, of course, there’s more than one way to skin that thesis statement, as quickstudy.com explains to college students. And, of course, there are many different ways to approach what, in corporate blogging training sessions, I call the “pow opening line”. And, while searchers must be assured they’ve come to the right site for the information they want, you don’t necessarily have to “show your slant” at the start of the post.
Show our slant we must, though. Blog posts, to be effective, can’t be just compilations of even very useful information we’ve aggregated. One thing I’ve learned over the years of creating blog content for dozens and dozens of clients in different industries and professions is that it is opinion that humanizes a blog and differentiates a business, professional practice, or organization from its peers.
We can wait to reveal, however. Shopify’s suggestions for blog templates, for example, include listicles, how-to posts, and storytelling posts. Listicles “round up” existing content such as “10 Interesting Indiana Foods to Try for Your next Pitch-in”. How-to posts tell ways to solve a problem, while storytelling posts offer interviews with customers, or experiments you’ve done.
Using any of these formats, we can explain what conclusions we’ve arrived at. Having set the stage, we can end with our opinions, putting our own unique slant on best practices in our field.