A great opener with a lame last line is.., well, lame. Sure, it’s super-important in blogging for business to have great titles and strong, curiosity-stirring openers, but as I teach in corporate blogging training sessions, you’ve got to “close your parentheses” (Uh, oh – shades of my undergrad degree in English Ed.!).
In this Wednesday’s Say It For You blog, I cited blogger Graham Jones’ opener as a great example of a bandleader-type “downbeat” of an opening line. “Search engines are after one thing…” Jones’ post begins, discussing ways to improve search engine rankings.
Unfortunately, as a professional offering business blogging assistance, I have to give Jones a “C” for the ending of the post. By my lights, at least, Jones offers well-written, valuable, and interesting information, only to let the reader down at the end. The blog post sort of “tapers off” without a catchy ending line to sum up and emphasize the content.
The Seth Godin piece that began with such delightful definitiveness – “There are actually two recessions”, offers the perfect example of the advantages of using a catchy ending line to emphasize, review, and leave the reader with no doubt about the writer’s point of view:
“This revolution is at least as big as the last one, and the last one changed everything.”
Brian Clark’s blog post “Little Known Ways to Write Fascinating Bullet Points” (with the opener I quoted the other day – “Oh, those magical bullet points..” ends by remarking that bullet points are maligned because most people don’t know how to write them. Clark urges readers to “put a little time and effort into making yours fascinating.” What this post demonstrates is a tactic I often suggest to freelance blog writers for Say It For You and to business owners, which is to put a call to action in the text of the blog post itself.
Of course, in corporate blog writing, it all matters – the title, the opening line, and the reader-friendly, relevant, updated, useful content. Somehow it’s not the same, though, without a great finish. If the opening line in blog content writing is the conductor’s “downbeat”, the closing line represents the final notes of the symphony – “TA-DAH!