“Strategically, the summary or conclusion whould come at the beginning of an expository piece, not at the end,” says Brandon Royal in The Little Red Writing Book.
The Pow-Opening-Line idea I teach in corporate blogging training sessions focuses on that very sort of descending writing structure, one in which, as Royal explains, “we move downhill from conclusion to details.”
Getting to the point straightaway is even more important in writing SEO marketing blogs than in writing books or academic essays, given the notoriously short attention span of online readers. The sooner it becomes clear there’s a match between what the searcher wants and what’s to be found in our blog post, the more favorable our chances of having that prospect take some action.
In order for blog writing for business to actually turn into business, the well-known What’s-In-It-For-Me? question needs to be addressed in the blog title and in the opening lines of the blog post.
As a professional ghost blogger, I absolutely loved the two versions of a dialogue between co-workers offered by Brandon Royal:
Version A: “Sheila, can you do something for me when you’re downtown? If you’re taking the subway to Main Street, get off and take the first exit out of the subway and walk down to Cross Street. At the intersection of Cross Street and Vine, you’ll find Sandy’s Stationery store. Can you go in and pick up a couple of reams of A5 paper?”
Version B: “Sheila, can you do something for me when you’re downtown? I need a couple of reams of A5 paper. The best place to get them is Sandy’s Stationery store. You can take the subway to main Street, get off and take the first exit out of the subway and walk down to Cross Street. The store is at the intersection of Cross Street and Vine.”
“Once you finally find out what the speaker’s point is,” comments Royal about Version A, you’ve forgotten all the necessary details. It’s just as frustrating,” he adds, “when you’re reading a piece of writing and you do not know where the discussion is going.”
If we freelance blog content writers frustrate our online visitors by being unclear about our point`, they’ll be gone in a click. Unless we learn to “blog downhill”, it will be all uphill going in terms of engaging any interest in what we have to say!