“Everybody knows the story of the Three Little Pigs, or at least they think they do” is the captivating opening line of stylist.com’s “50 Best Children’s Books” list.
Since, according to litreactor (“Top Ten Opening Lines in Novels”), nothing is “as deeply important as the opening line,” this week I’m focusing my Say It For You blog posts on creating effective blog post openers. The opening line of George Orwell’s 1984 (“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”) served as a good example of a compelling opener. Still, as a corporate blogging trainer, I cautioned that blog opening lines need to be definitive rather than mysterious, making sure readers know they’ve come to the right site for the information, products, and services they’re seeking.
Offering unique, little known information:
In “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” opening line, author Jon Scieszka is promising more, offering to let readers in on some special, little-known “scoop”. And in blogging, whether you’re doing business-to-business writing or writing SEO marketing blogs for a professional practice or retail business, taking online searchers “behind the scenes” makes for content that is more compelling.
Taking the other side of the “debate”:
“Nobody has ever heard my side of the story. I’m the Wolf.” Think about opening a blog post by presenting an opposing view or an alternative approach offered by a competitor. Then, only after having fairly and fully presented the “other side of the story", come back to explain why you prefer to run your business or practice the way you do.
Presenting profiles of people who think they’re doing things correctly, but who aren’t:
A second LitReactor Top Ten Opening Line winner is this one from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” Indianapolis blog content writers can take a valuable tip from that J.K. Rowling opener. Blog posts can “open” with a description of people who think they are “perfectly normal”. Those people believe they are properly maintaining their health, their skin, their HVAC systems, their swimming pools, their financial planning, etc., etc., but they are, out of ignorance, inviting future problems (problems the business owner or professional featured in the blog can help prevent).
Would your blog post opening lines qualify for Top Ten status?