“There’s a reason why The Northside Social in Broad Ripple feels so comfortable,” Seth Johnson writes in Broad Ripple Magazine. (Great opening line. Bold assertion. Makes the reader want to know the why of it.)
In the same magazine issue, Jon Shoulders starts a review of Taylor’s Bakery (shown above) with another good opening: “How does a relatively small, family-owned bakery not only stay in business but also flourish for more than a century?”
At Say It For You, I’ve always stressed the fact that opening lines have a big job to do. As blog content writers, we have to assure readers they’ve come to the right place to find the information that satisfies their need for answers. On the other hand, a “pow” opening line that arouses curiosity may be just what’s needed to keep a reader progressing through the page. Think of beginning a blog post with the words “There’s a reason” or the question beginning “What’s the reason that…?”.
After his opening statement, rather than a lot of ad-like “sales-ey” text, Johnson’s write-up goes on to illustrate the “reason why” behind Northside Social’s success with a specific example:
We treat the chicken three different ways, Nicole says. “We brine it in pickle brine,
we marinate it, and then we confit it. So we roast it in duck fat and then we bread it
and fry it to order. It’s delicious”.
Shoulders, whose write-up of Taylor’s Bakery focuses more on business history and strategy,
offers a mouth-watering reason-why as well:
“If it’s baked and it’s sweet, you’ll likely find it at Taylor’s – cookies, cakes, doughnuts, Danish, breads and dinner rolls and flavored popcorn are all offered. Everything is made fresh daily down to the ice cream…which is churned from scratch using special in-house machinery.”
In an article in Self magazine, the author urges readers to stop pussyfooting around and ask for what they need, but advises providing a reason for that need. Because at Say It For You, I provide business blogging assistance to business owners and their employees, I thought this Self article was “spot on“. After all, in business blogs, readers are often asked to subscribe to the blog, pose a question or comment, sign up for a mailing list or newsletter, or buy products or services.
But, as the Broad Ripple Magazine articles so aptly demonstrate, readers need to be given a reason to do those things. The “because” needs to be presented in terms of advantage to the reader.
Beginning a blog post with the words “There’s a reason why” or the question “Why” (is getting to know this company/product/service going to be a very good idea for the reader) might turn out to be a very good idea for the company offering the blog!