“The opening paragraph, or introduction, of your essay is key,” the Research & Education Association’s QuickAccess laminated writing guide advises. The guide suggests two “methods you can use to hook the reader”:
- Anecdote – a story that illustrates your point
- Question – establish a reason to keep reading (to find the answer)
“The introduction should include both your thesis statement and some background information about your topic,” QuickAccess continues.
In business blog content writing, anecdotes serve to keep the material fresh. While the message may be one that you’ve delivered in your blog many times before, adding a new story to illustrate the point makes the material seem brand new. Emotional appeal is what makes readers take action, and anecdotes give “heart” to the information. You may be selling a product or a service, but what you’re really selling is a solution to a problem readers are facing. The story makes that solution come alive.
Another way to state the importance of harnessing the power of storytelling in business blogs is this: Use more examples; make fewer claims; “showing, not crowing”, will get you a lot farther in blog content writing.
I tell new Indianapolis blog content writers that, in creating content for marketing blogs, we need to keep in mind that people are online searching for answers to questions they have and solutions for dilemmas they’re facing. But even if those searchers haven’t specifically formulated their question, I suggest we can do that for them by presenting a question in the blog post itself!
You can use a customer question as a headline, then use the post to answer that question. Specifically, the question in the title or in the opening line “grabs” readers, demonstrating what they can expect to find in the blog post, and showing that you understand the dilemmas they’re facing and how to solve those!
Ask a question you know will catch their eye. You can even add in a layer a curiosity, copywriter Amy Harrison suggests, by following your question with “The answer might just surprise you….”.
Anecdotes and questions – two important “Ones” in the one-two punch of blog content writing. The “two”? All the valuable and interesting answers those readers were hoping to find.