10 Techniques for Opening Your Blog Posts Like An Artist4 min read

First impressions matter. A lot. And whether we like to admit it or not, the opening lines to our blog posts can turn a one-time visitor into a subscriber or can make them decide to go on another blog.

So how does one craft an opening line to a post that effectively engages readers and stimulates enough interest to get them to read the rest of the damn thing?

Here’s a couple of ways you can open your blog posts like an artist.

1. Tell your readers about a need of theirs

Blogging is (more or less) all about problem solving.

What do your readers need, and you can provide?

For instance, this post is solving your need to open blog posts in such a way that you make readers want to read past your first few lines.

You don’t have to solve the need or problem in the opening line but an effective way to get readers to read deep into your post where you do solve it is to tell them that you will in the opening line.

2. Ask a question

It’s simple: ask a question in the opening of your post which leaves your reader little room to answer anything but ‘yes’.

I do this quite often in my blog posts, and I usually ask a few questions like these in a row, while also identifying a certain issue that my readers are struggling with, while also stating that I, too, have struggled with it.

Asking a series of questions set the expectation of a post that feels like a wonderful odyssey of new and important knowledge.

3. Surprise your readers

If your post is about something, start by writing about something else. Or if you never, ever mention your family or personal life, do that. If you’re not usually funny, step outside your comfort zone to surprise readers with something you don’t usually do – a joke.

Of course – the unexpected opening line should relate to your post’s topic on some level.

4. Share a story or anecdote

Telling short and fun stories to open posts can be one way of making sure your readers are willing to read your entire post.

Stories can be as short as a one liner or a bit longer. They can be your own personal stories or stories of someone else. They can be true or even fiction.

5. Make a promise

Promise your readers you are going to teach them something, help them solve an issue, or just make them laugh their hearts out.

This kind of opening line lets your readers know what to expect from the post itself, while also helping you get a feel for the overall tone of the piece.

6. Make a controversial statement

There’s nothing like the hint of controversy to grab people’s attention.

Strongly state your opinion on a company, product, or even another person. This type of opening works if your opinion is different from that of others.

This, in turn, will make readers curious to know why. And we are so, so curious…

7. Make them imagine

Imagination is kind of like magic. We are creating images inside our heads. Stuff that doesn’t exist, yet it feels real.

We can think of pink elephants running around our back yard, just as easily as we can see what’s outside our windows.

Engaging the imagination of your reader is a powerful thing which can evoke emotion, help them to get in touch with fear and feel needs but also give them real motivation to make change.

8. Share a cool statistic or info

Using a statistic that packs a punch can effectively communicate a need and grab attention.

I’ve done this by telling folks how many bloggers quit during their first few months of blogging, or how many blogs there are on the web right now.

Share some interesting fact, something that few folks are aware of. Such as the fact that mammoths were still alive when the first pyramids were being built in Egypt. Stuff like that.

9. Start with a quote

This is one that I do quite often, and it’s quite effective – if you use the right quote of course.

Using the words of some one other than yourself can bring authority and credibility to your post. It can also grab attention if you choose the right person.

10. Use an image

As they saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The key, of course, is to find an image that is on topic, that is striking, and that readers find compelling or intriguing.

If you want to make a great first impression, work on your opening lines. Try to make your readers feel as if they’re embarking on a wonderful and perilous journey. Paint vivid images inside their minds, and ask them questions they’ve been dying to find answers to.

Oh, and do tell me: what other techniques do you use to open your blog posts?

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

21 thoughts on “10 Techniques for Opening Your Blog Posts Like An Artist4 min read

  1. Great ideas! I enjoy reading your posts. Sometimes I find when reading other blogs that it’s hard to find a line between sharing too little and sharing too much when individuals share a story. Thank you for your words of wisdom and happy holidays.

  2. I appreciate these ideas. This is a post I will flag for future reminders! Thank you for always living up to your promise – and giving us ideas for ways to improve our blogging experience.

  3. Something I’ve learned from my job in radio advertising, which you also emphasize often in your blog, is to talk to the person listening (or reading). You can’t use “you” enough. I’ll start some of my blog posts with a series of direct statements to the reader, establishing my target audience while making a promise to address a specific need: “You want to overcome your anxiety. You don’t want to let fear keep you from reaching your goals. You need to practice this one, simple habit.” Your posts about keeping your audience in mind at all times have helped drive this lesson home for me.

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