Do you know the aim of your opening line?
It’s quite simple.
The opening line exists just to get people to read your second line. That’s all.
But do you know what that means?
You have to keep your first sentence short. Really short. Clear and concise, keep these two words in mind when you write that opening line.
Better yet, start with a short question. Like I did when writing the opening line to the post you’re reading right now.
I know what you’re wondering right now…
What makes an opening line irresistible? How do I write such a thing?
Well… the bitter truth is that there’s so much content out there right now that no one’s taking the time to read every single article or blog post they stumble upon.
9 out 10 people that find your article never get past your opening line, which is why it’s crucial that you capture their attention from the start.
You see, blogging is not just about information or entertainment. Blogging is also a tool used by billions to connect with like-minded individuals. They want empathy, they want to feel understood.
The most seductive opening lines manage to make a reader feel less alone.
And this is why you should use the word…
If you use this word, you’re addressing the reader directly. Most often than not, you’re going to be asking the reader a question.
You connect with them instantly.
You show them that you get them, truly get them, that you can walk in their shoes without falling on the first step.
And this makes them want to read more.
Here’s an example from one of my blog posts:
Have you ever felt like the invisible blogger?From How to Stop Being “The Invisible Blogger”
In a world of half a billion blogs, who hasn’t felt invisible at one point or another?
And read on what I do next:
You work hard on your posts, pouring every ounce of emotion, creativity, and insight you have into them. You select the best photos and graphics to go with them, submit your blogs to various outlets, share them on social media, do your best to network with fellow bloggers.
But it’s like no one even sees you.
And awful lot of “you.” in the first few sentences of this post.
But I’m not going to say this is a great opening or not. I’ll let you tell me in the comments section below if you’d like to read the rest of the blog post or not.
Of course, another fantastic way to open a blog post is by using the word…
Sometimes I like to pretend I’m a photographer. Mostly with other people’s cameras. And the results are oftentimes… not as bad as you’d expect.From How to Be a Boss at Blogging When You Have 0 Followers
Tell a story about yourself. And I know that the example I shared with you might seem a bit odd, but it does the trick: it makes people curious to read on.
Here’s the thing about opening lines: you need to make your reader curious. You need to make them want to read on to figure out what is going on.
You are allowed to exaggerate, connect seemingly unrelated odds, tell odds stories, share intriguing facts, all in the name of science… erm… in order to get readers to find the comments section at the end of your blog post and offer you their thoughts. That’s what I meant.
The truth is that when writing your opening line (and the rest of the blog post, for that matter) it’s important that you connect with your readers on an emotional level.
What are they thinking when they stumble upon your blog post? How are they feeling? How do you want to make them feel?
Do you show them that you understand their struggles, frustrations, or worries?
Writing a brilliant opening line means persuading your readers that you understand them, that you’re not just the boring old teacher whom everyone disliked. You’re the cool teacher.
Because you care.
So, show your them that you care by writing a fantastic opening line.