What’s the second most important part of your blog post after the headline?
The introduction, of course.
Imagine just how disappointed you’d be after spending an insane amount of time to come up with a killer title for your post, only to lose readers within the first paragraph or two. A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like getting stuck on a roller-coaster ride seconds after it starting.
So, here are five easy ways to open your post that will capture the reader’s imagination and make them want to read more.
What I love most about blogging is how confusing the process seems to be. Beyond having to consistently produce quality content, you also have to network with other bloggers, take care of various social media accounts, guest blog, interview, connect with your readers, and feed your brain with as much information as possible.
And this got me thinking…
What exactly matters most when it comes to building an audience? Should you prioritize content creation over networking, or is it the other way around? Should you try to balance them both, feeling like you’re walking on tightrope on a daily basis?
Well, the truth is that this is an impossible question to answer. Sorry.
What I do know is that how you treat your readers matters an awful lot. So much so that the way you answer to the following questions can make even the most brilliant content you share not receive even a single like:
Do you reply to your readers?
How do you reply to your readers?
Do you talk down to your readers?
If I emailed you right now, would you respond?
Before we get too far into the topic, let me be clear: I don’t always reply to comments or e-mails. Some days I can’t respond, some messages are not worthy of a response, some messages don’t make much sense.
So I’m not perfect. Far from it.
But I’ve got to tell you that even though I always give 100% when it comes to creating content, if I don’t interact with my readers for any period of time, my views and comments tend to drop significantly.
Admit it. You’ve asked yourself this question at least once since you started to blog. Maybe even twice.
Perhaps you ask yourself this question every single time you write your heart out, only to get little to no traffic. No comments. You’re not getting the kind of feedback you were hoping for when you decided to blog about your topic.
To make matters worse, you’ve done all the things popular bloggers say to do, like publishing great content and commenting on other popular blogs and getting accounts on Twitter and Facebook, but no matter how hard you work, no matter how many different techniques you try, nothing is working.
So you ask yourself…
Where did I go wrong?
Is it possible that you have chosen a topic for your blog that no one gives a damn about?
Are you simply wasting your time trying to keep your blog alive?
When I launched my first blog, in April 2012, if you wanted to rank high on Google, all you had to do was create a ton of backlinks. If you wanted more followers on Instagram, you followed-unfollowed lots of people. If you wanted more Twitter followers, all you had to do was to set up a bot to follow thousands of users a day, while liking and even retweeting all the tweets in a specific hashtag.
Basically, there was a time when growing on the web was employing all kinds of hacks and shortcuts.
But try these techniques today and you will realize they they don’t work anymore.
And you may think that’s unfair. You see all your competitors, with all their followers, ranking on the first page of Google. It’s unfair because you the same hacks they used don’t work anymore.
It’s a brave new world out there, and even though there are some who still cling to the old ways, the truth is that hacks and shortcuts don’t work anymore. You’ve got to do something different.