How do you start a blog post, knowing someone is going to read that first line and decide whether it’s worth their time to go on?
Skilled writers begin in many ways: They may tell a little story, offer a colorful anecdote, summarize the topic, or hit us with something especially startling or funny.
But as we discussed in the previous post, I believe less experienced writers and people writing blogs as promotional tools for a business should concentrate on getting quickly to the point.
Here are a few more tips on writing your opening line:
You don’t have to write the “lead” first: It’s not a bad thing to sit down and just start writing. Sometimes it’s in the process of writing that you zero in on what you want to say. But when you’ve got a draft finished, go back and consider your lead. Does it “grab a reader”? Does it get to the point? Is it informative? Is it necessary or superfluous?
Read the first sentence to a couple of people: Then ask them what they think the rest of the post will be about. If they don’t even come close, you might need a new lead.
Get some good stuff in the lead: Ask yourself: What’s the best part of this item? What do I most want people to know today? Is that stuff touched on in your lead? If you don’t get to the best part until the middle, your reader might never get to the best part.
Keep it simple: When you are writing something straightforward and informative, there is sometimes an urge to get fancy in the writing, like you have to frilly things up to make people interested. Not true. Your customers and readers come to you for your expertise. They want to know something. They’re probably busy, too. So don’t dillydally.
Finally, don’t mention the weather unless it’s truly relevant: And even then, be careful. Here’s a lead I spotted …
So I don’t know about you, but where I am from, we’re hitting record highs in the temperature department (and that’s without the massive humidex attached!) But putting on the air conditioning doesn’t have to be the only answer. Here are our top tips for staying cool indoors when the weather gets a little too warm …
In the spirit of all we’ve been discussing here today, this the edit I would suggest:
Hot? Air conditioning isn’t the only answer. Here are our top tips for staying cool indoors when the weather gets too warm.
Did we get to the point quicker? Was anything important lost, besides 34 words?