5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post with a Bang

image of the number

What’s the second most important part of your blog post after the title?

Master copywriter Eugene Schwartz often spent an entire week on the first 50 words of a sales piece — the headline and the opening paragraph.

Just imagine how disappointed you’d be after crafting a killer headline for your post, only to lose readers with an opening that failed to carry the momentum. A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach.

So, here are 5 ways to open your post that will capture the reader’s imagination and pull them deeper into your content.

1. Ask a Question

Opening your post with a question is a rhetorical device (hence, the “rhetorical question”) that creates curiosity and gets the reader thinking. Thinking equals active engagement with your writing, and that’s a very good thing.

2. Share an Anecdote or Quote

Anecdotes are quick stories that can make people laugh or immediately establish the main point of your post. A nice quote from a recognizable authority or famous person can also work wonders when holding attention in those crucial opening seconds.

3. Invoke the Mind’s Eye

Producing a mental image in a reader’s mind is one of the most powerful things you can ever do as a writer, so expressly engaging the imagination is a powerful opening technique. Activate the mind’s eye of the reader by using words like “imagine,” “picture this,” “do you remember when,” etc.

4. Use an Analogy, Metaphor or Simile

Analogies, metaphors and similes are some of the most powerful devices available when it comes to telling a story in a single sentence. This is a great way to capture a reader’s attention and also acts to provoke mental imagery that allows readers to tell a story to themselves.

5. Cite a Shocking Statistic

Starting off with an interesting factoid is also a great technique. People love being provided with interesting data, but only if it is unique, startling, or even shocking. The statistic should also be directly relevant to the point of your post as well.

Bonus Tip: The third most important part of your blog post is the closing. A great way to close is to tie back into your opening.

So, which of the 5 techniques did I NOT use in the opening to this post?

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Comments

  1. Great post (consider it saved for later).

    I think you missed #5… I had to go back and double check for the simile, though, as it was near the top. :P

  2. Thanks for these tips! I always forget how powerful simple words can be ;)

  3. Or you can just post a photo of a monkey.

    People love monkey’s (see: every other tv commercial).

    :-)

    In all seriousness, great post Brian. #3 is my all-time favorite copywriting tip.

  4. I think that you used all five.

    1 = “What’s the second most important part of your blog post after the title?”

    2 = the link to “crafting a killer headline”

    3 = “Just imagine how disappointed you’d be…”

    4 = “like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face”

    5 = “often spent an entire week on the first 50 words of a sales piece”

  5. >>double check for the simile…

    That one’s a bit tricky, but it’s actually an analogy.

    Here’s a simile from a song that just popped up in my iPod shuffle:

    I hold the microphone like a grudge.

    Eric B. & Rakim
    I Ain’t No Joke

  6. Stats?
    Point made, point taken. Might I add, scanability? Just by reading the headings and subheadings I get the point… which is great for browsers (as in people). And then if you’re an interested reader you can go back to the points and read in detail.

  7. It has been a pleasure reading your tips/secrets/suggestions/hints/guides/lists for the last 3 months. I have learned so much. Although I may have elements in my posts that already meet your guidelines, none are quite as thorough, so it is always valuable to keep your emails handy.
    Today’s was an excellent example, so I had to thank you.

  8. How’s this for a shocking statistic!?

    [BTW whatever happened to the ill-fated interrobang that was supposed to change our grammatic lives? I remember being enchanted with the idea in 6th grade, but I haven't heard anything of it since...]

    In 2001, Ikea conducted a random survey of 620 customers across the US to uncover their organizational and lifestyle habits.

    What they discovered was a somewhat dismaying (in my opinion) and most assuredly shocking statistic:

    31% of the respondants got MORE SATISFACTION from cleaning a closet than from having sex.

    Hmmm.

  9. How about use a number, like “5 ways to …”

    People like actionable titles.

    Mike

  10. “A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach.”

    Wouldn’t it be more like inviting someone into your home only to show them to the basement? Or inviting them through your front door only to show them out the back door?

  11. Todd, well… I don’t know.

    The analogy I used worked for me because a reader who clicks away before getting “in” to the meat of your content has never really made it through the door at all.

    So your bad opening really is “closing the door” on the reader, metaphorically speaking of course. :)

  12. I have a 6th one for you. Use a cartoon!

    Since I illustrate my posts with my cartoons, I try to use them to make the post more interesting. I’ve played around with the placement, and based on the readers I’ve talked with it seems to be working. Most seem to go Headline > Cartoon > Opening paragraph. I try to make the drawing interesting enough to make them want to read (or continue reading).

    Then again, I could just be fooling myself ;) I’m learning and making it up as I go along.

  13. Tony, I agree. A captivating photo or illustration can really help. I need to use more of them here myself.

  14. I hate to say it but I didn’t read your intro, I just went to the 5 points. It’s good to know that you used all of them though :)

  15. Ha ha ha… that happens a lot with list posts, which is another reason I made the closing reference the opening. :)

  16. Is asking the question at the end an example of a good way to close a blog post?
    I guess it is since I’m commenting and will probably link to it :)

  17. man…you’re just too good!

  18. This was an important post.
    I like to tease folks in my openings. I guess that’s number…um…

  19. 1, 3 or 4 Char, unless it’s a Paris Hilton post, in which case it’s 2. :)

  20. #1 is my favorite opener and I’d agree with Schwartz (and who wouldn’t), the first paragraph sets up EVERYTHING else that follows. It gives the reader the proper context from which to proceed.

  21. Great post, Brian. I consider this to be more of a “checklist” post than a “list” post because it’s a great pre-flight checklist for EVERY blog post. It’s important to remember that taking the time to make sure your post is polished goes a long way towards getting it read (and, as importantly, linked to).

    Keep up the rockin’ work –

    Dave

  22. Don’t you ever run out of great material? Thanks again for the simple truth. As others have suggested, photos/images can also have enormous impact. This would be an interesting test: Just post a headline and an image and see what happens. Anyone ever try it?

  23. I found you through Problogger Group Writing Project. You are good! I’ll be back.

    Thanks,
    Steve

  24. Brian,

    Your blog has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. As of tomorrow it will be required reading for all staff members.

    Thanks for the great work.

    Jim

  25. I don’t like posts which start catchy, yet empty.

    I like posts which tell me, up front, what I’ll learn from reading the rest of the stuff.

    Get to the point, right up front. Then you can tease me to read more.

    But first I have to know why I should invest in reading your text.

    Thanks for letting me vent. ;-)

  26. Great post, I too came via Problogger, and I will definitely be returning.

  27. Some good points in the post. I think until one gets established it is worth noting every point on how to grab readers attention. Once established people tend to read posts regardless.

  28. No. 1 – opening with a question always works good for me.

  29. Love your tips! Following your tips have led me to a tighter and leaner writing.

    Maybe you could do 5 simple ways to *end* your posts with a bang next :)

  30. Brian, great post.

    And Rosano is right too.

    Sometimes people stop at the first picture, or subhead. If you provide numbered points, they might as well stop at the first to see what you have to offer.

    For example, because you use h3 tags for your points, what I immediately notice is 1. Ask a question, after the title.

    That aside, there is logically no where else to capture reader’s attention other than the headline and opening paragraph.

    Just another list to print and stick on the wall. ;)

  31. Advanced journalists are taught never to use the question lead (#1). As an example:

    “Do you ever wonder about paper clips?”

    If the answer is “no,” then you’ve lost the reader already.

    While I freely admit that blog writing isn’t necessarily journalism, I believe the concept still applies.

  32. Dale, it doesn’t.

    In blogging, as in copywriting, you have to know your audience. Unlike general journalism, you should always know what kind of question will catch your intended audience’s attention, or you’re missing something very important.

  33. Great post. I have been trying to find ways to boost readership for my site and I just found this site, so I will look around here to see what I can dig up. Hopefully, my writing will improve… sigh…

  34. Brian, great post. I linked to it on my blog network’s wiki. I also agree with John in that I want to know up front what’s relevant. I think you can do that with your tips. I find my posts getting shorter as time goes by (it’s the Seth Godin influence) and, practicing what you preach, I hope more relevant.

  35. Brian, great post. Here’s what I think – a thousand blog posts have already shared the same or extremely similar tips to your above – but you are a master at framing the words and ideas so as to stick in people’s minds and impel them to discuss. Thus it’s original and fresh and rewarding all at once. Thank you!

    My Yoda PEZ dispenser bows reverently to you :).

  36. Good tips and great post. I always think that using simple words is more efecttive.
    Thank you for the advise.

  37. Nice articles for blog posting , please also provide more articles on blog posting

  38. Hei Brian.
    Brilliant tips that remind me of school and the essay writing as these exact same ones we were adviced to apply in our writing. Take care. =)

  39. I am so bad at writing headline that I have to write my peice and then go back and figure out what to call it. headlines are hard because you only get a few words.

  40. The thing is that statistics aren’t shocking anymore. Everyone knows that 41.7% of them are inaccurate.

  41. Thanks for this post. I’m seriously interested in improving my blog(s), so will be checking back often. I’ve always liked the power of questions, but now I’m going to add quotes and shocking statistics to my real estate blog.

  42. I like your idea about your title asking a question. i think i will try that thanks.

  43. I’ve been sneaking in and out of here for a while now, you are really very good. These tips also do not just work for writing alone, they work for speaking as well.

    By re-modelling your tips for speaking, I could begin to sound like an authority in the topic :) Any copyright issues to this :)

    Don’t mind my sense of humor. Just to let you know that I really find your site useful…both as a writer and a speaker.

  44. As a total novice in the art of blogging (corporate or otherwise!) I am delighted I’ve stumbled across your site!

    I have been asking numerous questions for a while….those that know anything seem to know that we should be blogging….but nobody could tell me how!

    You’ve answered the numerous questions I had, and made me realise how much I didn’t know that I didn’t know (if you get what I mean!!).

    You are ace…..thank you.

    Needless to say, I have subscribed. And shall be recommending others to do so too.

  45. This is my first time reading your blog. Thanks for the useful tips. I realised that the tips for blogging are pretty much the same as tips for good writing! Will be adding your blog to my blogroll as I think my readers can benefit from reading your blog. cheers.

  46. mm.. it is my first also. But it is shocking, questioning, invoking minds. Thanks for this information

  47. Thank you so much – these are excellent tips. My blog is only a few months old, but these tips have helped me to better structure and provide information. I like the idea about sharing an ancedote or quote. I blog about “how to marketing”. Your infomation is on target – it has made a difference for me.
    http://www.bizmarketingsolutions.biz

  48. This is great stuff. Thank you for your valuable tips, I’m going back to the drawing board to implement some of these strategies on my own blogs.

  49. I agree. Loads of blogs carry “useless” information though. Don’t expect people to come unless you have interesting content.

  50. These tips actually summarize the best methods of catching the eye of a visitor. Everyone should respect these! Good post!

  51. Hey, cool blog. I found you through Jason Boog’s Publishing Spot.

  52. Vintage Copyblogger.

    I was reading the list, and remembering where you had used them.

    Finally, a guru who practices what he preaches.

    One question – Did you write the opening first or the list? Haha.

    Shypy = Reader no 18687

  53. Well , these are amazing 5 tips. Thanks for them.

  54. These tips actually summarize the best methods of catching the eye of a visitor. Everyone should respect these! Good post!

  55. Great post. I also found the comments informative and esp. liked the comment by Mike giving illustrations to the 5 openings.

  56. I know this is a rather old article but I wanted to thank you for such a useful post, it’s an amazing guide not only to writing an informative posts but also to *composing* it the right way, which unfortunately many bloggers fail.

  57. You have taken time to write this tricky post,i liked it .”Invoke the Mind’s Eye” ….its too catchy,

  58. I’d add personalization to the good openings list. “Joe Jones came home to an eviction notice …” “My pal Al made $1,000 just by …” “My wife walked in red-faced, holding a traffic ticket …”

    Starting off with a quote or a question are among the cliches most good writers try to avoid when writing leads. Anything can work, of course, but for these two I think you really want to ponder other approaches.

    When someone asks a question in a headline or a lead, I wonder why they’re me asking me.

    Stats are another suspect opening in my book.

  59. “Personalization” is a story, or anecdote, Glenn. See number 2.

    As for your other comments, well, you sound like a wannabe journalist. And we’re not talking journalism here.

    Good luck with your blog.

  60. Do you like art blogs? It just so happens I’ve been blogging about a month now and use FeedBlitz for my subscription system also. I like your suggestion of placing a Subscribe to Nancy Standlee Art Blog at the end of each post. Please tell me how to do that, please, please? I’ve already subscribed to your blog so I can’t use that as a bargaining chip. I hope you like art blogs! See you around, ns

  61. Nancy, you just create a new page on your blog, paste the code Feedblitz gives you into that page to create an email subscribe form, and link to the page from the bottom of each post.

    Hope this helps!

  62. These are very good suggestions on how to give your posts an extra “zing”. Thank you for sharing!

    http://streetjesus.blogspot.com

  63. Thanks again for the recommendations , great for helping me starting my new/first site.

  64. Awesome post! You definitely have a way with words.

  65. Great post, you taught me something! =)

  66. Hi,

    Thanks a lot for the tips, especially the one on”using an analogy, metaphor or simile”. I have a blog called Eclectic Grooves which is primarily based on music. Can you take a look on my blog and give me some honest feedback on it? For ex: what type of elements are strong as well as what things could use some improvement. I have been running this site for almost a year and haven’t received much traffic. Please offer any suggestions for increasing the traffic of my blog.

    http://eclectic-grooves.blogspot.com

    Thanks, Kevin

  67. Jonathan Arevalo :

    Do you mind giving some tips on ENDING with a BANG?

  68. WOW…I absolutely loved and appreciated your tips. I am just getting started in the “Blogging” world and found your tips to be very informative. Thank you!

  69. I am a Blog virgin- you have shown me the way!
    I’ll be up late tonight working on some great material!
    thanks guys :-)

  70. How about the very first post of your brand new blog???????????
    Im starting one and im stuck the last,,, hours,, thinking on the title and the first welcome post!! The blog belongs to the company i work and im in charge of it!
    So any tips?

  71. Good points, very often I get tangled up in design and technology with the content suffering.

  72. These are basically the same techniques you learn in English classes about writing a hook for an intro to a paper, but way less boring–you should really consider compiling some of the posts on this site into a college textbook.

  73. i love this site.

  74. I start the post like that but seem to lose my way in the middle it will definitely help.Thanks for another nice post.

  75. This blog is becoming my teacher for blogging.Nice ways to write a post.

  76. Thanks for the tips, will implement on my blog

  77. An Useful article. Thanks for it….and I hope the theme you use on this blog is free :)

  78. it is a pleasue to read this tips ,it is very intersting ,thanks for sharing information

  79. Like Eugene Schwartz, I spend a great deal of time writing a blog article. I think about every sentence I write.

    I wonder, how long does it take Brian to write an article?

  80. These are basically the same techniques you learn in English classes about writing a hook for an intro to a paper.

  81. “Chantallyne entre fogones!”
    Thanks for the information. I think it’s wonderful to learn “blogging” on the Net, while i practise my english writing! Because, I’m french, I’m learning english to can write a spanish blog! Life is wonderful!!!…

  82. WOW- great advice
    I’m a blogging virgin- but not for long!
    thanks again
    James.

  83. Interesting post.

  84. I keep coming back to this post to help me put some pep into my copy

    thanks again guys ;-)

  85. haha.. nice post.. with nice closing lines.. this surely will help me post better.. thnx

  86. Spending a week on the first 50 words is a situation that is all too familiar :( … Great job implementing your own advice by the way!

    The point with which I agree the most is your bonus tip, the ending tied to the beginning works really well not only in blogs but in other types of writing as well. In fact, I saw a stand up comedian last night who did it in his gig and I thought, “wow, what a great way to wrap up the show.”

  87. I have a question If I create a blog then what is the use of that? Any specific reason to open a blog. Can we earn from the blog?

  88. Nice tips.These little things work great.Let me try them.

  89. I hope all these points will work out. I will also implement all these five points. Thanks for knowledge sharing.

  90. Some good points in the post. I think until one gets established it is worth noting every point on how to grab readers attention. Once established people tend to read posts regardless.

  91. I’m a reporter and in media we have very little time to capture reader imagination. So it really has to happen in the first paragraph or your cause is lost!

  92. I’ll be honest with you…i didn’t know that i would be interested in this blog….however, these simple ways and everything else have me coming back…the reason….I can sure use this in my posts….thanks again

  93. Have been reading your blog for a while,
    Very Interesting & creative!

  94. Hi Roberta,
    This is my visit to this website and I have well understood why this site is among the top 100 blogs in Technorati. I am not able to leave the site because every time I finish reading a post great post I see the popular posts section in the right which interests me to read more and I am not regretting at all.
    Thsi post was a great one too.

    Regards
    Laksh

  95. Good stuff. Ironic how today we must all become writers if we are to participate in the new media. Another copywriting tip that comes to mind: use simple words. This doesn’t mean dumbing something down. It means writing with words that tend to be shorter, simpler and clearer, not deploying a communication strategy that is consistent with and sustains the external branding elements of your overall strategy.

  96. Ok I’m addicted to this site now. I can’t stop reading all of these great posts. My head is spinning in an attempt to take all these steps down for my future posts. Thanks!

  97. The combination between the first and the third is my favorite. To measure the result, you have to feel it yourself. What do you think?

  98. #1 and 5 works best I think.

  99. I’m sitting here grinning. I’m about to add a blog to my website so finding this one … was meant to be! I can’t write more, because I want to read more of the posts! LOL

  100. I am so new to all of this writing stuff. This is an extremely helpful article. Can you tell that I usually just start writing what ever comes to mind without really even thinking about what’s going to keep the readers attention?

    I’m going to study theses suggestions very closely and start implementing the ideas into my posts.

    Thanks for a great article. By the way which of the two suggestions did I use in my comment?

  101. Yes – you are so right – it is about how you say it. Writing carefully is the key to doubling your visitors.

  102. Usually i get straight to the point and give the material that matters quickly. Even if my posts are short.

  103. Thank you for your post.
    I’m going to try this immediately, and hope it works! I post just earlier to a different post, and am trying like crazy to build a viral blog and content system.
    thanks,
    Chris@LetsGoBanners.com

  104. I love lists. Make all of your blog posts lists.

  105. I have just finished a great book by direct mail king Drayton Bird. The general principals of good copy seem to have changed little over the last 30 years.

    The beauty of current digital media is that it is measurable beyond our wildest dreams.

    This is a great site with good principles, some really magnetic blog titles included that really pull the reader in.

  106. Great article. I think it’s important to look at the way the newspapers have been doing it for years. It’s always the same, and for good reason.

  107. I have been a fan of copy blogger for a while now and i must say my online writing skill was honed at this site.

    Sure going to apply one or two of the tips in this article immediately.

    Thanks for staying true.

  108. I found your blog online today, and this article about how to start your blog was so helpfull, since i just launched my blog today. Thanks for the advice and i’ll keep on reading your blog regularly. Feel free to give me any tips you can :)

    Thanks

  109. Out of your 5 tips, which do you think is the most effective?

    I’m sure you know my preference. Great post!

  110. I see what you did there. Clever!

  111. Brian, awesome post!! I think the WORST “sin” we can commit as entreprenuers is boring our market…. We can literally bore them to death and never recover! One of the most successful (i.e. profitable) “blog posts” I have ever done was called, “Market Like a Hooker” and drove people back to my website to download the ONLY business report based on the marketing tactics of prostitutes and drug dealers. It was fun and caught attention!! Thanks again, I am loving copyblogger!

  112. “meditate on this I will” :D

  113. This is great advice. I feel everyone should blog like they speak and be as personable as possible. Having your own voice. But like writing, the more you blog ,the better you get!

  114. Great ideas for blogging. You have touched some good points here.

  115. Asking a question is always a good opener. It makes the reader want to keep going.

  116. I like to use an openning question also in blog post.

  117. I like the shocking statistic method, personally, but asking a shocking question is just as good!

    Your advice on writing is a great refresher for us old journalism majors. Thanks!

  118. Great info on how to write a good blog. I look forward on reading more info here

  119. Often I use the first one (Asking a Question).

    Thanks for the tips! :)

  120. Thanks for another dose of greatness!

  121. isaiah mweteri maithulia :

    Your tips are like dry grass that rekindles a dying fire. Wonderful!

  122. thanks for this article.. Sometimes many pictures may draw off the attention.

  123. I like the idea. Now looking over my posts I am not sure I do that. But I will have to start implementing that into my writing. I don’t know why I never put that together myself. It has the simple AIDA principle all through it.

    Attention, Interest, Decision, Action.

    I think I have just found my favorite blog :)

  124. It blows my mind how simple and easy it can be to write in a way that intrigues, attracts and maintains interest. Yet so many of us fail to do it. I would like to delve deeper into the issue of why we do not do it?
    Are we taught in school how to write in a boring and mild fashion? Are we so worried about what other people are going to think of our ideas, opinions or outlandish comments? Or are we all in too much of a rush to get our content out there and meet our blogging “schedule” that it just feels better or post than to post something of relevance?

    I would say I am a victim of all three. Shame, shame, shame. Forget quantity and post quality. Right?

  125. Nice looking themes !

  126. “A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach.”

    Wouldn’t it be more like inviting someone into your home only to show them to the basement? Or inviting them through your front door only to show them out the back door?

  127. But how to let others find your blog ?

  128. Great information for new bloggers. Thanks for the post, insight, and help. Now I just need to rewrite all of my blog entries.

  129. Thanks for these tips! I always forget how powerful simple words can be

  130. Great post to keep as a reference. It confirms part of my idea and give new insights.

  131. Opening the blog with a bang is a great thing. I have had success with the question type opening. i have noticed that all the posts I open with questions gets comments which those trying to solve a problem gets little or no comments. Most of the comments I get are “Ya I agree” type

  132. I never actually thought of the opening of a blog post as being as important as it really is. The question idea is perfect because it grabs their attention right out of the shoot. Thanks for the great tips in this post.

  133. Great Post! I did use the 2nd one a bit… will be trying em out… :)

  134. Love it. I’m going to use this on my next post.

  135. Hey Brian,

    The best opening draws a reader in and quickly lets them know what they’re about to read.

    A question makes them think and curious to find the answer in your article. A quote supports your argument, making what you’re about to say more credible.

    An analogy helps the reader to really understand something, since they connect the dots with an example they understand, rather than only having something abstract to figure out.

    Thanks for sharing these simple but effective tips. I try to incorporate these in all my articles on my site Lifebeat, hopefully making them enticing, remarkable, and personable.

    Oleg

  136. I think, while writing a blog post, it hardly matters what you like, but, it is that what others like. So, before writing any post, I get an idea by searching through Google keyword analysis tool that what people are looking for and more eager to know. Then, I usually go for that.

  137. Great tips! I try to use them all in every single one of my posts. Need some interest and controversy.

  138. Great article, I’m new to blogging and thought about paying someone to post for me, but won’t need to now, thanks!

  139. Thanks for all blog tips, in my opinion are all very important and new for me!

  140. Wow! You really did make this one easy. I’m always amazed at how simple things can be once they’re laid out by someone else….

  141. You got me man… When I finished reading the last paragraph I literally went back to beginning to check your 5 points out… nice work

  142. Really good post. Many people focus on the title, but the first few lines really have to engage the reader. Especially in these days where people’s attentions spans are decreasing to 140 chars or less!

  143. Thanks for laying it out so simple. You gave me a nice foundation to work from .

  144. AS a blogger, you’re going to write about some points. Obviously your post is about something p- one thing that your readers may need. Therefore, it’s obvious that you ask them a question to provoke a need in what you tell them. So, I don’t see any problem with asking questions.

    Actually, it’s very usefu l to remind them of the importantce of what you’re going to elaborate for your readers.

  145. You sure do talk a lot of sense in a short timeframe! I like that.

    Personally I use the communication cycle to think out what I am going to say in my posts. But you’re right, one always needs a starter.

  146. Very useful & cool tip.. thank you mate

  147. I always think you should end with a call to action, same as with any marketing or sales piece. Invite the reader to subscribe, or go see a similar post, or check out such-and-such a page. Don’t let them get away… :)

  148. I am not sure if I’d ever get an answer for this one or not. But i can try at least.
    I couldn’t understand your last ‘note’, ‘tie back the ending to your opening’.
    I feel that my ending is my weakest point when I write any article. I am sorry to say this but I could not find a satisfying answer about this until now. But now that I’ve found it, somehow, I don’t understand. Could you be so nice to clarify your point? I sure hope you do.

    Thanks.

  149. Thanks for the tips. I am also wondering, what do you think of blogging for a small local company? Would you say its a worthwhile activity? The only reason I ask is because I run a local courier firm and don’t know if it would be worth spending time updating our blog regularly, or if my efforts would be better spent elsewhere?

  150. I realized after seeing this article, one of them makes anecdotes to post. A very interesting idea that could be offered to the reader.

  151. Hi, wonderfull post very helpfull for newbies . I’ve also seen that meta tags will increase the visibility of the page in gogle and it works like charm for me . since i have to generate lots of tags for individual posts. I’ve found a wesite where you can generate meta tags for many pages at a time automatically

    here’s the link–> http://www.techgyo.com/2010/04/techgyo-automatic-meta-tag-maker-for.html

  152. Great .. 5 steps are very simple to be weighted and Ways to Open Your Blog Post
    With a Bang. I am happy with the article, very informative

  153. Thanks so much for all your advice…this is a great one

  154. Explanation is very simple and perfect .. The information contained made me a better understanding to create an open post.

  155. Thanks so much for all your advice…this is a great one

  156. I think no 5. Cite a Shocking Statistic, is best match for my niche: health. But, I want to try ask a question for opening my next post.

  157. Awesome tips! You never disappoint!

  158. I didn’t see a shocking statistic but this is great advice and spot on! Another trick is the loop around. Get your reader’s attention but don’t answer the question immediately – tease them and say something like “but more about that in just a moment, first….” that keeps their attention but be sure to stay on subject or you will lose them. Great advice. Just bookmarked this article.

  159. I’ve used all of these techniques at one time or another for articles I’ve written but the bonus tip is used without fail every time… great post.

  160. These are great tips to help write an article or blog post. With so much out there to read on the internet a writer definitely needs to engage the readers attention quickly or they will click away.
    Excellent article writing advice.
    Thankyou!

  161. Good post, thanks. I’d agree with your summary, but I’d urge caution on tip 4. It’s very easy to get yourself into a muddle with metaphors and similes, so always check that your copy makes sense!

  162. I think the bonus tip is a must for any piece, whether it’s an article or blog post. I’m a huge fan of the engaging question to close a post. It’s a great way to spur a reader into making a comment.

    Just like this.

  163. Why is it bad form to start a post with a question?

    I’ve been teaching at a college for 23 years and use questioning as a way of engaging an audience. The question should be relevant even if the thread is tenuous, or you risk ‘closing the door’ a tad early.

    After reading your list of killer tactics I was disappointed however that you didn’t mention images/picture as a way of engaging a readers ‘minds eye’. I know that you did agree with Tony D. Clark’s (14) comments about cartoons/images.

    As the old saying goes “A pictures worth a thousand words”.

    Statistically speaking, about 33% (or is it 41.7% – Triticale) of people are visual learners, so my posts will alway have picture to engage with that group. I may be self serving to some extent because I also think in pictures.

    It seems that I’m drawn to the excellent quality of the blogging information written here and prompted to try and add some value to the article by commenting.

    So asking a question can’t be bad form can it? Any more than adding pictures.

    Alan B.

  164. Love it. I’m going to try this on my next post.
    Thanks!

  165. Reading and re-reading your posts (both contributing writers and guest posts) is always a breath of fresh air. When I get lazy about posting regularly or stagnate in my writing I can always come here and find a bit of inspiration.

    Love this blog!!!!

  166. Ouch. Another thing I’ve been slipping up on.

    Great copy looks so smooth and effortless. I guess it’s like a magician’s presentation… Years of dedication behind those seemingly simple lines.

  167. I really like your mix of practical advice with recognising the emotional make-up of people. This is a sensible combination, because the readers of blogs are humans, not inanimate objects, and I think this can be forgotten in the rush to use all the technology available today.

  168. Love it. I’m going to try this on my next post.
    Thanks!

  169. Great tips as always! I really love this blog!

  170. Love it. I’m going to try this on my next post.
    Thanks!

  171. Fantastic post for easy ways to keep your blog interesting. I will definitely incorporate this. Thanks a lot!

  172. Awesome tips! You never disappoint!

  173. I’ve used all of these techniques at one time or another for articles I’ve written but the bonus tip is used without fail every time… great post.

  174. This is good information for both experienced and amateur bloggers.

  175. Good post, thanks. I’d agree with your summary, but I’d urge caution on tip 4. It’s very easy to get yourself into a muddle with metaphors and similes, so always check that your copy makes sense!

  176. I’ve been blogging for more than 6 months now but the tips you have shared are just a new insights that i gained through blog hopping.

  177. Thank you for the sound advice. I hope you will give more examples on your next piece.

  178. The advice on this blog is easy to apply and very sensible. Besides – it’s well written. How refreshing!

  179. I am here again. I was not able to print this the last time, I will do today.

    Thank you again.

    jef menguin
    inspirational speaker, Philippines

  180. Thanks for your post.I’ll try your tips on my blog post.

  181. I thought copyblogger was on Thesis? Anyway, Schwartz is a legend. You can’t beat his clarity and directness. Likewise I truly appreciate your insights and lessons. One of the downfalls I often experience is not having someone else proof my work. That can be a serious limitation.

  182. It’s nice to know successful blogger sharing what is good for those who are new in blogging venture.

  183. I really don’t think you left out anything, but if I had to choose it would probably be number 5.

  184. Brian, you have some great ideas!  I remember my college Comp 1 teacher going over these points (and my speech teacher, come to think of it) but I suppose I never thought I would be able to apply these concepts to blogging. I guess those classes were valuable after all.

    You have reintroduced me to concepts that I learned years ago and opened my eyes to the fabulous opening possibilities. I’m a new blogger, so I’m always looking for ways to improve my posts and make them more interesting. Your posts are always very helpful and insightful.  Thank you for posting.

  185. ‘Shocking stats” seem to be a big winner……they always capture my attention. Not too many interesting or shocking stats on the topic of photo restoration tho :)

  186. I’ve been blogging for more than 6 months now but the tips you have shared are just a new insights that i gained through blog hopping.

  187. This is very good informative post. I will definitely try to incorporate into my next project. I think structure and heading of the blog is the most important!

  188. You missed the most obvious:

    Create a headline giving a short numbered list.

    You can’t fool me copyblogger.

  189. This is a very good post on ways to open a blog post. Bookmarked on Delicious.

  190. You know your reading a good post when it was written 4 years earlier and it still holds true to this day. Some great tips not only for me but the readers of my blog too. Now to go share this with my readers!

  191. This blog post is “evergreen” in its nature. It will last forever. I learned a lot from your post.

  192. I love the quote or anecdote idea. It makes a lot of sense and I’m going to start incorporating the idea in my writing. Thank for the great ideas!

  193. Great post thanks. One way to make an ad, a webpage or anything else for that matter is to think about it like this. The headline should grab attention and make them want to read the first sentence. The first sentence should be written to make them want to read the second and so on all the way through the letter or whatever the piece is.

  194. Imagine something you did 4 years ago still makes a positive impact on others in your industry. Brian: no imagination necessary – you have done it with this post.

  195. Brian:

    What an awesome post.

    I just sumbled on this thing while I was writing a comment on today’s post.

    Hard to beleive that this post will be 5 years old this year!

    It’s perpetually timeless and will NEVER go out of date!

    Patrick

  196. Some articles are timeless and are relevant years after their initial publication. It is good to be able to continuing commenting on such articles. If the post is relevant, and people are interested in commenting, then the author has everything to gain by keeping comments open. And that is why I continue to return to this site.

  197. Truer words were never spoken, or typed. I had several courses on writing in high school and college, and they all would stress the importance of the headline, opening paragraph and conclusion. The headline grabs attention, the into makes them want to read more, and the conclusion makes them want to come hack for more later (or take a specific action).

  198. Quite possibly the highest quality/length ratio article I’ve read online. I’m saying it is dense with quality if that isn’t clear in the previous sentence. I love how you exemplified the article’s point in the end so I could look back up towards the top and realize that the techniques worked brilliantly on me. It is always better to experience something than to just read about it.

  199. Very informing information. I have also had great success when I make my posts all about them and not me. This is my favorite blog to read. Thank you!

  200. Number 5# Wheres the statistics to capture the reader instantly?

    I like this post because I have used analogys in my post all the time. I also try to create a picture-like telling a story.
    Using pictures brings realism towards the right side of our brains as if we were part of the adventure.

  201. I like quotes. ‘To be or not to be, that is the question.’

  202. I do agree with the writer of this article; In all my write-ups i have always relied on the strength of Anecdote and it has never failed me, not even once.\
    Nice post – Keep it up!

  203. Hi Brian,
    I think headline is one of the most critical factors to consider in doing business online. Since most people just browsing online, we have to write an attractive headline so that they read for the rest of the article.

  204. I found the information very helpful. I don’t particularly have a place in my personal blog for statistics, my blog is more for enjoyment, but the rest of it I will try to put to use. Thanks!!

  205. Asking question is what I do most of the time; I notice that it has that effect of drawing me in wanting me to figure out the answer, but I’m also going to start incorporating the other 4 pointers mentioned.

  206. Great post! I wish I knew this sooner!
    The “ask your reader a question” part is truly a missed point all this time. :)

  207. I guess that the principles are the same as a rhetorical speech. I love the parable of slamming the door in the face. haha. Thanks for a good article.

  208. Looks promising. I’m going to use these tips while drafting future pots for my blog. And then let’s how they goes. Currently I’m not using any of techniques you recommended in my blog posts, in some of my posts I may have used point number 5 only.

  209. All of these points make perfect sense. It amazes me how often I am disappointed after clicking a link because the headline was so remarkable. I’m going to save this post and share it with people that seem to miss these points in their posts. I really like the concept of tapping into the reader’s mind’s eye; such a simple way to achieve this, too. Thanks for sharing!

  210. I am still relatively new to the world of blogging so these tips are brilliant for me. I am loving your posts…as I’ve only just discovered this site. Makes total sense, so I have printed these 5 tips and put them up above my computer screen just to remind me whilst I get in the habit!

  211. To ad a little something to point number 3. Invoke the Mind’s Eye , I highly recommend that you use NLP ( Neurolinguistic Programming ) , basicaly is like when someone tells you something ( a phrase ) an totally gets your attention, but then you hear the same phrase from another person telling it in a different way and you didn’t even notice that he or she was talking to you; That is because some people are visual ( e.g. Visualize the idea ), some are auditory ( e.g. Let’s talk about ), some are kinesthetic ( e.g. Get a feel for… ) and some are digital ( e.g. a Viable solution to… ). So you have to use words that capture the mayority of your audience attention, and then your article is going to attract masses.
    Have you ever wonder why that one article has 100,000 views and the other 30 you wrote have 400, maybe without knowing about it you use NLP in your system. Try it out and see how it works, Use it in your content , Title, and keywords…

  212. I see many sites using fewer words and more graphics. For example, a chart with just a few words necessary to explain the numbers in the chart. This is a good way to produce impressive looking pages which hold the attention of the reader as (s)he is digesting the chart.

  213. Thanks a lot! Could you please tell me what software your blog is hosted on? I’ve been doing some writing on my Facebook profile, but would like to start up a blog of my own. I’ll be greatly relieved to receive a reply. :)

  214. Thanks for the post great content over here,I have started blogging recently, and analysing your blog content to improve my skills, Thanks a lot I am following you

  215. Great post. I can see why it’s so popular. Btw, may I add one more method to start a great post is to state an assumption and admit you were wrong. For example: I thought the sky was blue…
    I was wrong. Etc( I’m sure you can think of a better example than me)
    but this has worked quite well for me;)
    Say hi sometimes on my blog

  216. [...]The information and facts talked about inside the post are several of the very best available [...]

  217. How do you follow up the first paragraph after hooking a reader in so strongly to make sure they don’t quickly leave? There is a very small window to keep the reader on the page especially if the reason they were drawn in was a big bang.

    • I think simply offering a supporting statement is going to work. If you opened with a question, try to offer part of the answer to satisfy your readers’ curiosity. Don’t give everything away so you readers have more reason to stick around longer.

  218. Thanks for the very informative post! I believe asking questions works more effectively. It makes your readers involved at the very start.

  219. I’d say all of these points are what happens when you’re just writing from your heart; saying what you have to say. If you write only when you’re really inspired, you’re not likely saying something other than what shocks people. Think analogies/metaphors come naturally, when writing from your heart, as well; because they are a produce of that natural passion. Same thing goes for “mind’s eye”. As for anecdotes, I think that comes naturally as well; it’s just comes out of you when you’re telling a story.

  220. Very good written article. It will be valuable to anybody who usess it, including yours truly :). Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.