Next to the headline, the opening paragraph is the most important part of a blog post because it’s going to determine whether or not readers will want to read further. A boring opening sentence will not entice readers to go further.
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Always remember that each sentence in your blog post must make the reader want to read the next one. As for your opening, without the right amount of drama, people won’t want to read on.
Open your blog post with a bang!
Did you know that one of the best copywriters today, Eugene Schwartz, often take an entire week just to write the first 50 words of his sales pages? That’s an awful lot of time for that few words. But this just shows us how critical the opening of a blog post is.
Successful bloggers need to engage readers from the second they see the headline, so here are 7 awesome ways to open your blog post with a bang.
Mention staggering statistics
Statistics are great attention grabbers. People will stop and read something that involves data because these are credible information that they can use.
For example, if you’re writing for small businesses and your topic is mobile marketing, an opening that says:
By 2013, 85% of consumers are expected to own a mobile device and 70% of them are going to shop for products and service using those devices.
will immediately catch the attention of small biz owners, especially those who still don’t have a mobile-friendly website. The reason they’re going to pay attention is they don’t want to lose customers to competitors that have gone mobile already.
Whenever possible, make sure to use statistics in your posts. Not only will these grab attention, they will also add credibility to your post.
Stop asking rhetorical questions
I’ve seen a lot of articles that use rhetorical questions as openings. They used to appeal to me but now, they annoy me a lot because many of them were used for the sake of having something to ask.
Also, most rhetorical questions are boring. They don’t tickle the imagination. If you’re going to use one, make sure that it’s thought-provoking. Boring questions make blog posts look like something written by inexperienced writers.
Don’t use these unless it’s really necessary. What you can do instead is to think of more provoking questions like:
What scares thee hell out of entrepreneurs and small business owners in 2013?
Is there a link between heart attacks and beer belly?
Is there a fool-proof method for bloggers who want to build a huge and loyal list?
Describe a personal anecdote
We all love to hear stories and these are perfect ways to open a blog post with a bang. A personal account of something is always interesting to read.
This is why success stories are very popular. We all want to relate to what others have gone through so we can tell ourselves that there’s a solution to our current problems and that we can get through it victoriously.
Share something you think your readers will relate to and can take inspiration from.
Instill fear–lots of it
Fear keeps people loyal. This, according to Rob Mariano of Survivor, is from the movie The Godfather and that it’s very true.
I believe him. Fear does keep people in line. And if you are someone who can get people to worry about something terribly, then you are in a good position to make them do what you want.
People who are scared are going to stick with you if they get the idea that you can alleviate their worries.
Take a look at the following examples and see how these can make certain readers scared.
Your customers will take their business elsewhere if your website is not compatible with mobile devices because most people shop for products and services using them.
Heart attacks and strokes are now common even in young people. Even those who don’t have a history may be surprised when they feel the symptoms especially those who don’t get enough exercise.
Make a false statement
The reason this works is that people easily spot inaccuracies especially in sets of data. Obviously, people will want to understand how a blogger can be “irresponsible” enough to miss very important information.
So, they’ll start to read your post. And now that you’ve gotten their attention, it’s time to correct your mistake and prove your point. They’ll be surprised and relieved after reading. They will even think you’re a clever writer.
Drop big names
We always listen to someone popular. An authority in some industry always commands attention so why not use them in opening your blog post?
Their opinion matters to a lot of people. You can write something like:
Brian Clark, the guy behind the awesome site Copyblogger, said that…
People in your industry who know how huge Brian is will definitely want to know what else he said.
Try these out the next time you write a blog post and see how people tend to stick more. Hopefully, you will see an improvement in your page views and sign ups.
Share your experiences below in the comments section. And, oh, follow me on Twitter for more writing tips.
Blogging Is Not What You Are Doing But What You Are Being
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Think this one through.
Blogging is what you are being. Not doing.
Blogging is not mindlessly doing stuff. Oh shoot. You realized something, didn’t you? Blogging is not building an email list. Email lists do not give you success. Nope. Clear, confident, detached bloggers who have fun building email lists and who trust in the blogging process grow big, responsive, profitable lists….over time. What does this mean?
“Over time” means you do not panic, flip out or bail on blogging, if you calmly build a list and have fun doing it, for a long time, and see the appearances of little or no growth. This is BEING a successful blogger; having fun, trusting, being patient, taking the simple, easy route, even if it feels uncomfortable after blogging and list building for a bit and seeing the illusion of scant results.
Most Bloggers Fail Because They Screw It Up
Most bloggers buy into a lie; doing specific things makes you successful. Nope. If this were the case, everybody who builds a list would be billionaires. Because they built a list, lists breed success, right? Nope. Even if you follow steps robotic-like, your energy, your emotions, your feelings, all make up your BEING. The 6 and 7 and 8 figure earners who happily take this journey are being the 6, 7 and 8 figure earners energetically, calm and confident, after having fun creating content and connecting, and seeing $4 in blogging profits after 6 months of being the person. Every other blogger panics after 1 day, 1 week or 1 month, stop being the millionaire success, do dumb stuff, begin being a broke person, and see struggle and failure until they decide to be the successful blogger again.
The Core Elements of Being a Success
- for fun
- taking the easy but uncomfortable path; do what feels natural to you, even when you slam into fear of wasting your time, fear of being criticized, fear of mental blocks, etc
- with a complete trust in yourself
- with a complete trust in the blogging process
- with a complete trust in sound, proven advice from successful bloggers
Very few bloggers be these energies persistently. Very few bloggers happily earn a pretty penny over time. Few bloggers be success. Most bloggers try to do their way to success but since they act without giving any thought to their intent, their driver, their energy, almost all of these bloggers are being broke, poor, struggling and failing.
Blogging is not robotic. If blogging was robotic, every blogger who did specific things in a certain way would succeed. But this is not true. Blogging is energy. Top bloggers use all types of different approaches to reach the top. This indicates blogging is primarily energy, your energy coloring your actions and results.
Imagine if you feel like a failure. I advise you to write a guest post for me. You tell me you are lazy, have no ideas, cannot do it, need to take a few months off, etc. I offer you an opportunity to promote your success but since you are BEING a failure and feeling like a failure you are blind to the DOINGs (generous guest posting) of a successful blogger. See what I mean? Plus, if you seize the guest posting opportunity while feeling like a complete failure, either the post quality stinks or you write a masterpiece by the odd chance, that nobody reads. Nobody read it because you are feeling/being a failure, so, you see failure results.
100% of the time, blogging is energy. Being a success means blogging your fun, doing what feels easy and natural to you, trusting in self and the process, and feeling uncomfortable along the way.
Why Does Blogging Seem Hard?
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The question of blogging questions.
Why does blogging seem hard?
Blogging in and of itself is not hard. Blogging is a concept. A blog is an inanimate object. It is neutral. It is not hard, tough or easy.
Human beings label their feelings with emotions. THIS is why blogging seems hard.
Doing the neutral activity of blogging feels scary, meaning you unearth and either resist or feel fears. Feeling the fears feels highly unpleasant. Especially if said fears feel deep, strong, and terrifying, depressing or anger-inducing.
But if you resist these deep fears, and refuse to feel them, and blog mainly from a dominant vibe of fear, you fully experience the feeling of blogging being super hard. Blogging is actually neutral but you refuse to feel deep fears that blogging has unearthed. You resisting fear leads to prolonged blogging failure, aka, not seeing much money and traffic, aka, blogging being really hard.
Real World Example
A few moments ago, I scanned one of my daily blogging income streams. I made a little less than I had been making for 1 of a billion reasons. 1 such reason may have been the internet crashing here last night. We experienced a few big, powerful thunderstorms.
Anyway, I noted the dollar amount being lower and felt fear arise in my body. Rather than resist the fear, I felt the anxiety, and my mind hurriedly racing ahead to next month’s paycheck, and then, after breathing deeply for a few moments and fully embracing the fear, I released it. I did not resist it. I felt it. The fear disappeared. I then blog from an abundant, relaxed, detached, generous energy, which helps me become more and more successful.
But the old me – and most bloggers – see a lesser dollar amount for daily earnings, feel an intense fear arise, panic, bury the fear versus feeling it, and run around like mad men and mad women with that DEEP FEAR DRIVING THEM, desperate and greedy, resisting the fear, being driven by fear, and of course, they do stupid stuff with a dominant fear energy guaranteeing their blogging failure. Then, these humans who refuse to face, embrace and feel fears, proclaim blogging to be hard. This is a lie. Blogging is neutral. But you refuse to face, embrace and release your fears, so blogging *feels* hard.
Feel fears when fears arise. Cry it out. Shout it out. Feel depressed or deflated. Do not resist fear. Then, after feeling fears, you will feel good, detached, relaxed and trusting. Feeling these dominant abundant energies, you will create, connect, trust, persist and blog from a relaxed, chill energy. Blogging from this calm, trusting, generous energy makes blogging easier and easier and easier. Money flows in easy. Traffic flows in easy.
Blogging went from hard to easy because you faced fears, felt fears, and progressively blogged from an abundant, generous, calm, detached vibe.
Tip for Feeling Fear
Engage in some energy management ritual that expands your awareness. I do deep yin yoga and power walk daily. Prayer and/or meditation may help. Breathing deeply helps. Do anything that expands your awareness so you can observe and feel fear versus resisting this destructive energy.
Some humans bury fear with busy-ness and jobs they hate. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol to bury fears. All of these folks are unhappy and depressed because you cannot feel good, abundant, relaxed and successful with oodles of fear buried deep inside of you.
Be with your fears. Be gentle with yourself. The blogger who feels and releases fear soon learns blogging gets easier and easier.
Do You Need to Respond to ALL Comments?
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One mistake holds back many bloggers who fail to scale. These folks obsess over responding to every single comment, every email, every message. Why? Pride. Obsession. Attachment to people. Fear of missing out on an opportunity. Fear of missing out on friendships.
Unfortunately, if you spend 14 hours daily responding to every single social request and chat and email and blog comment and message – even if it feels fun – you lose opportunities to scale through blog posts, guest posts, podcasts and doing interviews.
Please; if responding to virtually everything feels fun, do it. But 99% of bloggers BS themselves on this because they respond to EVERYONE from an energy of fear, pain, lack, resistance, force and hustle. Bad idea guys. Force negates. But, power attracts. Meaning if you are willing to use power, and love, and fun, to inject into your work, you quickly see: the cornerstone of massive scaling and persistent growth and freeing blogging success is writing, publishing and placing blog posts and guest posts.
Today, how do I have most fun growing my business, reaching more people, helping more people, and leveraging my blogging presence? Do I achieve these feats by spending 3 hours responding individually to every retweet, Like, blog comment, and so on, and so on? Nope. I spend those 3 hours effectively and efficiently by writing and publishing 3-6 blog posts and guest posts. Blog posts and guest posts scale. Blog posts and guest posts help me reach hundreds to thousands of targeted folks through each blog post and guest post.
Blog posts and guest posts never seem to be written by people who complain about having no time to blog post, and, guest post. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of these humans spend 1, 2 or 3 hours responding to every Like on Facebook, from a strained, forced energy, fearing they miss out on traffic and bonds, not having fun doing it. But the wise move would be spending 10 minutes responding to comments on Facebook and maybe a few Likes, then, devoting 2-3 hours to writing and publishing blog posts and guest posts.
Think Scale Not Small Time
WAY too many bloggers play small, giving most of their attention and energy to building 1 to 1 bonds. Making friends is important but meeting new friends is even more important.
One lesson I learned from millionaire bloggers: scaling through blog posts and guest posts is the quickest way to reach more people, make more money and increase your blog traffic. Building 1 to 1 bonds by engaging commentors plays a role in succeeding online, but the top bloggers on earth are not running around, spending endless hours responding to Likes on Facebook.
Titans also build one to one bonds through engagement, but if you are not getting 1000 page views a day, something is wrong in the scaling department. Namely, you are playing it small, not thinking about scaling. Scale. Guest post. Post to your blog. Make this the focus of your day. Then, feel free to engage folks 1 to 1 in a limited time frame.
You need to let go responding to every single person all day long to genuinely scale, to reach an increasing number of folks and to do what matters most to your business.
People will buy your stuff without you engaging them. Guaranteed. Folks will find your blog, love your content and buy your course or eBooks. This is a simple, organic process that you muck up every time you believe you need to respond to and engage every single person who reaches out via all online channels.
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