- Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?
- If you stood in front of a mirror and held up 11 roses, you would see 12 of the most beautiful things in the world.
- If I could rewrite the alphabet, I would put U and I together.
- I’m sure glad I brought my library card, ’cause I’m checking you out!
- Inheriting eighty million bucks doesn’t mean much when you have a weak heart.
Ok – these pick up lines (opening lines) will never get you the girl – but in the same way that great titles are vital when it comes to getting the attention of RSS feed readers – the opening lines of your blog posts DO matter - a lot!
The Purpose of Opening Lines
A recurring theme of David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on Advertising is:
- the purpose of a title is to get potential readers to read the first line of your content
- the purpose of the first line is to get people to read the second one
- the purpose of the second line is to get people to read the third one….
How to Use Opening Lines
Readers will make a judgment upon whether your full post is worth reading based upon how it starts and they will continue reading IF you succeed in connecting with them on one of a number of levels:
- Does it interest them or pique their curiosity?
- Does it hook them into the topic?
- Does it create a need for them to read more?
- Does it promise a benefit of reading your post?
- Does it promise to entertain them? etc
You don’t need to do all of these things in the opening sentence of each post you write – but if you want your readers to reach the bottom of your posts and to be persuaded by what you write you’ll need to work hard early on at hooking them on some level.
This is especially important for those bloggers using ‘excerpt feeds’ that don’t give readers a full post to read in their RSS readers. In order to get them to click through to your actual blog you’ll need to give them a reason – and all you’ve got to do it is a title and a few opening words.
Opening lines matter.