What is the goal of this first sentence?
To get you to read the second sentence. That’s all. And I see that it worked. You are already at the fifth sentence.
The single most helpful writing tip I ever received was in an email from Henneke Duistermaat at Enchanting Marketing.
She said that you need to keep your first sentence short. Ultra-short. Such as:
I admit it.
It’s an easy mistake.
Or start with a question. A question will pull the reader into the story. And once they are engaged they will continue reading. And then you can use longer sentences.
Very often when I read blog posts on the ERP Software Blog, I notice that people spent time to craft an interesting title, but then their first sentence is just kind of…. blah.
Don’t get me wrong, the title of your blog post is extremely important. It gets you found by search engines. It gets readers to click on your post.
But readers are busy. It is hard to keep their attention after they have clicked on your post.
You need your first sentence to be strong. It needs to draw them in so they keep reading. Don’t make the first sentence just a weak introduction before you get into the real meat of the topic.
Here is a real example.
Which of these was easier for you to read?
I think that the short sentences, combined with the extra line breaks and white space, give the second example a better flow. A better flow makes it easier, and faster, for the reader to continue.
Now I will admit that I don’t always remember to follow this tip. And when I look at old blog posts I see that the first sentence could certainly be improved. But the more you practice the easier it will become.
Why not go back and look at some of your old blog posts now and try reworking the first line using this marketing tip.
By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing
Follow me at @AnyaCWMKTG