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

According to experts, like Master copywriter Alouicious Stewart, the title headline is first priority and then the opening paragraph demands your next specific attention.

By following this simple process, you can avoid the disappointment of crafting an excellent 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 stopping to pick up a hitchiker and then pulling away just as he puts his cardboard sign down.   -Alouicious Stewart

Doing some research into effective methods for helping the success of your business blog has yielded these 5 simple ways to take action; inviting them deeper into your post by prompting their imagination is the intent.

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 do for your business blog, so expressly engaging the imagination is a powerful opening technique. Stir the mind’s eye of the reader by using words like “imagine,” “picture this,” “do you remember when,” etc. Of course, tying that to your business’ mission is the trick.

4. Use an Analogy, Metaphor or Simile

Analogies, metaphors and similes are some of the most powerful vehicles 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 Dramatic or Shocking Statistic

Beginning your post with an interesting factoid is also a great technique. People enjoy 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. Staying on point – true to your business goal – is important; you could easily cite a shocking stat from the boys over at the Oprah show or from Dr. Phil’s crew, but make sure it is aligned with your business’ mission.

So, which of these 5 tactics will you find most simple – and most effective – for your business?

[toggle title=”Bonus Tip”]The third most important part of your business blog post is the closing. A great way to close is to tie back into your opening paragraph.

For example: “So, which of these 5 tactics will you find most simple – and most effective – for your business?”

[toggle title=”Super Bonus Tip”]We are still very much “old school” and do not advocate picking up hitchikers. Unless you know them. Like your computer science teacher, for example, would probably be ok.[/toggle]