Captivate Your Audience with a Killer Opening

Captivate Your Audience with a Killer Opening

Reader Comments (24)

  1. It’s funny how I was just thinking about the importance of this concept (and how disparately I need to follow it) and here you have a post on it.

  2. I’m slowly but surely learning this. Unlike most other writing, bloggers don’t have a lot of time to develop their message. Better
    to hit readers over the head ASAP, otherwise they may never bother getting to
    the “meat”

  3. I’m not so sure I agree. Getting hooked is great but holding the payoff for too long and you lose your audience, giving them a negative experience to boot. 1000 words is just too much unless the rest of the article is simply fantastic and you don’t need the payoff.

  4. Stoney, I too think 1,000 words was pushing it. I personally wouldn’t string the reader along that far, as it becomes likely that the reader will start skimming looking for the follow up.

    But otherwise, the technique itself is valid.

  5. Lately I’m reading a lot about writing on blogs and I believe there are so many interesting tips to learn from. Like this one.
    Thanks fot this one.

  6. Hi Brian,

    As someone with experience in journalism, I appreciate your translating this lesson into copywriting. You don’t always see someone who can carry a lesson across multiple disciplines.

    On a related note, you may care to check out the following copyblogger’s post on starting … your sentence.

    You might also be interested in copyblogger jon krantz (not sure if I’m spelling that right).

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  7. Made to Stick has a huge discussion on journalists burying their lead.

    When you’re proofing your work always ask yourself “Have I buried my lead?” The author of the quoted story has a very clear answer to that question.

    Thanks for your comment Brian, and great post–as usual.


  8. Good post.

    I have to be honest about something though Brian. I’m not sure if it’s because you’ve told how you write your posts, but they’re starting to seem canned to me. The headlines especially are getting a bit annoying.

    You could avoid sticking to those headline templates you showed us and still write descriptive ones.

    I really loved your blog when I first saw it. But I get this feeling of repetition with every post that makes me lose interest.

    I hope you see this as constructive criticism. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hi Brian. I don’t agree about the delayed resolution so much – if it looks like the headline mis-sold the article I will walk away. To read that cracker opening and only have a related bullet point near the end would be a disappointment.

  10. You could avoid sticking to those headline templates

    I didn’t use a template, and rarely ever do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gerard, I didn’t think the source article was mis-sold at all. Did you follow the link and take a look for yourself?

  11. I think you should have those “cracker openings” all over you article, paragraph after paragraph if possible , so you can make your reader keep reading

  12. In fairness Brian, I didn’t have the time to follow through on the link.

    I was just making the point that often one has high hopes for a post based on the strength of the title, and a misleading title can lead to a disappointing post.

    Don’t you find this is sometimes the case with poor linkbait? The writer is often more focussed on attracting clickthroughs than giving value to the reader.

    Anyway, I promise next time I’ll click through! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. It seems the best “opening hooks” violate the reader’s sense of traditional story-telling (so to speak…).

    I suppose “conflict” is the right word. We all love conflict.

    Great post!

  14. Putting a little thought into your title and opening paragraph generally pays off, but not always. I wrote an article recently and put a lot of thought in the title, opening paragraph and the main content. However, it received hardly any attention…I was rather disappointed.

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