If you want people to read your blogs, polish your first lines. Here are five strategies to grab your readers’ attention!
The first sentence of any text is the critical one! You only have 2,7 seconds to catch your reader’s attention or they’re gone. Talk about not taking any pressure!
Try out these five proven strategies to draft those first lines. They make writing easier and more enjoyable to you and grab your readers’ attention.
Description of events
I had barely sat down to write these lines, when a loud, unexpected noise outside my window interrupted me. Oh no, I thought, not this again.
Even though the construction site right below my study window had started months ago, the merciful silence during the coronavirus lockdown had allowed me to forget the ear-numbing noise the machines used to make. But now the life was finding its way towards some sort of new normal, and the site was fully functioning again.
However, I sat down and pushed forward. My goal was clear: to show my readers how to use a detailed description of an event to reel them into my story.
What did you think of the previous beginning? Did it lure you in from the first syllables? Or maybe you resisted its attraction and jumped directly into this paragraph?
As you can see, both a description and a direct question can be powerful ways to draw your reader into your text and capture their attention.
Honestly, I don’t believe in cheap tricks like describing an event or starting with a question at all! While they may get your readers through the first few lines, they won’t manage to keep them engaged throughout the whole long text!
In order to do that, you need a clear positioning and a powerful statement on your first lines. They’ll help your audience figure out in just two seconds what your text is about, they don’t need to agree – but they’ll certainly be hooked until the very last lines.
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page”, says novelist Jodi Picoult. Keep these encouraging words in mind, if you find writing your first lines difficult. Write down something, keep going and edit later.
A word of warning though: as powerful a beginning as a quote may be, I don’t suggest you end your text with one.
Read more: Finish with your own words – not a quote
- Try several different versions before deciding which one is the best.
- Start somewhere else in the text and finish the beginning once you’re done with the ending.
- Remember to take this lightly!
These are the most common tips I share with my clients, when they struggle with their first lines. In the form of a list, they also make a great, straight-to-the-point kind of beginning.