5 Ways to Mix Up Your Opening Lines

Posted on August 29, 2015 by Lara S

mixingupcontentWhen you get to the stage where you are getting work regularly through writers websites like Writer Access, you’ll find that you’re covering the same topics again and again. And, even when you write about different subjects, you still may find that you wind up structuring post after post the same way. But, clients want and deserve fresh approaches and new ways of reaching readers. By mixing up how you open your posts, you can make them more engaging and readable and keep customers interested. Stuck for ideas? Try one of the following:

1. Start with an anecdote.

A well-told story pulls readers in. Your anecdote can be pulled from case studies, interviews or constructed based on dilemmas likely faced by specific buyer personas.

2. Ask a question.

Rhetorical openings are a great way to dig right into your subject matter and also great for SEO. Ask a question that a prospective reader might enter into a search engine or ask on a social media page, then delve into possible answers.

3. Find an intriguing metaphor or analogy.

Some of my favorite blog posts are ones that take one topic — say, content marketing — and find a way to relate it to something completely different like 1960s ad execs, snowballs or even riding a bull. Metaphors, similes and comparisons give us a fresh way of looking at something and a fresh way of writing about it.

4. Cite a surprising statistic.

When a marketing manager is trying to convince C-level executives to spend money on content and promotion, it helps to have numbers to quantify the problem and the solution. When you’re able to start off by telling them that 94% of B2B buying decisions start with search or that the average buyer engages with 15 pieces of content before making a decision, you will pique their interest. By opening with something they can use, you increase the chances that they’ll keep reading to the end. Scour marketing reports for new findings that you can share with readers and draw them in.

5. Identify a problem.

Sometimes, the best way to start is plainly describing a common dilemma. If you manage to hit on one that is familiar to your reader, you can keep her intrigued and engaged. If this is an approach you use often, vary the way you state the issue: if you normally write in second person, make it a third person account instead. If your writing for personal writers websites, you can even write a first person account. The key is to present the information in an engaging way that doesn’t feel like something you’ve encountered before.

Chances are, you’ll tackle many similar topics many, many times in your writing career. By varying how you begin, you set off on different paths for the rest of your post. It takes more effort, but it keeps you excited about writing and pulls in your audience, as well.

Writer Bio: Lara S is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.


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