10 Brilliant Examples of How to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang

“The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn’t induce him to continue to the third sentence, it’s equally dead. Of such a progression of sentences, each tugging the reader forward until … safely hooked, a writer constructs that fateful unit: the lead.”

— William Zinsser, On Writing Well

With respect, I must disagree with Mr. Zinsser. We all know the most important part of any article is the title. Without a compelling title, your reader won’t even get to the first sentence.

After the title, however, the first few sentences of your article are certainly the most important. Journalists call this critical, introductory section the “lede,” and when properly executed, it’s the bridge that carries your reader from an attention-grabbing headline to the body of your blog post. If you want to get it right, try one of these 10 clever ways to open your next blog post with a bang.

1. Be Short and Direct

Minimalists rejoice. Less is more in some cases. This method seems to be especially useful for list posts with a compelling and descriptive title.

Example From: 7 Ways to Get Your Blog Posts Shared On Facebook by Dan Zarella

“Want to maximize sharing of your content on Facebook? Here are seven tips that are sure to help.”

2. The Quirky or Funny Opening Sentence/Paragraph

A little personality goes a long way, especially on a business blog. So don’t be afraid to let loose now and again. When done tastefully (and sometimes not so tastefully), it’s bound to make people take notice.

Example From: Who The Hell Are YOU? by Naomi Dunford

“It will please some of you to know that I almost titled this article ‘What’s My Name, Bitch?’ it will please the rest of you to know that I realized not everyone spends as much time watching hardcore porn as I do and begrudgingly decided against it.”

3. Ask a Thought-Provoking Question

When someone asks you a question, you almost can’t help but think of an answer. Your reader will do the same thing, and you’ll immediately engage them in a conversation. Be careful though. Avoid any questions that can be answered with “no” or “who cares.” In other words, always make your question relevant to your reader’s needs.

Example From: How to Make People Love You When You’re Not Around – Be A VIP! by David Wright

“What do people say about you when you’re not around?”

4. Ask a Multiple Choice Question

A variation on the question technique above, the multiple-choice question is another great way to engage your reader. I don’t know about you, but I love multiple-choice questions. It’s like responding to a poll. As above, make your question relevant to your reader and the article itself.

Example From: How to Change Your Mindset for Growth by Ali Luke

“Pop quiz. Which of these do you agree with?

  1. Intelligence is fixed at birth.
  2. Some people are creative, others aren’t.
  3. You can become a world-class expert through enough practice, whatever your starting point.
  4. You can change your personality.

“If you agreed with the first two statements, you’re coming from a fixed mindset. If you agreed with the second two, you’ve got a growth mindset.”

5. Share a Shocking Fact or Statistic

If you’ve ever read the cover of a supermarket tabloid like the National Enquirer, or the New York Post, you know how powerful this approach can be. Sensationalism sells, especially when it’s true.

Example From: ‘Infomania’ worse than mairjuana

“Workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers, new research has claimed.”

6. Share Something Personal

This is a great way to establish a deeper connection with your readers. Assuming that’s your thing. Use with caution, however. This is not something that should be used as a “tactic,” but rather as a true expression of your own personality and desire for transparency. Also, if you have a history of writing posts that are all business, you may want to ease into a post that delves into personal stuff.

Example From: How Cancer Changed My Blog by Karl Staib

“I was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. Yes, the dreaded c word. It’s probably not what you are thinking. I don’t look at this health issue as an anchor. I look at this as an opportunity for growth.”

7. Withhold a Compelling Piece of Information

Sometimes known as “the tease,” this approach is a little sneaky, but especially powerful. The trick is to withhold a key piece of information till later in the piece so the reader is compelled to keep reading.

Example From: How to Pull Readers Into Your Content Instantly by Derek Halpern

“How’d you like to learn how to pull your audience into your content by taking advantage of an innate human behavior?

“What if I said that every TV network, movie, blog, book, and other forms of media use this same tactic?

“Better yet, what if I showed you how to leverage this tactic to attract more subscribers and earn more sales?”

8. Debunk Conventional Wisdom

This is one of my personal favorites. The blogosphere is often criticized as being one big “echo-chamber.” That may or may not be true, but the bottom line is, any time you write something that goes against the status quo, it’s bound to get some attention. Just be sure the rest of your article can back it up.

Example From: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing by Dean Rieck

“Do you sound smarter when you use big words?”

“According to a study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, the answer is no.”

9. Lead With a Success Story

What’s more compelling and inspiring than reading about someone else’s path to success? This is a tried and true approach to hooking your reader. It’s also great for linkbait (but that’s another article). The cool thing about this is the success story doesn’t even have to be your own.

Example From: 10 Simple Tips To Get 250,000 Page Views Per Month by Niall Harbison

“When we started our business 16 months ago we decided to use a blog as the central marketing tool for our business. We did it because we didn’t really have any money for advertising and we never really believed that attending networking events would work for us. We placed the blog at the center of our website and only had one commodity on our hands to make it a success….time.

“It’s been a long journey but 16 months later we now get 250,000 pageviews to our site per month, in the last year we have brought in over $500,000 in business as a direct result of the blog and the business operates in 2 countries and our content has been picked up all over the world.”

10. Start With a Reader’s Question

Reader questions are great. Mainly because you can usually be sure other people share the same question. Also, it’s so much easier to address a specific question rather than have to pull content out of your own head.

Example From: How to Create More Content for Your Blog and Kill 2 Birds With 1 Stone by Darren Rowse

“Darren, do you have any tips for creating more content for my blog? I have grown my blog to become reasonably successful but as it grows find myself with more and more requests and questions from readers that take me away from writing content. What should I do?”—William

“Hi William and thanks for the question. I do have one tip that comes to mind that I hope you find useful. It certainly helped me keep my inbox load light and create more content!”

11. Unadvertised Bonus Opening: Share a Quote

As a post opener, quotes are one of the best. When done well, they not only add credibility to your work, but they also form a solid foundation upon which you can build the rest of the article. For an example, just go back to the top of this post.

The next time you’re stuck on how to open a blog post, roll out one of these eleven beauties, and you’ll be well on your way to clicking the publish button.

There are 66 brilliant comments

  1. I’ve been teaching at a college for 23 years and use questioning as a way of engaging an audience. The question should be relevant even if the thread is tenuous, or you risk ‘closing the door’ a tad early.

    After reading your list of killer tactics I was disappointed however that you didn’t mention images/picture as a way of engaging a readers ‘minds eye’.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Travis. IMHO, a picture may grab someone’s attention for a brief moment, but by itself, it won’t likely persuade the reader to continue reading the article. Only a compelling lede will do that, which is the subject of the article.

  2. im kinda confused with #1 and #7
    how to be both short and direct while holding important information?
    and with #2, that doesnt sound anything quirky or funny, can it really be used if the blog post is gonna be used for company review (for example)

    1. These are merely individual examples of ways that you might open a blog post. You probably wouldn’t use #1 and #7 in the same entry, although I suppose you could.

      As far as #2, I’d say trust your judgement – i.e. if it doesn’t seem appropriate for your company, then don’t use it.

  3. Hi Michael,

    very useful article. I really like the Darren Rowse example. This will really help many writers to get more clicks.

  4. Hi Michael,

    Very nice article. I really like the Darren Rowse example. This will really help many writers to get more clicks. Another good tool for writing better headlines is Headline Analyser. Keeping your tips in mind, one can write killer one-liners and headlines.

  5. This is a great article man, thanks for the tips! It’s refreshing to learn so many new ways to kick off blog posts.

  6. Thanks Michael, this is the second post I am reading after the one read on some other. I have started my blog just a week ago. And, you gave me some more ideas to play with. Thanks again. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  7. This article was so helpful! I’ve been putting off my blog for months now because I’ve been sweating a good first post. Great tips for my first and future posts. Thanks!

    1. Great to hear Hanna! Thanks so much for the kind words. Would love to read that first blog post when it’s ready. If you’d like to share it, please email me the link 🙂

  8. Hi Michael,

    I wish I had stumbled upon this a while ago, but hey, it’s never too late! Thanks for compiling and sharing these gems. I especially enjoy starting my blogs with quotes, it is thought provoking to say the least. I would love to try out the reader question idea, can’t wait! I was wondering if there were any outstanding blog posts that encompassed a few or more of these ideas in their post? I find that my focus is usually getting the message across, and also feeling a need to enjoy the process. Any thoughts? I am an amateur writer, so glad writing blogposts is part of my assignments in Coetail ( a sample in case you want to chekc it out) http://www.coetail.com/vortex/2015/09/24/show-dont-tell/ ,there is no way to move but forward. Thanks once again for offering us novices inspiring ideas!

  9. Thanks Michael,

    I was actually searching for ideas on how to deliver a very first blog post but your suggestions open the door for every blog post thereafter.



  10. Hi Michael – I’m new to blogging so I was glad to come across these 11 points to help draft a post with a bang. From a beginner blogger’s perspective, I thought it’d be helpful for others to have a round-up of the main points we should keep in mind when creating a first blog post, so I’ve posted http://www.peasontoast.co.uk/your-first-blog-post/ and recommended and linked to your post too, as it’s a good resource. Hope that’s ok with you.

  11. Great article ….. Will definitely use a few of these and work my magic as I just started my new business and this will be my first blog post.

  12. Michael,
    I really appreciated this post. I am launching a new product to my business — life coaching!!! Currently working on branding, website, marketing, and all that goes along with a new business. I am very excited about it and a little overwhelmed with the prospect of doing a weekly blog. Your post helped tone down the angst, you spoke to most all my doubts. Thanks so much.

  13. I found it very interesting to me.. I’m a self publishing writer and I’m thinking to open a blog to promote my book. I don’t know exactly how I could do it. I’m a surgeon and I think I would be able to write many articles that would interest my readers, My book is an erotic thriller related to the ilegal traffic of human organs. Thank you so much and best regards

  14. Well Done dear MP…
    I was searching for some ideas on how to start my first blog post…for the past 1 week… wooaa… this really helped me a lot… Ta, Cheers.. 🙂

  15. Thank you very much for this information. I’m a new blogger who was hesitant on how to open my first post. This was really helpful, Thank you!
    Lawana McCloud

  16. Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re
    using? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a
    difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m
    looking for something completely unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  17. I will now go and look through my blog posts, as well as those that aren’t yet posted. I definitely think I’ll benefit from this post, so THANK YOU for sharing it with us!

  18. Michael,

    I love this article. You offer some great tips here. Getting the title and the lede right are crucial to success as a blogger. People’s attention spans are so short on the internet, that if you don’t hook them right off the bat, you’re doomed.

    Derek Halpern, who you quoted in this post, talks about evoking high-arousal emotions. He mentions 7 of them: awe, anger, anxiety, fear, joy, lust, and surprise. He recommends finding a way to weave one of those emotions into titles, ledes, and body content. The better you can do this, the more powerful your writing is. (You can find the article where he talks about that at http://www.socialtriggers.com/craft-contagious-content/ ).

    Hope you’re doing well, Michael. Take care.


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