In our previous post, Writing Your Blog, we continued our series all about blogging by beginning to get into the nitty gritty of blog writing, starting with your blog post titles.
In this post, we continue discussing blog writing with a look at how to create great leads for your blog and gain readers.
Create a Great Lead
Blog posts must get right to the point. Study some of the most influential blogs, such as the Huffington Post or Gawker. Watch how they hook the reader in. Here’s an example of a recent HuffPost article lead:
For all his retro failings and inability to open up, Don Draper has always been intrigued, even turned on, by women who are willing to stand up to him and are smart enough to argue with him.
Who’s that lead targeted to? Yup. Women.
How about this lead from Gawker:
There’s a melodramatic “war” brewing between Facebook and Google, and Facebook’s CEO is seizing the opportunity to squeeze more work from his engineers, declaring a “lockdown,” keeping the office open on weekends, and putting a neon sign on his door.
Target audience? People like you, who read blogs about social media!
Write and rewrite your lead so that it communicates the promise of the post and entices the reader to continue.
Remember when you were thumbing through the magazine in your imagination in the previous post? You were scanning titles, but you were also looking at the pictures. Since many of your audience members will belong to the post-literate generations, consider including at least one grabber of a picture in each blog post.
Use Pull Quotes
Also known as a lift-out quote or a call-out, a pull quote is a quotation or edited excerpt from a post placed in a larger typeface and embedded in a text box to entice readers and to highlight a key topic. You’ve probably seen them on the professional news sites and blogs. It’s a great way to provide more cues to your readers about what your post is about.
Create a Great Lead for Your Blog is the 147th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 380. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2
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