When writing a small business blog, pay special attention to your very first sentence. This sentence is called the lead and after the headline, an interesting lead makes the biggest difference between someone reading your post, or moving on to something else. Here are four different types of lead sentences to try out on your business blog:
Delayed Identity. In this type of lead, the writer keeps the identity of the subject a mystery until later in the paragraph. Here is a successful example from Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert Blog
I’m sitting in a restaurant in Cincinnati recently, surrounded by televisions with the sound turned down. The bartender approaches, and asks if I’d like to hear the TV. I say “sure” expecting him to saunter over to a monitor, and turn up the volume. Instead, he reaches under the bar, and pulls out a Soundog unit.
Scene Setter. Painting a picture, or creating a state of mind for the reader is the hallmark of this type of lead. Do it in a succinct manner and include emotional triggers like anxiety to create tension, momentum, or anticipation. Here’s one from a recent HubSpot Marketing Blog. Notice how you feel like you are right there trying to solve the problem.
You’re sitting in front of your computer, trying to come up with a fantastic lead nurturing campaign. You know you need to provide value. You know you need to drive these early funnel leads to later…
Shocking Statement. Write a sentence that goes against popular belief, or has a bold opinion. This is from the Church of the Customer Blog talking about South by Southwest (SXSW), a wildly popular, interactive conference featuring music and film held in Austin, Texas each year.
The panels at the SXSW Interactive sucked.
Question. Asking a question can sometimes be the simplest way to get the reader thinking and engaged in a short period of time. Here is an example where a question is used effectively in a recent Duct Tape Marketing blog post.
Why are you captivated by some people, but not others? Why do you recall some brands, yet forget the rest?
Give leads the special attention they deserve by keeping them fresh. Don’t be afraid to try different types. You’ll be rewarded by readers that are more engaged and more likely to recommend your writing to others.