How to Nail the Opening of Your Blog Post

How to Nail the Opening of Your Blog Post

Reader Comments (47)

  1. Nothing beats Nathan Hangen’s “The Mercenary’s Guide to Building
    Your Internet Marketing Empire”:

    “I don’t kill people for money (I do that for free).”

    BOOM! How can you not keep reading that?

    One simple opening from my own article, “How To Network Like The A-List”

    “Why do some people in the entertainment industry get the best jobs and the biggest breaks, while others have to fight for every inch of opportunity?”

  2. It isn’t just the headline, but the first few sentences that keeps them. Like the barb is to the hook, so are opening lines to a headline…

  3. Love this piece Demian! And reading Robert Bruce’s post just motivated me to have a kickass day.

    What are your thoughts about Seth Godin’s openings? He very rarely has a drawn out opening. Oftentimes it is just a sentence or two before he jumps right into his point. Do you think this is because he is so good at crafting compelling openings in few words … or because he is so respected that just the byline being “Seth Godin” is enough of an “opening” to compel full, enthusiastic reads of his typically short posts without much shock and awe at the beginning?

  4. Bad opening lines kill you. 90% of the guest post submissions I receive on one of my blogs (usually trying to link to an online degree site) start with a vague sentence that’s supposed to situate the reader in the subject at hand. Lifeless. Boring. And I’ve learned the articles don’t get better as they go along. Show some spunk, people!

    • We like spunk. 😀 I wonder if that is the function of people being bred on creating quick, light SEO content … the more articles I can write the more money I can make?

  5. I like Jon Morrow’s “The Art of Being Interesting.”

    “Be interesting.?

    It’s good advice, but it’s nothing new. You’ve probably known from the beginning that being able to interest readers is a crucial part of growing a popular blog.

    It’s pretty obvious that no one is going to stick around unless they find your blog interesting.

    But how are you supposed to do it exactly? How can you “be interesting??

    I’m glad to be a part of Jon’s GuestBlogging course because the feedback I receive on opening and closing paragraphs in addition to content is invaluable.

    Thanks for this post! I copied + pasted it into Evernote.

  6. Demain:

    Thanks for the post. This was great. For everyone commenting, I am a new blogger and I really want to get great at my headlines.

    Quick question:
    I try to write for my audience instead of SEO, but I want to be found as well so I use Scribe and Yoast’s SEO tools to help me out. Yoast tells me to put my keyword in the blog title, which often kills the pow. How necessary is it to have the keyword in the title? What do you guys do?

    Thanks in advance!


    • If it’s killing your headline, think about why. Your keyword phrases are the expressions people are using to find what they want on the web, so they shouldn’t be “unnatural.” Sometimes when it’s hard to get your keywords in the headline, it’s because you’re being “clever” instead of straightforward.

      Other times, though, it just doesn’t quite work. If that’s the case, put them in the title tag, not the headline, as part of a clear, reader-friendly title. (They should be in the title tag either way.)

      We have lots of headline advice for you in our Copywriting 101 ebook, you can get it here: (it’s free).

  7. ahhh- can someone please tell “James” to speak with Gini over at Arment Dietrich/Spin Sucks? She did the same thing. I’m sure that if she hasn’t found that link already that she would love to have/read/re-post it. 2013 people, that’s all I’m saying. Chris- yep, I’m a chick.

      • Glad to see that one added in by Malinda. It’s one of my favorites — as are several of the others you listed.

        “Fight the guitar … and win” still resonates. Not sure how long ago I originally read it, but I knew immediately upon clicking over that I had read it, and loved it.

        Stories and metaphors can be incredibly powerful, used with creative wisdom. Thanks for this extraordinary post, Demian.

  8. I believe in getting emotional attached with my readers..

    Instead of telling other people about the good, I always tell them what bad can happen with you… 😛

    I start with negative things and ends with positive moral.. This is how I roll 😛

  9. The article has a lot more informative information than just merely focusing on writing the content. It becomes very important to grab the attention of a viewer in the times when he’s least interested in reading the full paragraph. That is the time when the title plays the role of catching the eye.

  10. It´s not only the opening headline – it´s a mixture about the headline, the next one or two phrases in the beginning of the article and very often also the picture to the article.
    Not so many bloggers put a recognition value in their opening – lika a short phrase that everybody know that this is another article of Mr./Mrs. X

  11. Well said. Capturing the attention of your reader is the key to any blogger, and this must be done instantaneously to provoke and compel them to read through and let them crave for more….

  12. I honestly feel that the introduction to your blog post is the most important part. On most of my blogs homepages, I show the introduction, and then use the more tag, that way people can skim over the home page and decide for themselves which posts they want to read. Without a proper, catchy introduction, the viewers will have no incentive to click and continue reading.

  13. Great examples. One thing I might add is the rest of the article needs to be great, too. Nothing turns me off more than a headline and opening that misrepresents the rest of the post just to grab attention.

  14. I feel its not only the heading or the starting para but the whole content that needs to be well crafted, written and presented …

  15. Great openings and exciting headlines, however one thing I feel has been fogotten is shareability. You do want your headline to be short enough to also work in a tweet, and a retweet. But nailing it all in just a few words, now there’s the magic!

  16. Great points. I have always tried to ask my readers a question in opening so they will be thinking of how they will respond to it after they finish in the comments.

  17. These are all great examples of headlines and openers. But what if a segment does not get it? I personally think that any reference to Inigo Montoya is awesome but some younger people may have never seen the Princess Bride. (Andre the Giant steals the show IMO) Or does knowing your target audience come into play here?

    • The question you have to ask yourself is: do I care about that segment? We can’t be all things to all people. It’s the generation X stories and songs that Brian originally shared that drew the crowd and why they stick around.

    • You can’t please everyone. If you try, you’ll please no one. So don’t sweat those who don’t get it, and delight those who do.

  18. Good topic and ideas . Thank you

    The following is one I used recently that caught people’s attention and the open rate for people getting the email was very high in comparison to my average experience

    Here it is:

    What Can You Teach The Oldest Profession?

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