C-Suite Network™

Best Practices Growth Personal Development

The 1st Line of Your Blog: Your 2nd Chance to Grab the Reader’s Attention

If you pull them past the headline line, make sure you keep them.

80-90% of your readers won’t go beyond the subject line. However, I suspect that their eyes may stray to the first line that follows. If you write a good one, you have another chance to get someone to read your email.

Sample Headlines and Follow-ups

Your Headlines Can Save You or Sink You

Here are 10 great ways to write headlines that zing.

Your Doctor Says: “Lose Weight or Die.”

Resist the urge to run home and bury your fear with food.

Noise Pollution is Making You Sick

Turn off the sounds that kill.

From Problem to Solution

In these pairs, the headline presents the problem, and the next line demonstrates that by reading the blog, you can find solutions.

This is a very popular approach for solution-based blog. However, the first line is important for any kind of story.

Shock-Value Headlines and Follow-ups

I Grew Up in a Satanic Cult

I ran for my life when I was sixteen.

Below are some examples from old issues of True Confessions magazine. This magazine is worth studying, not because you want to write those kinds of stories but because they know how to ramp up the dramatic value of headlines and following lines that get read.

When a Girl Goes to Prison

What really happens on the inside.

Search and Rescue

I saved a life and found love.

Your slightly less lurid pairing might read:

I Was 30 Days Away from Bankruptcy

I had given up all hope.

He Asked, “Why Should I Hire You?”

I had 10 seconds to come up with an answer.

Location Is Everything

This is especially true when you’re writing a blog post. Position the first line so that it falls ABOVE whatever graphic you use. That way, it’s a continuation of the headline.

If you’re writing for a publication where you don’t have that kind of design control, you can keep the headline and first line together by making the line a subhead.

For example, you could do this:

I Was 30 Days Away from Bankruptcy:

I Had Given Up All Hope

I’ve changed the former first line to upper and lower-case and deleted the period.  The character count is 29 for this revised title. Given that 55% of people read blogs on their phone, keep your titles at no more than 34 characters and spaces.

Be Creative

Experiment. It’s always important to check your statistics and to study the comments you get on blogs. It’s unlikely that someone will tell you, “I loved your title and first line,” but if they leave a comment, these elements pulled them in enough to read further.

And that’s what you want.

Pat Iyer started blogging in 2009; since then she was written over a thousand blog posts. She is one of the original 100 C Suite Network Advisors. Connect with her at patiyer.com.

Best Practices Growth Personal Development

Blogging and Relationship Marketing

Blogging and relationship marketing go together. Blogging shows your expertise – you’re connecting with clients, but you are not selling them anything. You are a resource and provide them with good information on your web site that can help them.

The focus of a blog is not selling. It’s more educating, communicating, persuading, and story telling. You’re making an investment in a relationship with your target audience, rather than bombarding them. Your clients are inundated with marketing messages from commercials, emails, billboards, and social media.

Blogging and Relationship Marketing go Hand in Hand

Use your blog to educate, entertain, and teach them something new. By doing that you start to build that “Know, Like and Trust” factor. It’s about them.

People listen to two different radio stations, especially on the Internet and face-to-face. Many like to broadcast on the radio station WIIAM. What WIIAM stands for is “What Is Interesting About Me”. When people are searching out content on the Internet or social media, people are listening to WIIFM: “What’s In It For Me”.

As we know in radio, AM is a lower frequency and doesn’t have the quality as FM, which is better for music and sounds better. People are much more interested in “How Can You Help Me” as opposed to “Who You Are” and “What You Do”. That’s one of the biggest mistakes that people make is that they’re constantly trying to sell and promote themselves. Instead, provide great information on a blog that helps the other person.

There is a common misperception among many business owners, which is it’s effective to say, “Let me tell you all about the services that I offer”. Blogging and relationship marketing supply information to the prospect that will entice the client to find out find out more. This is one of the primary purposes of a blog.

A real relationship takes time. It takes caring and giving equal benefits to both sides. Building a relationship in relationship marketing is about thinking about “What’s In It for Them” that I can provide that’s different.

  • “How can I be a resource?”
  • “How can I be a support mechanism?”
  • “How can I give them something that everybody else in the marketplace is not doing other than trying to come in, get work and take their money?”

Blogging and relationship marketing put some of the pieces of the puzzle together.

Pat Iyer has been blogging since 2009. She’s written thousands of blog posts. Connect with her and read her writing tips blogs on www.Patiyer.com.