The War on Readers Attention… Is YOUR First Sentence Getting Read?

Haha, got ya!!

See? You did at least read the first sentence.

My mission here is partially accomplished. I will now tell you that I haven’t lost my mind, that I do have a point, and I will explain myself.

The Point

You see, no matter what you write or who you write for, your ultimate goal is getting the words read by someone… anyone… everyone.

If you can get the first sentence on the page perused, you’ve won the battle.

Now winning the war happens by getting that second sentence read…and the third…you see what I’m getting at.

The Battle

battle attention getting sentence

Winning the first battle is a combination of things. Strategies, if you will… you should at least apply a couple of these to every blog post.

Strategy One: Create a headline that makes people actually OPEN the blog post. Your title needs to tell your readers several things.

  • What they will find inside.
  • How it will help them.
  • That THIS particular post is the one they’re looking for.

Strategy Two: Jumping right into something valuable enough to keep your reader reading. In that first sentence, you either need to make it catchy enough for someone to keep going, or get right to the point of the post, telling your reader what they’re going to find further down.

Strategy Three: This one is bribery. Not the bad kind… the kind where you make a promise in the first sentence that you intend to deliver by the end of the post. Promise the answer to a problem, promise tips or ideas that will help your reader, or promise to tell a story that they’ll find interesting or valuable.

Strategy Four: Offer proof that you will expand upon in your blog post. Give a fact, THEN discuss it. Too many bloggers offer bits of information at a time without ever announcing what the information is for… it becomes a list of facts with very little purpose.

The War

war attention getting sentence

Once you get that first sentence read, your purpose is to keep your reader going on to the end of the post. You have to make sure that all your writing is valuable and intriguing.

Here are a few tips:

Deliver: Be sure to follow through with any promises you made earlier in the post. Don’t make empty promises, this may get a reader to read one blog post, but they’ll never be back. If you offer 9 Tricks for Training a Monkey, make sure you give at least 9 monkey-training tips before closing.

Be Consistent: Maintain a “voice” throughout the entire post, and stick with a pattern. Especially when writing list-style posts, make sure to follow a format through to the end.

Write Well: Check your spelling and punctuation, remember your grammar rules, and check on those that you don’t, and re-read your post before you publish it. If you aren’t the best editor, have someone else check your work. Nothing will kill your credibility than a poorly-written post.

Be Honest: This one is almost too obvious, but unfortunately needs mentioning. If you’re explaining how to do something, make sure it works. Don’t give false facts, and don’t plagiarize someone else’s work. Sure, you can get ideas from other people, but write your own work.

The Clincher

Win that war with some flair with a call to action, an invitation to come back, or a killer closing statement. Make the last thing you say powerful enough to bring people back to read that first sentence of your next post.

How about you, what’s your best strategy for the War to Win Readers?

Written by Tori F.
I am a freelance writer and photographer with a wild imagination and inspiration in the form of my two minions (my children), a few feline familiars, and a view out my front windows of the wild West Texas canyons.