How to write your heart-opening paragraph so that it gets read
How do you open the heart so your readers feel the connection?
- Start with who this post is for.
- Reassure them they’re in the right place and hint at what’s further down in the post.
- Hint at what gets solved when they continue to the end of the post.
- Use the tidbits of information that you know about your audience persona to build rapport
Sound good? What's next? An example?
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Sometimes you don't need a traditional heart-opening paragraph as I've shared with you above. Some audiences respond better to a question. Why? Because since childhood you're trained to answer questions. When your brain sees a question it feels compelled to find the answer – and the answer can be in the content!
Ask a question with the intent to engage your target audience.
“Have you ever noticed that some bloggers just jump straight in with the facts and figures? Why do they do that? “Isn’t it frustrating when…”
Readers that experience the same as you feel a connection with you and are more likely to comment and share – after all you understand them. You can make this type of heart-opening paragraph short and sweet or expand it with a thought-provoking quote.
Paint a picture in the reader’s mind.
Paint a colourful scene with words, be descriptive and make your reader feel like she's there with you. Let's make the reader be part of our morning routine at Chez Arrow:
The alarm is buzzing but nobody is stirring. The sun streams through the curtain onto the sleeping faces, and in some part of the house, a cat yawns and stretches. Dad wakes with a start, we've all overslept and although the day is warm, all the rushing around getting ready for school makes everyone is grouchy. They'd much rather be in bed sleeping still.
When you open with a powerful visual heart-opening paragraph you must remember the point is to get the reader to continue to read to the next paragraph. Blog posts with this kind of visual opening can also be closed with it. It helps tie everything in the post together and make it flow better.
This type of open and close can be tricky, so expect to write a good number of them before they “click” and read naturally.
Painting a picture with words too hard? Try this:
Start with a bold statement or claim.
Get it out there! I opened with a made-up statistic, how's that for boldness? They work equally well in the heart-opening paragraph of your blog post. Would you read this bold, heart-stopping paragraph?
“In my 19 years of blogging, I’ve come to the conclusion that most bloggers just don’t get it and are, in fact, endangering the businesses of their readers.”
Bold claims must be backed up with some evidence, they can't be mere random thoughts pulled from your mind. Attributing and listing your research makes your post more credible, and if you misquote or make an inaccurate assessment based on the data then at least you know where the information came from.
If all else fails…
Open your heart, and share it on the page. Audiences connect to powerful displays of emotion. Remember, don't do this all the time or you will become known for it! Vary the methods shared in this post and see which ones resonate with your audience.
Some will feel better than others, but ultimately, the best ones are the ones that your audience will love.