If 80% of all people reading your content will drop after reading your headline, you have narrow group of people left, to read your lead.
So, to maintain readability of your message, the following lines (compressed in your lead) have to have almost a super power.
I am going to show you the 7 tips for writing strong leads, that you can apply today.
In short: if you want to improve readability of your posts or sales letters, you will love this blog post
Let’s get us started!
Writing Strong Lead
I am sure that many of you know what LEAD is, but just for the clarity sake:
Lead is the short part of the text below headline, that introduces the topic.
In most of the cases it would be the first paragraph, but not always. Benefits of great lead are:
What does not matter when writing your lead?
When you attempt writing strong lead, firstly, you need to understand what has no influence on quality of your lead.
Despite many “gurus” are mentioning it.
Here we are:
Unlike many self-proclaiming copywriting gurus will stress out that writing in the second person guarantess plenty of readers/sales.
This is no true anymore.
What about headlines :
How I made fortune with a ‘Fool Idea’? or How I Improved My Memory in One Evening.
This is one of the most ridiculous myth I heard some B category content writers are sharing.
In order to successful headline you have to use black and red colour. On the other hand, blue and green are highly not recommended.
That’s pure nonsense.
You can use whatever colour, unless it is matching with your website’s theme.
Headline up to 7 words
Indeed, it is not advisable to have a long headline.
On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be up to 7 words.
Headline above is from post ranked on first google page. When you count the words, you see it expand 7.
When you write your blog post (or other online content) you want to write it with SEO optimized in most of the cases. The newest update for best rankings result is 62 words!! But no 7 words!!
What are the 7 rules for writing strong lead?
Once explained what has not direct influence on quality of your lead, let us have a look what are the rules or tips( rule sound very restrictive;-) ) for writing strong lead.
I did include the basic, but most relevant ones.
The list is definitely longer, but if I want to go in-depth, length of this post is not enough.
However, when you are interested and want to go really deep on this topic, I would recommend to buy this book.
For those searching for instant answers and solution, here you go! 7 tips for writing strong leads!
I think the tips are jam packed with actionable tips you can apply straight away and the results will be seen instantly.
Keep it short, but intriguing
Less is more.
If writing strong lead is what you want to achieve this saying is much very true.
In ideal scenario, you want to have it 6-8 lines long (for a blog post).
Obviously, when writing long sales letter, you are expected to have a longer lead. While it might be challenging to keep your “intro” so short, you get better with practice.
Have a Hook
Did my first sentence gave information you found interesting and you didn’t know it before?
Most likely yes.
This “hook” kept you reading. You want to apply the same when write your post. This isn’t advice to create click baiting lead.
Just give your readers something appealing, so they will keep reading.
Rule of One
Writing strong lead, means stuck with one idea only. Among professional writers, this is called rule of one.
Of course, you have more to tell, as only one subject. It can be even tempting.
But you have also other opportunities( blog posts, emails, …)
The thing what you don’t want is to overwhelm your reader. They don’t need to know everything at once. Rather, serve them your message in pieces.
Otherwise you are risking to lose them completely.
Below is great example of the rule one. Coca cola ad specialists didn’t go for always cool+ other characteristics (as there are plenty).
They stuck just with ONLY ONE.
Attention (Awareness). Here you want to create awareness about your topic.
Interest. Something what is of high interest of your reader. One very strong line.
Desire. When people click on your post or open your email, mostly they have desire. If you can use some punchy lines that express what they want, then you are closer to winning their attention.
Action. Something short like, “let’s get started”, “shall we continue?” is evoking the action and is not too long.
Formula that will keep your reader stuck to your lead. As honey bee on milkweed.
Marketers of all kinds are using AIDA, since 1898 when American business man Elias St. Elmo Lewis found it.
In short: this model describes a series of steps or stages that customers follow when making purchasing decisions. You can apply it in your lead as well.
Above one practical AIDA example.
The last three tips are a little more complicated to implement, but they could be reward able after all. So, there is more risk and finesse needed. On the other hand, if you crackerjack it, you have won it.
Know Your Reader
Firstly, you need to know your audience/readers.
As more than better. While mostly at the beginning of your journey as blogger or marketer of any kind you might lack relevant information.
At the later stage, when your traffic starts to flow, you’ll get data to analyze.
Why it matters who is your reader? Next to the obvious objectives as interests and demographics, there is one super important measure.
At which stage your reader is.
Is he aware of your product/service/topic you are writing about? In that case you want to use more direct approach.
But is he not aware of you or his problems/desires? Then you will choose probably more indirect approach.
More about this in the following rule.
Direct or Indirect?
As previously mentioned, when your reader knows you because he reads your content on your blog or via your email, chances are high he knows you and like your brand.
In that case, if you have some new product release you can just shoot the offer straight away in your headline and lead.
“Buy Your New _______ for $499 right now” is example of such a headline. In your lead, you can talk purely about this product and its benefits.
On the other side is person who doesn’t know he has a problem to solve, nor does he know about you. This is the toughest one.
(In between are also other stages of this awareness, look below)
In total “unawareness” you can use the most indirect approach. Using Story Telling for instance.
Michael Masterson in his amazing book, Great Leads talked about it in very easy way to understand:
- If the customer is aware of the product/service and realizes it can satisfy his desire, your headline starts with the product
- If the customer is not aware of the product/service, only aware of the desire, headline starts with that desire
- If he is not aware of what he seeks, but is concerned only with general problem, your headline starts with that problem and crystalize it in a need
Easier said that done, but if you want win your reader, you have to be unique. There are over 7.5 million blog posts published every day.
It is your duty to stand out.
Have a great headline and lead are two most important thing.
Therefore, they have higher requirements on your creative abilities.
So you have to be unique, and stand out. Otherwise, your posts will never been read!
Super Effective Extra Tip (Especially for Bloggers)
When writing a blog in the present era, you have to stay ahead of competition.
To achieve that, there are several tools available to you.
Among others keyword tool, where you can spy on your competition, check the first Google site analysis, and your own rankings.
My super effective booster for bloggers is also coming from keyword tool. It is the KEYWORD itself.
To be specific:
Use your keyword in the lead and your SEO score => improving your rankings, will grow exceptionally.
Why to bother with writing strong lead?
Couple of strong arguments for writing strong leads I used in leads benefits at the beginning of the blog post.
In addition, you can think of a lead as an extension of your headline. If just 20% of all people make it throuhg your headline, what they will find is crucial.
If your headline is great, but your lead sucks, all the enthusiasm of having someone reading it is gone. That person will leave, when your lead is not strong, intriguing and unique enough.
If this is still not enough to persuade you of the importance of strong lead, think of this as if you want a direct response from a reader( purchase, bookmarking your post, subscribing to your email list) to grab reader’s attention is not enough.
You have to move him emotionally. And to achieve that you have 7 tips which when you will use, you will increase number of subscribers and sales.
Let me know how it is working that for you.
How do I earn money online?
If you are interested in the way of earning money where you can apply this knowledge, you don’t have to become unnecessary a Copywriter.
Even though, making living with copywriting, can be very lucrative.
What distract me from that career is the fact that (unless you reach really top of iceberg in that field), you always have to work for new clients to earn money.
You see, I earn money online as Affiliate Marketer. Here is the opportunity of building passive income much higher than in copywriting.
In short Affiliate Marketing is allowing to sell other people’s product and you have no:
- customer service
In fact, I even wrote a blog post, stating the biggest differences between Affiliate Marketing and Copywriting, so you can compare it in your own pace and comfort.