What an effective first paragraph should do

Link bait: The Roles Of Social Media Consultants And How To Thrive As One



Your link bait flagged potential customers and brought them to your website. But then, the first paragraph reads like--
Some people who have been in the online marketing industry for some time hope to become social media consultants not just to further their career but because they have realized a passion in helping people fulfil their online marketing dreams.
What a mouthful!

You can tell the writer came fresh from academia, and has yet to sharpen their teeth in the real world. And in case the writer forgot, use more punctuation--make it easier for us to read.

In basketball metaphor, this first paragraph is where the writer fumbled the ball, got intercepted and the other team made the three pointer to win the game.

Remember AIDA? The headline/link bait flags potential customers. You now have ten seconds to deliver your message. Your first paragraph should start building interest and desire, or you can start inserting calls to action. Everything has to tie together, making it easy for the reader to accept your call to action.

How to make this copy better?

Let's go back to basketball. Now that you have the ball (the reader's attention), make short, quick passes and score the easy point. Stop showing off your dribbling skills. Get to the point.

Off the top of my head, here are three ways to bridge headline to your call to action:
* 3 simple steps on how...
* Illustrate, tell a story
* give facts, useful stats

There are a number of ways to write an effective first paragraph. Now, the ball's in your court. Comment and add one more to the three I just mentioned.


PS
One more thing. You've probably heard that, you should write as if talking face to face with your readers. Don't. Readers scan your message. If they find the keywords they were looking for, then they start reading.

Instead, make it easy for them to scan everything--then it's going to read like you are talking to them face to face.

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