Write a Lede with a Gripping Hook
for right to lead with a gripping hook. What even is a lead? The opening line or lines of your blog post make up your lead. Generally this is either a sentence or two or a short paragraph. Your lead is your hook. Your lead is what once a visitor starts reading your post and forms how long they'll stay there. Remember when we talked about the fact that the average web visitor spends just 15 seconds reading a blog post And that the same fast company research revealed that if a reader sticks around for more than 15 seconds will probably stay for seven minutes. This is why your lead is so important. It's what will convince your audience to stick with you for the length of your blog post. The newsroom guidelines at new public. A Canadian media company shared great advice about lead writing. If you were riding an elevator and someone said, what is your article about? And you had two floors to answer, what would you say? That's the lead. We know you want to set the scene and offer some backgr...
ound but resist that urge. When you write your lead, you want to be specific, you want to get straight to the point and if you feel stuck, you can turn to news articles for inspiration. Even if you're writing, say a music or fashion blog post, you can nail your lead by looking at what the media is doing. Seriously. News articles are great for getting a better sense of how to write a good lead. So stay on top of current events and you could become a stronger writer. As a former broadcast journalist myself, I've written tons of leads. Here's an example of a lead I wrote for NBC Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced Wednesday that the US Department of Agriculture named 15 Montana counties as primary natural disaster areas. The designation is meant to help farmers who are struggling with drought conditions. You can see here the lead is short and to the point in this way, it's what we call a direct lead. I'll give you an example in a short definition of indirect leads in just a minute or two direct leads. Typically touch on what you probably know is the five Ws. Who, what, when, where and why of your story. They described what the article is about in a succinct short form style While writing this course, Eyebrows CNN to find another example of a strong lead. Here's what I pulled from an article on Chevron, evacuating us workers in Iraq in January 2020. Chevron has evacuated all of its American oil workers from Iraq following last week's U.S. in Baghdad. Again, the lead is short to the point and explains exactly what the article is about. Of course you may prefer to use an indirect lead to your next blog post elite that holds off on telling the reader what the story entails but still gives them a taste of what's to come descriptions and anecdotes are key here. This is what I pulled from a CNN expert roundup post on the best under eye concealers. New Year's Eve is almost here, which means there will be free flowing champagne with salty appetizers to nosh on and you'll be up way past your usual bedtime in celebration of 2020 whether you're staying in and watching the ball drop in Times Square with your loved ones or on a party cruise in Los Angeles, you want to look and feel like you're the most fabulous person in the room. The only problem with such a gluttonous knight is that you'll need an arsenal of long wear makeup before the clock strikes midnight. Better not tell CNN and I didn't have an arsenal of long wear makeup on my quote unquote gluttonous New Year's Eve night of scarfing down pasta primavera and sipping cocktails with fresh mint on the north shore of Lake Superior. But enough about me, back to the point you can see here that the lead is indirect. It takes the writer a bit longer to introduce what exactly the post is about, but the author still gets there. Meanwhile, the audience has been spoken to on a personal level, they've likely enjoyed the way the writer set the scene and they'll probably keep reading about the under eye concealer celebrity makeup artist swear by if they're into that kind of thing. Of course makes sense. And again, you can experiment with your leads, you can write a direct one and an indirect one and see what's most effective, depending on who your audience is and what you hope to convey in your blog post.