Attention spans on the internet are shorter than leprechaun shins.

Not sure how short that is? Here ya go:

That’s very short.

When a visitor lands on your website and dives into your written content, you have precious few seconds to keep them interested.
According to data by Tony Haile of Chartbeat, the average visitor to your website will spend just 15 seconds on it before moving onto something else.

Think that’s fast? Microsoft Research analyzed user behavior on over 2 billion pageviews, and found that your page has just 10 seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
These stats confirm what we already knew: It’s crucial to grab your audience’s attention right away. And it all starts with nailing the first sentence. Here are some keys to writing a great first sentence:

Write a Great Hook

It’s a rule that any good author knows: The first sentence of your article is the “hook.” It’s the opener that yanks the reader out of his or her world and into yours. And as important as it is in a novel, it’s even more important with web content.

Your first sentence needs to be so compelling that a new visitor will have no choice but to continue reading, and state the clear purpose of your piece in the first paragraph.

Despite his name, he was not a gifted writer.

One of the modern greats of crafting a great first sentence is David Sedaris. Check out this opener from a short story called “The Women’s Open” from his 1997 book, Naked.

My sister Lisa became a woman on the fourteenth hole of the Pinehurst golf course.

If that doesn’t widen your pupils we don’t know what will. You read that and you’re saying “What!?” But you’re also wanting to read more.

Tell a Story

The excellent book Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Health explores what makes an idea sticky, or memorable, and they say the key is to tell a story.

Read this.

Whether it’s a story of customer success, common problems and solutions, or an amusing anecdote, if your first sentence start with a story, odds are you’ll keep your readers reading.

Ask a Question

Starting your article off with a question can be a great way to grab a reader’s attention; just aim for something more self-reflective than Final Jeopardyesque. Something like “What is your average customer worth?” or “Do you know how many calories you’ve eaten today?” works nicely.

Tell Me Something About Myself

A first sentence like “Here’s the simple trick you can use to close more sales leads” can help lock in your reader for that critical 10-second window. Or get creative with it: “Human saliva has a boiling point three times that of regular water.” Of course where the article goes from there we have no idea, but we love it as an opener!

Stay Positive

Remember to stay upbeat. Your first sentence reflects on your company, your brand, and yourself, so try to stay away from downers. Instead, go hopeful, thought-provoking, interesting, or humorous.

With a little work, you’ll be mastering your first sentences in no time, keeping people on your site longer and boosting your search rankings.

Want us to write your first sentences (and the rest of your articles) for you? Give Media Shower a try today and your first piece of content is free.

Want us to write your first sentences (and the rest of your articles) for you? Give Media Shower a try today and your first piece of content is free


“Leprechaun ill artlibre jnl”. Licensed under FAL via Commons –”CaptainHookcartoon” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –