Some of the best first lines in literature would make terrible blog post first lines. Why? Writing for blogs and writing for other forms are completely different things. The first sentence of a blog post needs to have two things: a hook for the readers and a hook for the search engines.
Blog writing requires first sentences that tell everything the reader needs to know about your article and something that makes the reader what to dig deeper into your post. The best way to do this is to write out your entire post and then go back and write your first sentence. Don’t allow your readers to spend their time wading through bad writing trying to figure out your argument. Instead, get there from the first sentence and keep driving it home.
I’m sure you’re thinking “but I don’t write that way on my blog!” Wrong. Everyone makes an argument when they’re writing, even if it’s not easily apparent. Since blog posts are typically between 300 and 700 words, we need to economize our language and make it all count. First sentences, because they tell the reader what the post is about and whether to keep reading, are the most important in your blog post.
Search engines also rely on first lines to get a keen idea of what the post is about. If you’re trying to target a specific keyword and it’s not in the first sentence, you’re not getting the most out of search engines. While this is changing and search engines are getting smarter, it’s still a good idea to use target words in the first sentence because humans do the same thing as machines in this case.
As well as a strong argument in the first sentence, you need something that makes the reader what to keep reading. Do you have a high bounce rate and a very low time on page? That likely means people aren’t getting past your first sentences.
In your next blog post, write it out and then go back and revise your first sentence. Make it strong and intriguing and you’ll be much better off.