I’m a big fan of squirrels in my back yard. But when you blog, please don’t act like a squirrel. You’ll lose readers.
I read about the squirrel syndrome in iPhone Millionaire. It’s the “natural human instinct to save the good stuff for later,” says author Michael Rosenblum. The squirrel syndrome expresses itself in blog posts that start slow and dull. Their opening paragraphs don’t offer any incentive for readers to continue, even if there’s life-changing advice down below.
“If you don’t reach out and grab someone from the very beginning, there will be no later,” as Rosenblum says.
Here’s my recommendation. Give your good stuff away in the your first paragraph. Identify the problem you’ll solve or the happiness you’ll deliver for your readers or catch their eye with a strong image or story. At a minimum, you’ll benefit from readers going beyond your headline and perhaps even grasping the gist of your message.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of iPhone Millionaire from McGraw Hill in return for agreeing to mention it in my blog.