In school, most writers have been taught to write articles and essays in linear order, meaning you start with the beginning of an idea, then the middle, and then you conclude it with the end.
This, however, doesn’t usually work well with blogs.
The problem with writing in a linear fashion is that most people who read blogs have little time and are impatient.
Most readers don’t want to wait until the final paragraph of your article to get the main point of your post.
In journalism school they call this “burying the lead,” which means making readers work for the main point of your story.
But you don’t want to make anyone who reads your blog to have to work for the main idea. Instead, you have to learn to give them the main idea first and then expand on that idea by giving them everything else after.
Journalists call this the “inverted pyramid” structure, where the most important info is at the top.
In the book “Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” Chip Heath says,
“The inverted pyramid is great for readers. No matter what the reader’s attention span – whether she reads only the lead or the entire story – the inverted pyramid maximizes the information she gleans. Think of the alternative: If news stories were written like mysteries, with a dramatic payoff at the end, then readers who broke off in mid-story would miss the point. Imagine waiting until the last sentence of a story to find out who won the presidential election or the Super Bowl.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped reading an article or a blog post because I lose interest after reading the first few lines.
This is why news reporters are taught to lead their stories with the most important information first.
If I know you or I have a relationship with you, then the lead paragraph doesn’t matter as much, but when it comes to engaging new readers, the lead matters.