a rabble-rouser’s rules for writing kick-ass closing paragraphs

a rabble-rouser’s rules for writing kick-ass closing paragraphs

reader comments (46)

  1. it’s easy to get trapped into the same old closing paragraph. i know i’m guilty. if i’m selling something, i ask them to buy. otherwise, i usually ask for comments.

    thanks for the great example and for giving me some ideas for alternative closings. (in fact, i’d love to see more examples of great closings.)

    • i agree with you laura, that ending is really a great example. it is so powerful that i felt i do not have to read the body and opening paragraph for me to be inspired.

      it was inspiring.
      it was compelling.

      jef

    • you stole the words right out of my mouth.

      i was going to say…

      “case in point, your closing.”

      i’ve been viewing closing paragraphs more and more not as a closing but as the crescendo themselves, with the close to occur in the comments or if really popular…in a future post.

  2. a powerful close is what people walk away with. they may not remember much of your copy, but they will remember the ending if you make it resonate. i love the technique that pastor t.d. jakes uses. all throughout his sermons he makes one powerful point over and over. usually a quote or a phrase. he hammers it home and then closes with a bang, with the main point front and center. you may not remember the subtleties of his message but you will remember his key phrase.

  3. i have found that when writing copy, the most important parts to copy-writing are the headline and the emotive call to action (usually placed in the conclusion).

    “the secret of man’s success resides in his insight into the moods of people, and his tact in dealing with them.” -j. g. holland

  4. synchronicity? i was struggling to wrap up a post when i got your email 🙂

    i think that my biggest take away from your post is “rabble-rouser rule #4: touch your reader’s heart” as i have a tendency to get serious and “moral of the story is” at the end of a post and who needs that? lol

    i want touch my reader’s heart yet keep it uplifting and fun!

  5. excellent article! thank you so much for sharing. i find that i’ve been instinctively doing a number of these anyway, so this article makes a valuable and instinctively comfortable final checklist. nice 🙂

  6. wow! great article! i honestly never thought of these ideas and i loved the link to the article on how to visualize your perfect reader! so useful!
    for some reason when i clicked on the facebook icon, it came up page not found with a gorgeous photo of paul newman (thank you for that! made my day!) but it also happened when i copied the url and tried to paste it to fb. just thought i should let you know. love, love, love these articles!
    xo chris

  7. honestly, closing paragraphs can sometimes be the hardest to write. you don’t want to introduce anything new so it’s necessarily going to be rehash/summary, but you know that if someone has read that far into your article you can’t leave them hanging with a horrible ending. but then you also know that your headline/intro paragraph will get so many more eyes on them so you really don’t want to spend too much time on the final paragraph–it’s not a novel or story, after all, where the tension builds, it’s the inverse pyramid where all the good stuff happens at the top–but you don’t want to neglect it either.

    in conclusion, closing paragraphs are tough.

  8. yep, they can be tough. but you can introduce something new in your closing paragraph.

    you’re not writing an academic essay in which you’re supposed to sum up your key points.

    you just have to ensure that your final paragraph logically follows the previous paragraph, and that it’s inspirational of course.

  9. that really is some kick-ass advice! thanks, hennke!

    i definitely agree that it helps to have a call-to-action at the end of a post. sometimes something as simple as asking a question is enough to trigger a good set of responses.

    but if your goal is to trigger an action, you must show how it is possible to do, not just say it is. i thought that was a good point you added. thanks again for writing this! i liked it.

  10. wow henneke! you’ve done it again.

    you’ve been pumping out some awesome stuff over the last few weeks.

    you’re everywhere i turn! congratulations on an awesome post!!! i got a lot out of it.

    btw i’m reading “made to stick” by dan and chip heath. jon morrow suggested i read it.

    it’s a great book. have you read it?

    • yes, i’ve been working almost non-stop recently 🙂

      made to stick is one of my favorite books. i highly recommend their book switch, too.

  11. fantastic blog. we focus so much on attention on the beginning, we tend to forget the closing needs to be more than just a call to action to comment. it needs to be a call to action to “do” , or think or whatever. i love your style of writing, and so happy to have found you. (via jon morrow) just downloaded your book too. thank you! do you have your own site?

  12. excellent article…very motivational. i am creating a new blog (not published yet) promoting our nutritional medicine practice.

    i find it can be quite challenging to infuse technical articles with excitement. your article provides a few concrete suggestions on ways to do that, while inspiring readers to take action.

    thank you!

  13. your reader is starving for something. most of them do not have the slightest idea how to get it; you have the answer.

    you have said a lot already in the body of your story… and they want you to push them to edge…

    yes, they are still afraid…but deep down they want you to push them to the edge and that what you must do at the end of your storytelling. they want to fly.

    push them. help them fly.

    jef

  14. one more thing —

    the most important job of the earlier paragraphs is to bring them to the closing paragraph. the closing paragraph is the destination.

    • yep, that’s true for each sentence. the only objective is to get people to read the next, and then the next …

  15. jon – as always – tight cogent and right on — but — who did that painting? thank you as always – howard

  16. no matter what type of writing you are doing, a powerful conclusion is an important step that helps you make an impact and wrap things up for your readers. while it’s tempting to leave off the conclusion or treat it as an afterthought, doing so can be detrimental to your work.

  17. henneke,

    i close like i have all the time in the world….along with a sense of urgency. what a delicious duo. i take my time yet move into inspired action. using this mindset along with your excellent tips i intend to close out stronger than ever.

    touch your reader’s heart. think though each post then write from your divine center, by removing fear, and just, well, writing what you wish to write. i like spending as little time as possible editing posts because it takes the “me” essence out of the deal. placing too much emphasis on being perfect removes the critical imperfections which make us human and heartfelt, and humans connect best with their readers and create the most rousing close outs.

    thanks for sharing your super tips!

    • that’s interesting. i tend to spend a lot of time editing to put “me” into my writing.

      it’s interesting how everyone’s creative process is different, isn’t it?

  18. the trap of the closing paragraph. sometimes, i don’t even know what’s harder, writing the opening paragraph or the closing one? for me, i take time writing both, but sometimes, i give the intro more thought as i want to capture the reader’s attention first. but thanks hanneke for proving to me that i should spend just the same time with my closing lines. after all, if the article doesn’t end with an impact, the whole thing i’ve written will be forgettable.

    • yes, as you suggest opening and closing paragraphs have different roles, but both are important.

      thank you, azalea 🙂

  19. thanks for the “rules” henneke. i always struggle to close off my posts, hopefully putting these in action will help.

  20. i always struggle with closing my posts. i’m never sure what to say or how to say it. these 5 rules definitely gives me great ideas on how to make a great last impression.

  21. hello henneke,

    i just joined jon’s guestblogging course, so i have only now begun to read about how to be a more successful blogger, as compared to reading blogs to be a better person.

    i really enjoyed your post and how you broke down what makes a killer closing paragraph. thank you, i am beginning to “know what i don’t know” which is helping me to learn so much more.

    take care and wishing you all the best,
    chuck

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