Like a business, a piece of writing needs a unique selling point. The initial 'hook' gets the reader interested, and the subsequent material provides the meat and gravy.
Sometimes the unique selling point will come naturally from the subject matter. Sensational breaking news might have sufficient impact in itself to attract readers. However, in the vast majority of cases, language choices add to the pulling power of a text - or, in the worst cases, dilute its appeal.
Many principles of rhetoric have been devised around the idea of language 'sexing up' content. The terminology of marketing may be different, but the concept is essentially the same. Words sell.
When expressing a selling point, either the message needs to be unique, or the language needs to deliver the message uniquely, or - best of all - both of these should be true. In such a case, the 'hook' can be compelling.
Even in today's constant jostle for attention, with a unique pitch, just two words can be enough.
This blog entry was first published at thetextbiz.com.