“Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was good friend of mine”
Joy to the World opening lyric, by Hoyt Axton
A powerful or unusual opening song lyric immediately grabs attention and demands further listening. Capturing attention is more critical than ever for popular music, as the audience has increasingly easy access to free music.
The same is true for web content: billions of pages vie for attention, and even those that manage to rise above the noise are often not read thoroughly. What lessons can we learn from great songs that can guide the creation of better, popular web content?
Here are my suggestions; please share your own in the comments below.
Simple words deliver the strongest message…
Example: Your Song, Elton John
…But simplicity is difficult; avoiding banality requires skill
Counter Example: Life, Des’ree
Say it with passion and personality…
Example: Psycho Killer, Talking Heads
…But be sincere; don’t engage with topics that you don’t care about
Counter Example: Any X-Factor/American Idol contestant
Let great content shine through; don’t hide it behind fancy tricks…
Example: I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Death Cab For Cutie
…But longer content needs variety to maintain interest
Example: Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
A ‘hook’ can make the message memorable…
Example: Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
…But avoid over repetition, clichés and jargon
Counter Example: Marco Polo, Bow Wow and Soulja Boy
What additional rules can you think of? Is there something to be said about publishing a variety of output: long and short, fast and slow?