For bloggers, first impressions matter — especially online, where you’re vying for attention amongst an estimated 5.8 million new blog posts everyday.
It’s undoubtedly true that your headline is what first attracts people to your post.
But it’s not enough to keep people reading.
You also need to captivate your readers with your introduction.
That’s why I decided to seek out the most effective formulas for quickly, easily, and consistently writing strong introductions which encourage readers to keep on reading.
And today, I’m going to share these with you…
The Right Mindset for Creating an Irresistible Introduction
The average attention span of an internet user is just 8 seconds.
This fact should be of central importance when crafting your introduction.
Anything that doesn’t immediately make an impression as being exciting, interesting, or relevant is likely to be overlooked without much thought.
Besides your headline, your intro is the only other chance you’ll have to hook your readers in.
To make sure your headline pushes all the right buttons, immerse yourself in the needs of your readers and unearth their intent. Empathise with them and try to see your blog through their eyes so that you can intuit what would attract their interest.
Some questions you should ask yourself about your readers are:
- What do they want?
- What benefits are they seeking?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
Writing Your Introduction
There are many types of introductions that turn up time and time again.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, it’s better to mirror what works.
It doesn’t mean you end up sounding exactly like someone else or steal their introductions, word-for-word — rather, you imitate the general form of what they’ve written.
Not only does using proven formulas increase your chance of success, it also helps you quickly overcome writer’s block.
Now let’s take a look at 11 ways to quickly create the perfect blog post introduction.
1. Make a Statement
Possibly the simplest way to get your post started.
Make sure the statement you make is bold and attention-grabbing.
You won’t find what I’m about to tell you about SEO anywhere else.
2. Ask a Question
Leading with a question can get your readers to anticipate what’s coming next. It opens a loop that can only be closed by reading the rest of your post.
What if you could release negative emotions with just an easy 5-step process that takes no more than two minutes?
3. Tease With What’s Coming Later
Opening your post with a cliffhanger can be incredibly effective. It gets the reader so intrigued that they just have to carry on reading until the feeling of suspense is resolved.
I began with literally nothing. But within 6 months I’d hired a team of three developers and six virtual assistants.
This sort of opening makes the reader desperate to find out how the author’s web development business grew so fast. In the back of their mind, your reader will be wondering “I wonder if I can replicate this feat!”
4. Share a Fact or Statistic
Find a fact or statistic that’s related to the main topic of your post. Ideally, you want it to be surprising, intriguing, and enlightening.
Did you know that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds today?
5. Share an Anecdote
Try to share an anecdote from your own life. This is an excellent way to be more relatable to your audience by opening up and sharing something personal. You’ll also be able to easily draw meaningful insights because you went through it.
But if you don’t have a relevant anecdote of your own, you can share someone else’s, as long as it illustrates the central thesis of your blog post. Give yourself a credibility boost by citing the story of someone famous or reputable.
6. Share a Quote
Quote a famous author, thinker, or public figure to add legitimacy and weight to your argument or set the context for your post. Choose a quote that your audience is likely to relate to. This is a subtle way to build rapport with the reader and increase the chances they’ll be open to what you have to offer them.
A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
- Joseph Roux
7. Make People Feel Something
Most people are driven by emotion more than logic.
Take advantage of this by making people feel something with your introduction.
Make your readers feel like you really understand what they’re experiencing.
Some emotions you can evoke are:
Is the uncertainty of the stock market getting to you?
8. Discuss Your Reader’s Problem
The primary reason people read is to find solutions to their problems.
Starting your post by acknowledging the reader’s problem is a great way to gain their atttention. They immediately know that by the time they reach the end of your article, there’s a good chance you will have helped them resolve their problem.
Being consistently creative can be difficult.
One day you’re bursting with ideas, and the next day you’re staring at a blank screen.
9. Lead With the Backstory to Your Post
Share with your readers what has directly led you to start writing your blog post.
It could be spurred on by an urge to consolidate a difficult experience.
Or it could simply be an attempt to clarify and share with others what you have learned from a book recently.
I recently picked up Tony Robbins’ classic book, Awaken the Giant Within.
To be honest, I’ve never really been that much of a self-help person, so I was sceptical.
But I am extremely surprised by how much this book has helped me.
In fact, it made me come to an important realisation: many of our preconceptions stop us from doing the things that will actually help us.
10. Imagine If…
Stimulate the imagination of your reader and get them excited for a personal transformation or solution you are intending to offer them.
Imagine if you could come up with more ideas in five minutes than you previously could in an entire week.
11. Talk to Your Reader
You can grab the attention of your reader by talking to them with a conversational tone, as if they’re a friend.
I know what you’re thinking…
“Surely creativity doesn’t have to be so hard!”
Instead of sitting and staring at a blank screen, I know you’d much rather be witnessing countless ideas flowing out.
Now that you have 11 ways to kickstart your articles, it should be much easier to get into a creative flow and write that perfect intro that makes people not just want, but need to read your post.
If you have a unique method for creating blog post introductions, feel free to let me know about it in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.
Originally published at https://revolutionarycopy.com on March 30, 2021.