So you wrote a stunning blog post. Is your job done? Not yet. No matter how good your post is, there’s a chance that only a few persons are going to read it.
These days there are so many appealing contents online that people often feel overwhelmed with it. They don’t want to waste their time reading every piece of writing they see: they have to pick and do it quickly. That’s why if your blog post intro isn’t catchy and appealing enough, the chances that the readers will drop your article quickly are pretty big.
Many bloggers struggle with writing appealing intros. Some even go as far as starting their articles with provocative questions or equally provocative personal stories that do catch the initial attention of the audience yet have nothing to do with the contents of the post itself. While this might work for the first couple of minutes, this could also make the readers very disappointed with you, closing the article quickly and never visiting your website again.
So how to do this right?
1. Choose the right image
If your post’s headline is strong and informative enough, people already know what your post is going to be about. That’s why there’s no need to recite the obvious in your blog post intro. Instead, try to support the headline with the image.
These days most bloggers use images in their posts. If you are also going to use one, choose the one that is effective enough and is able to catch the readers’ attention. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exact and obvious – you can use indirect and bright images that still illustrate the main idea of the post well enough.
2. Address the reader
The reader opens your article looking for something. This could be a solution to a certain problem, an answer to a certain question, or simply information they need. Your goal here is to ensure the reader that they are going to get what they want. One of the simplest ways to do so is to ask them a question regarding a certain problem described in your post. For example: “Do you struggle to find inspiration for writing?” or “Did you know how can you use social media to become more intelligent?”.
3. Make it relatable
Most of the people share some common views and you can use that to create an amazing intro. When people feel like they can relate to the author, they are more willing to continue reading the article.
Making an intro more relatable is not hard – you can mention some of the common views in the introduction, noting that you share them too. This will allow you to establish an initial connection with your readers (even if this connection is a small one).
4. Make it clear
As we’ve already mentioned above, if an intro is catchy yet has nothing to do with the post itself, it would probably have the opposite effect. Don’t overload the readers with the information they don’t need in order to grab their attention. Instead, tell them what they’re going to find in your article and what not to expect from you.
5. Be exciting
Though using non-relatable information is not a good thing, this doesn’t mean that you need to be very straightforward all the time. Sometimes it’s okay to create a bit of a mystery surrounding the rest of your article, so the readers will become more intrigued. You can do so by promising to tell them something amazing later or by raising a topic you’re going to discuss in the text. A hint that you are going to reveal some things in your article but don’t list them right away. Allow the readers to anticipate what’s coming next – this way they’ll also enjoy the whole reading more if your content is as good as your introduction.
6. Add something personal
Another way to make an introduction more interesting is to share some personal experiences with the readers. This is good because of two things. First, this will already make your content look more original: even if some bloggers already wrote about the same topic, it’s unlikely that they shared the same personal stories that you do. Second, this will make the content look more personal to the readers – and that’s often the main reason they come reading the blog posts instead of online magazine: because of a personal touch.
By sharing some information about you or some story from your life you’ll add this personal touch to a story. You’ll also look more open and relatable to the audience, making a good impression right from the start.
7. Link it to the main part effectively
No matter how good your introduction is, it might still feel a bit off if not connected to the body of your text right. One of the hardest things in introduction writing is to link this intro to the main text in the most natural way.
To do so, check out the articles written by your favorite bloggers and pay attention to the way they connect the introduction to the body. They try repeating this or coming up with your own similar way of doing so.
Summing this up, the point of an introduction is not to repeat what the headline states. It has to pour some more light on the rest of the text, explaining why it’s worthy of the readers’ time. It also has to create a bond between you and the audience, making them feel like they can relate to you like they are in the right place, and you can help them.
You can write an introduction in so many ways and it’s completely okay. However, you should remember that any introduction has to meet the following guidelines: be catchy yet small and related to the rest of the text.
Hopefully, this article will help you understand that writing an introduction right is just as important for a writer as knowing all the marks and symbols for proofreading for an editor. Memorize these tips to learn how to create intros that do work and catch the readers’ attention effectively.
Maybe you too have some tips to share on introduction writing? In this case please do so in the comments below.
This is a guest contribution by Lori Wade, a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her on other social media.