So, you’ve been writing and publishing articles on your blog for some time now with nothing to show for it.
You’ve always tried to put your very best in every article you write, but each time you hit the publish button, you’re often disappointed at the engagement it brings.
Could it be that you’re not good enough?
Or, is it that there’s a magic wand that Henneke, Jon Morrow, and Ana Hoffman are using that bring them lots of visits and engagement each time they dish out a new post?
Now tell me…
Assuming you are provided with an opportunity that would make you able to write articles that eventually increase your blog’s popularity and turn it into an authority site like The Huffington Post, Mashable, Cracked, Lifehacker, or Techcrunch, wouldn’t you grab it with both hands?
How To Write A Great Introduction anywhere
In case you don’t know, the introduction of your article plays a vital role in helping people decide whether or not to read the rest of the blog post. If your introduction is persuasive enough, the tendency is that the reader will settle down to see what else you have written.
But when your introduction sucks, the reader quickly brushes aside your post and moves on with life. That is the reason why you must pay proper attention to what you say in your introduction.
Now, how exactly do you make that happen? Here are a few things you can do.
1. Make Your First Sentence Stick
If your blog post needs to make a positive impact on your reader, the first sentence should be able to do that. It should be able to stick in the brain of the reader and make them understand what the post is all about.
How do you create such an impact?
Use A Quote:
- Somerset Maugham used to say, “If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.”
Create A Story:
- I was about to shut down my blog for its inability to generate income. Then, on my way to the café, I received an alert: I just made my first sale.
Ask A Thought-Provoking Question:
- Do you want to know the number one reason why bloggers don’t take their blogs seriously as a business?
- According to Fevered Mutterings, 95% of bloggers give up on their blogs and look for something else to do.
Make that first sentence create such intrigue that the reader can’t help but read the rest of the post.
2. Give Reasons
Whenever you are writing, always remember that your words are significant. For someone to stop what they’re doing and give you their attention, you need to give them a solid reason why they should do so. And there’s no better place to do that other than in your introductory paragraph.
- If I’m the one reading this article, what would grab my attention and keep me hooked until the end of the post?
- Why should I abandon every other thing I’m doing and read this blog post?
Believe me, if you’re able to get this right, you won’t find it difficult to grab your reader’s attention.
Let me tell you this: People’s response to a request is usually higher when they are provided with a good reason why they should take a desired action.
Humans have curious minds, and as such, they want to have a reason behind every action or step they are about to take. One good way to persuade people to read your entire article is to give them a reason why they should do so.
To make them stick around, this reason has to be provided in the introduction.
According to Jon Westenberg in a post he published on Inc. – My time is finite. I run a successful coaching and publishing startup, but I don’t have an unlimited number of hours, minutes, or seconds left on this rock. So when people create content or communicate with me, they have to make it clear why I should give some of that time to them and not to my fiancé, my business, my family, my cat, or my damn Xbox.”
The chance to entice people to give you their time is pretty slim; it’s all about first impressions, and you only have one opportunity to make a first impression. If it’s not a good one, you’ll lose the prospect.
3. Make Use Of Comparisons
Every reader already has their “truth”. Try and relate to that in your introduction and you will have them on your side.
Try to show a comparison that bridges what they know and what you want them to know.
For instance, comparing the cost of your blog coaching package to that of the salary of an online magazine writer can create a significant effect. The reader will be able to compare their investment vs. their potential returns.
You can also compare your services with that of your competitor. Explain why you’re different (and better).
Always have in the back of your mind that, as a writer, some of the best tools you can use are similes, metaphors, and comparisons.
4. Make Your Opening Controversial
The human mind is programmed by nature to not swallow every piece of information hook, line, and sinker. We sometimes enjoy controversial issues. This is even more so when the controversy stems from someone we trust and see as an authority.
Persuading people to read your blog posts does not depend on just having several posts on your site; rather, it depends on the value the readers place on those posts. There’s nothing bad in disagreeing with other authorities, especially if you have contrary views that you can back up with stats or proof.
Opening your introduction with statements that are controversial, or writing on controversial topics can be a simple way to grab the attention of the reader quickly. Such openings make them pay more attention. They are more interested in getting to the end of the post to see if they’ve been persuaded.
However, as a professional blogger, it is advisable to not always be controversial, as this can easily make some of your readers lose their trust in you and abandon your blog for good.
So, when talking about a controversial topic, use caution.
5. Tell An Interesting Story
Who doesn’t like listening to stories?
… No one.
Most people enjoy stories, especially when they’re interesting, informative, and entertaining. One of the qualities of a good copywriter is mastering the art of storytelling. Look around the internet today, and you will see the impact of this.
While writing your introduction, employ the use of storytelling to empathize with your reader and spark up their curiosity. However, don’t be carried away and end up writing long, boring stories that will only succeed in pushing your reader away.
Master this and you’ll keep your readers hooked.
6. Keep The Introduction Short
People love reading shorter sentences which they can easily understand.
When writing, try as much as possible to avoid long, complicated sentences because a lot of readers find it difficult to comprehend them. Minimize the use of unnecessary adverbs, adjectives, and words that hardly help make your point clear.
7. Use Simple, Exact Words
This is not the right time to showcase your grammatical prowess; excessive use of grammar or jargon can actually scare away a lot of your readers. Try and use words that can easily be understood without consulting a dictionary.
Your readers are not linguistics students, and they may never be comfortable if you try to talk to them in complex English.
There are always simpler synonyms you can use:
- “Exert leverage” -> “Take advantage of”
- “Peruse the book with precision” -> “Read the book thoroughly”
Even simpler versions of simple words:
- “Purchase” -> “Buy”
Make it easy for your readers to read, and they will read.
8. Make Your Topic Unique
It is almost impossible to see a topic out there on the internet that has not been talked about by someone.
Most things are simply being recycled from one blogger to another. You can avoid falling into the trap of doing what everyone else is doing by making your post unique, even if the idea is not.
Change the way a topic has been presented, and add in your unique voice or touch to it.
But here’s the trick: Make it unique right from the introduction.
For instance, a lot of people have written on the topic “how to make money from home”, but you can make it unique by writing on “15 Super Simple Ways To Make Money From Home And Enjoy An Early Retirement”.
Then, while writing the introduction, talk about that unique angle- what it is, why it’s important, and how to master it.
9. Agitate And Offer
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a problem.
People are seeking for solutions to their various problems, and they will readily listen to anyone who understands their plight and perhaps has a solution for their challenges. You need to identify the trouble they are having, concentrate and lay more emphasis on the problem, and then offer them a solution.
When you lay emphasis on the problem, it’s not because you are cruel, it’s because you really want to show compassion. You simply let the reader know that you understand their plight and that you can solve their problem because of your experience in handling similar cases.
They then trust your expertise and read your post in order to get the solution the introduction promises to deliver.
You need to sound very empathetic, as if you know what your reader (singular) is going through. Write in such a way that they will feel as if you’re addressing them directly.
10. Make Predictions
Just imagine telling your readers ten years ago that in the next decade, footballers would be earning up to $600,000 every week. You would then be one of the respected voices in the football world today because your prediction came true.
Make mind-boggling predictions in your introduction. Your readers will stick around and finish the post just so they won’t loose any insight into the industry you are so knowledgeable about.
However, be sure you have a thorough knowledge of the subject before making any predictions; otherwise, you will look stupid when you say something really wrong.
Making predictions comes from your ability to analyze situations and critically think far ahead into the future.
Learning To Write A Great Introduction
The next time you write an introduction, put yourself in your reader’s place and see if you would stick around and read the rest of the article. If you think it’s good enough to grab your own attention, then I bet it’ll also be good for your readers.
This is not rocket science; anyone can do it.
You just have to see things from your readers’ eyes and keep practicing.
Do you still feel like you aren’t writing better and more persuasive introductions? Let me know in the comments below and I’d be happy to help!
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