If 10 people started reading your blog post at the same time, only 1 will be left after half a minute. That ‘s true if you don’t write blog post introductions that get your readers hooked.
A blog post introduction sells the rest of your post to the reader. Its purpose is to convince the reader that the entire post is worth their time. If it does not hook the reader within the first 30 seconds or less, it would have failed the rest of the post and scare away 90% of the readers.
It is an undeniable fact that readership has drastically reduced with several technological advancements. People will only read something they believe is of utter value to them.
The Time Magazine estimates that 55% of readers will spend 15 seconds reading a post. This is the average time spent on reading the introduction.
If people are going to spend less than 15 seconds reading your blog post, it simply means that the introduction gave them no reason to keep reading.
This post will show you exactly how to write irresistible blog post introductions that drive more readers to the body of your post.
But before that, let’s first look at what makes a great blog introduction.
A complete blog post introduction has three main elements:
This is the first sentence of your introduction.
Its purpose is to quickly grab your reader’s attention, excite them, spark their curiosity or create suspense to motivate the reader to keep reading. The hook has to be short while remaining relevant and exciting.
For example, I started my introduction above by stating that only 10% of readers will continue reading your post within the first 30 seconds if your introduction is not impressive. That was my hook.
The purpose of a hook is not only to get the reader’s attention but also lead them naturally to reading the next part of your introduction – the transition.
The transition makes sense of your title and the hook by showing how it is relevant to the post. After my hook, I go ahead to explain why 90% of readers will quickly lose interest in your post and why a punchy introduction is necessary.
A thesis gives a compelling summary of your post title and promises value to the reader if they keep reading.
In my introduction, the thesis complements the title. It does this by making clear the purpose of this post, which is to show you how to write blog post introductions that are hard to resist.
Now that you know the different parts of a complete introduction, let me show you how to craft each of these parts in a way that the reader finds it hard to click the back arrow on their browsers.
An outstanding blog post starts with a great first line.
You might not believe it, but it is very easy to put off readers with a dull or offensive opening sentence. I’m calling this first sentence of an introduction a hook because its purpose is to hook or grab the reader’s attention as soon as they start reading.
If it does not succeed at that, then it’s simply a meaningless sentence in your blog post introduction.
So, how do you write a hook that captivates the reader immediately?
Here are valuable ways to achieve that:
People love facts. But what is a fact and how do you decide which one is right to use as your hook?
The Oxford dictionary defines a fact as something that is known or proved to be true. If you’re going to start your hook with a fact, make sure that it’s interesting and something that has been researched and known to be true.
This piece on BBC started with a shocking fact.
The reason why a fact is effective as a hook for an introduction is that it surprises the reader with information that is completely new to them. That is why you cannot come up with a random fact and expect it to excite anyone. It has to be true, interesting and new.
Take a look at these two facts about the universe, for example. Both are true, but which one do you think would make a great hook that makes you want to know more?
”The sun makes up to 99.86% of the mass of the solar system. It’s big enough to accommodate 1.3 million Earths.” BBC
”Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.”
Both of these facts are true, but I believe most people would be more curious about the first one and strive to find out more. If the fact is true but commonly known or uninteresting, it won’t be that effective as a hook. It will not drive a reader to the next section of your introduction and ultimately to the entire post.
Some people might even feel offended if you tell them something a three-year-old knows. Go for facts that are not overused in your specific niche.
Asking a question is one of the most efficient ways to start a blog post introduction. Questions, especially critical ones, arouse curiosity and build the desire to discover the answer by reading the whole post.
For example, I started this post on how to write an article with a question.
When using a question as a hook, you should avoid questions that have a direct one-word answer, for example, “yes” or “no” and nothing more. The question must challenge the reader to think or arouse their curiosity to know more.
One way to make questions more productive as introduction hooks is to tailor them to relate to the reader’s problems and promise to give them a solution. For example, if you’re writing a blog post for patients with acne problems, you could start your introduction with these questions:
Is acne giving you sleepless nights? Would you like to find out the ultimate solution to your acne problem? This post will provide all the answers you have been looking for.
The first part of this question gives the reader the idea that you’re aware of their problem.
In the marketing world, customers trust more brands that take the time to understand their problems than those just trying to sell them products. So, by showing the reader that you understand their problem when you ask a question that is related to that problem, you indirectly build trust.
The second question shows the reader that you know their problem, understand that they need a solution and you’re probably going to offer it. The question should always be preceded by a promise that you have a solution, and if that person keeps reading, they will discover it.
Many quotes have become so much of clichés.
In fact, most people don’t take them seriously anymore. That is why you need to be careful if you’re going to start your introduction with a quote.
Some people consider quotes to be old school and unnecessary in writing. But it’s not all lost for these poetic phrases. Actually, they are still effective, especially when used at the beginning of a piece of writing.
The problem is, not all kinds of writing marry well with quotes. Some are effective when used in literary and academic writing.
So, if you’re writing a blog post about the beauty of poetry, a quote from a famous poet would be a perfect hook. But if your post is about How to become a freelance writer, a quote from a renowned philosopher would make little sense.
So, the trick is first to understand whether it is okay to use a quote.
Making a bold claim is another great way to start a blog post introduction. A claim can either be about what you’re going to help the reader achieve in your post or about something you have achieved.
Example: This post will show you how to make $1,000 in 3 weeks.
See how Darren Rowse of Problogger started this post with a claim about how much he earns from Amazon.
You should, however, remember that when you make a claim you can defend or prove it. This goes especially for personal claims about things you think are going to happen.
For example, if you start your blog post with the following claim:
The world is never going to end
Do you have enough information or facts and statistics to back up that claim? If not, it would be null and void, and you will only succeed in irritating the reader.
Stories are powerful attention grabbers.
People connect more with stories because of the human touch they bring with them and the feeling that they are part of that story. If you start your introduction with a story, the reader will be hooked immediately and will invariably be curious to know what happened next.
Look at how the author of this post on Medium started with a story.
Controversy is a great way of getting people to engage in a discussion if used moderately or at low levels. This is according to a research done by Wharton Business School.
For example, this post on gay sex vs. straight sex elicited so many responses because it is an openly controversial topic.
However, controversial sentiments should be used carefully. You don’t want to write something that hurts some of your loyal readers or possibly get you in trouble.
If used carefully, controversy can be effective in hooking the reader and leading them through the entire post.
The best way to use controversy is to back it up with facts that justify your position as a writer. If the reader feels that you have proved your point using credible evidence, they won’t feel much offended even if they don’t agree with your perspective on a certain topic.
A controversial hook will only work if the entire post is about a controversy. You cannot start a straightforward blog post with a controversial introduction. Or maybe you start with controversy then avoid saying anything about it in the post.
After capturing the reader’s attention with a captivating hook, you don’t want to leave them hanging. They didn’t open your post just to read a single sentence and walk away. They need more.
The transition explains or backs up the hook with more facts and details. For example, if you had started the introduction by asking a question, the purpose of the transition would be to give a glimpse of the answer or a promise that you’re going to answer that question in the body of the post.
You should not reveal a lot in your introduction. If you do, the reader will feel that they already know what they wanted to know and have no reason to keep reading.
The introduction should only hint to them that what they are looking for is, indeed, in the body of the text. That is the work of the transition part of an introduction.
The thesis is the last part of your introduction. After hooking the reader and transitioning them using more facts and information, the thesis is what you need to justify the reader’s willingness to keep reading.
The thesis gives a summary of the topic and how the post is going to benefit the reader. It should, therefore, be written in such a way that perfectly nails the reader’s desire to keep reading.
A blog post introduction is the only opportunity you have to convince the reader that your content is worth their time. If you make it dull, the reader will assume the rest of the article is boring and decide not to read it.
You may, therefore, have a great post, but since you created a bland first impression with your introduction, people may not read it.
You have to give your readers a reason to keep reading. This can only be achieved by crafting powerful blog post introductions.
Hi, I’m Mercy Mmbone. My mission is to help beginner freelance writers find success online. Even if you don’t have a degree, becoming a successful freelance writer is not as difficult as you’d think. The most important thing you’ll need to get started is self-motivation.
I’m honored to have worked with many popular companies including Ring Central and Freelancer FAQs.