Did you know that 500,000 blog posts are published each day on WordPress alone? And that 27 million pieces of online content are shared every day? As a writer, that’s a lot to compete with. So how do you get your content noticed through all the noise? One way is to have a killer introduction.
The introduction can quite literally make the difference between your content being read vs. not, so leading with a hook is key. Here are a 6 tips for writing the perfect introduction designed to capture your reader’s attention:
1. Start with a statistic
Remember the statistic about how many blog posts are published each day via WordPress in the opening sentence of this article? If you’re still with us here (which we hope you are!) then you’ll know stats are a great way to capture your audience’s attention because it worked on you! People love numbers, facts and stats to do with their industry or interests, so give them what they want – just be sure you can provide a link, source or otherwise back up your factoid somewhere in your post.
2. Ask a question
We snuck this tactic into our introduction as well — a double whammy with a question and a statistic in one sentence! Questions naturally spark a reader’s curiosity, so leading with questions relevant to the topic you’re covering (but not so simple a question readers can answer themselves) is key to getting them to read your post to find out more!
3. Use a quote
Let someone else do the talking, preferably someone famous, inspirational or an expert in the field of your topic. Quotes can set the tone for your post while also captivating the reader because they offer a personal touch, can evoke emotion and can even inspire the reader! When choosing a quote be sure it flows and adds value to the post.
4. Be controversial
Braving the muddy waters of controversy can be nerve-wracking depending on your content’s focus or industry, but testing your reader’s beliefs can also be a successful gateway for grabbing their attention and keeping it. Try starting your post with a controversial idea or statement, leaving the reader to wonder where you’re going with it — be sure to use the body of your text to build your defense for or against it, you don’t want to give away the whole story up front!
5. Say something funny
This one can be just as tough as adding controversial issues to your post because a lot of writers think their topic, blog or organization is too serious to be funny. Maybe a ‘yo mama’ joke isn’t the way to go, but humor and wit are fantastic ways to break the ice and are sure attention grabbers if used with a little something called comedic timing. If you make your readers (and yourself!) laugh or even crack a smile, they most likely will read on.
6. State a commonality
We know the age-old marketing rule that the best way to connect with your customer is to think like one… so be one with your reader! Offer up the idea that you both know, suffer, like, want, etc. the same thing and they’ll be intrigued. You may even have an answer or insights to one of their burning life questions.
Writing compelling introductions takes practice, so don’t give up if you re-write, copy, paste, delete and compulsively edit yours. Give one of these introduction tips a try and see if it helps you reel in your readers.
Which one of these tips do you find most compelling? Do you use any of them or do you have other strategies for writing introductions? Share them with us here in a comment or connect with us on our social channels — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+.