There is a lot of material out there aboutwrite great headlines. noGetting someone to click on your article is a critical part of your blogging strategy. But how about writingintroductions? CForcing readers to read your article is an art form in itself, and if you don't do it right, you'll be depriving yourself of potential promoters, subscribers, leads, and even paying customers. Take a look atthe next framefrom Schwartz to see what I mean. It shows where people stopped scrolling in an experiment spanning many articles across the web. Every time someone landed on an article, Chartbeat analyzed that visitor's behavior on a second-by-second basis, including which part of the page the person was currently viewing. YEach bar represents the proportion of readers who reached a certain depth in the article. Image credit:Board Of everyone who made it to an article, 10% never scrolled down.
There is a lot of material out there aboutwrite great headlines. noGetting someone to click on your article is a critical part of your blogging strategy. But how about writingintroductions?
CForcing readers to read your article is an art form in itself, and if you don't do it right, you'll be depriving yourself of potential promoters, subscribers, leads, and even paying customers.
Take a look atthe next framefrom Schwartz to see what I mean. It shows where people stopped scrolling in an experiment spanning many articles across the web.
Every time someone landed on an article, Chartbeat analyzed that visitor's behavior on a second-by-second basis, including which part of the page the person was currently viewing. YEach bar represents the proportion of readers who reached a certain depth in the article.
Of everyone who made it to an article, 10% never scrolled down.
So how do you get more people to scroll? One way is to write a powerful and compelling introduction.
So let's see how to improve it now, shall we? In this post, I will share with you how to write powerful introductions that turn casual browsers into readers.Article introductions are important, and here's how to make them count.
How to write a good introduction
- Keep your first sentence short.
- Do not repeat the title.
- Keep the introduction short.
- Use the word "you" at least once.
- Spend 1-2 sentences articulating what the article covers.
- Spend 1-2 sentences explaining why the article is important.
- Address a concern or problem your readers may have.
- But... be careful with telling stories.
- Use a statistic or fact to convey importance.
1. Keep your first sentence short.
I'm a big fan of short sentences. I love them because people can easily understand them. There is an incredible amount of value in short sentences that are readable, digestible, and punchy.
But often writers get so caught up in the stress of their introduction that they come up with long, jumbled sentences. The problem with long, confusing sentences is that it makes readers work hard. readers don'tto wantWork hard to understand your article, especially at first. Begin your introduction with one or two short sentences.
2. Algo unusual.
You've probably heard tips like "create a hook" and "grab the reader's attention." But what kinds of things really grab someone's attention? In fact, I can think of a lot of things that probably wouldn't be appropriate for an introduction.
What these oft-repeated phrases boil down to is this: say something unusual. Something unexpected, even. If your first sentence is weird enough that people want to read the next one, then you've done a good job. If you start with something boring or expected, you could lose potential readers.
3. Don't repeat the title.
Suppose the reader has already read the title. You don't need to write it again. Instead, take the opportunity to reinforce that headline and set the stage for the rest of the article.
4. Keep the introduction brief.
There is no definitive answer to the length of an introduction. But, like theBoardstudy told us, readers have short attention spans. They are impatient to get to the heart of the article. Your readers are looking for information, so don't hide it in your article. Come to the point.
5. Use the word "you" at least once.
The word “you” is a powerful word. It informs the reader that you, the author, are writing the article withtheyin mind. You identify with them, you care about them, and you want your piece to resonate with them. It's a simple trick that establishes a crucial connection with your reader.
here it isa great exampleofCloudPeeps'Shannon Byrne:
6. Spend 1-2 sentences articulating what the article is about.
Your English teacher would call this a "thesis." This is where you tell the reader what the article is about. What will they talk about, in order? What will the reader learn? Design a layout to help set reader expectations and help them decide if they want to read the entire article, scroll to different parts, or read nothing.
Don't be afraid to literally write "This article is aboutXor "In this article, I will talk aboutY.” Here are some variations on this theme to get you started:
- "You're about to find out why sea turtles always lay their eggs on the beach."
- "And if you've ever wondered why sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, here's everything you need to know."
- "This article explains 17 reasons why these amazing creatures lay their eggs on beaches."
- "Fascinating, funny and shocking, these are the reasons why sea creatures lay their eggs on the beach."
7. Spend 1-2 sentences explaining why the article is important.
It may be obvious toyouwhy the content of your article is important to your readers but might not be obvious to them. Let them know loud and clear why the information you cover in your article is important for them to know. You can compel readers who would otherwise have given up to keep reading.
In the introduction to this particular article, you will recall the following sentence:
UEIf you don't [write introductions] right, you're missing out on potential promoters, subscribers, leads, and even paying customers.
My goal here was to connect the topic of blog post introductions to the broader issues of readership, customers, and revenue.
8. Address a concern or problem your readers may have.
If you can get a sore spot in the intro, even better. Everyone in every field has their set of problems. You should already have some lists of whencreated their buyer personas. Communicate your knowledge of these topics in your introduction, and you're more likely to win sympathetic readers.
here it isa great examplefrom Buffer's Alex Turnbull, whose introduction here is a story format with a twist on the problem:
People want to solve their problems and articles that explain how to do it will help you win readers.
9. But... be careful when telling stories.
Many people will tell you that you need to write a story in the introduction.stories can work, as in the example above, but there are good and bad ways to tell stories in your intro.
Use storytelling to pique your reader's curiosity and build empathy for them. But don't get carried away and write a long story that loses readers along the way. Remember the tip about keeping presentations short? This still applies when you're telling a story.
here it isAn exampleFrom one of my own QuickSprout blog posts:
Note that I highlighted the "empathy" section, the first sentence. Here, I helped form a connection with my readers. So I told a little story about my own experience. After that, I ended the introduction with "what's next".
If you start your article with a story, here's a tip: don't reveal the conclusion until the reader has dug deeper into the article, or even until the end.
10. Use a statistic or fact to convey importance.
When journalists publish a story, they often provide readers with a compelling statistic or fact about what is happening. As a blogger or any other type of writer, a really interesting statistic or fact will hook your reader and show them why your topic really matters.
For example, let's say you're a plumber writing a blog post about pipe replacement. You can attract more readers if you start a post explaining how often old pipes burst in the winter. If readers notice that this is a common nuisance faced by others, they can read on to find out how they can avoid it.
The next time you write an introduction to an article, think about what type of introduction you would make.youI want to read the article.
Would a long, wordy first sentence make you want to read more? No. You may find yourself thinking,God, is this how the rest of the article is going to go?and jump off the page. How about a story or question that doesn't really apply to you? No, probably not.
To forceyouTo read beyond the introduction of an article, you want to read something unique, new, and engaging. Do you want to hear aboutyourselfmiareissues. You want to be in a position where the rest of the article is a must-read experience that will help you solve these problems and change your life.
Presentations are hard and writing effective presentations takes time and practice. Sometimes you may have to rewrite them several times before you are satisfied. Remember, it's all worth it if it means keeping a few more readers' attention.
Subjects: writing skills