Aside from the title, what part of your blog post needs the most work?
If you said the main body, your blog stats are probably telling you that you’ve got a high bounce rate and people aren’t hanging around to read your posts.
How do I know this? Because you’re not recognising how important the first few sentences of your posts are.
It doesn’t matter how great the rest of your post is as they simply won’t get that far if you don’t hook them from the get got.
This is why you need to pay special attention to the opening of your posts and get to grips with some of the tried-and-tested ways to grab your reader’s attention:
Ask a Question
I started this post with a rhetorical question as it’s one of the most effective ways to draw your readers in and make them think right from the off.
When we’re asked a question, we usually want to answer it (subconsciously, if nothing else!) and that’s the simple reason that this tip works so well.
Ideally, you’ll follow this up with an answer – mostly straight away but sometimes you’ll see bloggers keep an air of mystery in the introduction and keep readers guessing for a little bit longer.
There are two ways that asking questions can help you to connect with readers.
The first option is to lead with a question that they can relate to. This can be to do with a problem that they want to solve or a situation that resonates with them. This gets them thinking, which is a great way to get them engaged in your post from the very beginning.
My opening to this post veered more towards this one as I wanted to gauge how much emphasis you place on introductions. Some of you may have known the answer but if you’re not a blogger, you may have assumed that the nitty gritty of a post is always the most crucial bit to work on.
Neil Patel also uses this tactic in this post:
Alternatively, you can go with a burning question that your readers will be desperate to know the answer to.
Using a question doesn’t have to be the very first part of your introduction. You may choose to use it after another tactic, for example.
Anecdotes or Stories
If they’re interesting and have some relevance to the post, anecdotes can be an intriguing way to open a blog post.
If it’s done well, you won’t be left wondering where the blogger is going with the anecdote or analogy as they’ll be able to tie it seamlessly back to their blog topic.
Here’s here CoSchedule have used this to great effect in this post:
As you can see, this anecdote is immediately intriguing. Bet you really wanted to find out what happened 7 years ago that was so memorable, right?
Anecdotes can take a few different forms. They can be personal and relate back to something that has happened to you, or they can be about other people (as the CoSchedule example above demonstrates). Either way, it’s got to be interesting and have a strong connection to your blog topic … even if this isn’t immediately obvious to the reader until you elaborate and tie it into the theme.
Incorporating facts and stats into introductions backs up the points you’re making and sets the scene for why you’re writing the post in the first place. This kind of opening tells your readers exactly why they should care about the topic in question and can work better in a lot of situations than leading with personal anecdotes or stories.
Here’s how Neil Patel uses stats in the opening for his post on creating great graphics to use on social media:
The Bottom Line …
Introductions are a key chance to hook your reader and make them feel that your post is going to be relevant to them. In fact, it’s your only chance as most people will simply move on if they don’t connect with what you’re saying. Get this part right, and there’s a much bigger chance that the rest of your post will actually get read.