What is a blog post introduction?
Whether you’re writing a blog post for a client or for your website the introduction is a way to hook your audience and convey what your writing is here for. It can’t afford to be boring or irrelevant, and it has to have some kind of ‘wow’ factor.
As a freelance writer, your introductions have the power to help sell your work to clients, making a strong impression from the start. If you’re writing for your own blog your introductions are the first thing potential clients will read, meaning they need to showcase your talent to advertise your skills.
Even with the rise of unified communications as service providers, written content has broad appeal—especially in a business environment. This means that the art of the blog intro still has a place in today’s world. So it’s important to get it right!
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Importance of writing a good introduction for your blog
1. It instantly captures the reader’s attention
Today’s attention spans are short, and you can’t give readers a reason to reject your content. Having a good quality introduction makes it harder for readers to turn away.
2. It lets the readers know about the topic or the overall content
Do you want to inform readers about a topic? Share the best email finder tools? Do you just want to make them laugh? Having a clear indicator of what a blog is about is essential.
3. It gives the readers a good impression making them stay and finish the content
First impressions count for a lot. If an article starts well, it’s easier for readers to assume the rest of the article is solid too.
4. It influences the readers to view your other content
If your article stays good from start to finish, why stop there? Even if an article isn’t what someone is looking for, its overall quality can encourage them to seek out your other work.
10 tips on how to write a good blog post introduction
1. The opening sentence should be concise and captivating
It’s usually a good idea to keep introductions short, avoid jargon, and prioritize the information readers are looking for.
Doing so helps to keep the rest of the writing focused on the reader’s needs: one of several persuasive writing techniques we can use in the body of the writing.
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2. Get the readers engaged by making a connection
Has this ever happened to you? It doesn’t matter what “this” is; readers will immediately notice the word “you.”
As such, it’s a great move to use it in an introduction. If you can, try to use it (or slight variations) a few times for maximum effect.
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3. Understand the psyche of your readers
Starting a piece of writing is a little like starting a business. It demands a clear sense of who you’re selling to. This means taking time to find out who your readers are.
The nature of the publication can offer some clues. For instance, a scientific website will demand a certain level of poise and expertise. But a website aimed at the end-user can be a little less formal and more accessible.
While today’s search engines look for useful, articulate copy, writing skill is only half of the equation. Today’s writers must ensure they’re considering other components of a blog post, from meta descriptions to alt tags. Use our checklist to maintain your site’s presence in the search rankings.
4. Help them visualize the value of the content
Clearly laying out the problem that your writing will solve is a great move. It helps you to establish the article’s value quickly and makes reading the next paragraph (and the next) a little bit easier.
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5. Focus on how to deliver the answers to your 5 Ws
When creating something, it’s often helpful to work off a framework—like a workflow document template, for example. Writing is no different, and it’s here that the 5 Ws come into play.
This refers to five questions good writers ask of their writing: who, what, when, where, and why. The specifics of these questions will naturally vary, but if you can work all of them into an intro you’re off to a good start.
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If you’ve been waiting to learn, wait no longer; now is always the perfect time to start. This article comes with all the information you need to get started with the craft of drawing.
6. Tell a story
Another solid strategy is opening with an anecdote—one that demonstrates an understanding of a reader’s problem. We appreciate other people’s perspectives, as this page on 8×8 products and reviews demonstrates.
Of course, storytelling within an introduction has its challenges. It’s easy to write something too long, boring the reader and leaving the rest of the article unread.
Alternatively, you may have the other problem; having a story that wraps up too early. Think about concluding the story at the article’s end to give people a reason to consume it all.
When I was 18 years old, I started my first job at a corner shop. I’d known Mr. McTaggart – the smiling proprietor – since I was about five years old. But that smile soon faded when I began working for him – and vanished forever two weeks into the job.
I might have lost Mr. McTaggart’s smile. But I gained something infinitely more valuable in exchange.
7. Include compelling questions
Asking a question is often a great move in an article. It begs a response and encourages readers to keep going.
Open-ended questions (about a reader’s current situation, for instance) and rhetorical questions are great ways of reeling in a reader.
Want to keep things simpler? A yes/no question can be used to great effect here too.
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8. Add some intriguing statements
You can draw readers in with a spot of controversy. For example, you could say something unsettling to your target audience. Heck, you could even drop a couple of swear words: something that’s easier to justify if you’re running your own blog. (Use with care!)
Just make sure you don’t mislead your audience. Like website downtime, a poor choice of words can affect both your reputation and reader numbers.
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9. Know your reader’s problem and set an empathetic tone
People always like a personal connection. Introduce empathy into your writing by talking about your experience in the same situation, or touching upon something similar. You may need to do some research on the problem—and then figure out how to boil the problem down to an opening paragraph.
Showing this empathy is a great way of making your writing more authoritative, even if you don’t have first-hand experience with a problem.
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10. Include some statistics and fun facts
Having a compelling fact in your blog’s opening lends your work some added authority. It can also help to convey why your writing is important.
Depending on the nature of your writing, the statistic or fact will vary. If you’re writing some kind of how-to guide (on cybersecurity, for instance) you might want to discuss a recent rise in malware use. If your article is more lighthearted, you may want to go with something offbeat instead.
Just make sure there’s an obvious reason for the fact at some point down the line.
Did you know pirates wore earrings to improve their eyesight?
It sounds ridiculous, but it turns out a lot of piratical habits weren’t as silly as you might think. Read on to learn more—and who knows? You might pick up a couple yourself.
What sets a good blog post introduction apart?
A good blog post introduction has a clarity of vision, an economy of words, and a source of authority. It knows who it’s aimed at and the greater purpose it exists to serve.
It is clever, but always in the service of its readers. It doesn’t try to show off or use words that are irrelevant or obtuse. Instead, it is attuned to what is concerning its audience – and promises that a solution to their woes is just around the corner.
Improve your blog post introductions
An introduction is a crucial part of any blog post. You need to grab people’s attention and ensure you can hold it until the end. That’s where these tips will come in handy.
Have a clear goal in mind for the article and consider how to make it resonate with the people reading it. At the same time, try to keep introductions shorter rather than longer. Bearing these tips in mind will help you start all your writing on the right foot.
About the author
Richard Conn is the Senior Director for Demand Generation at 8×8, a leading communication platform and cloud PBX providers with integrated contact center, voice, video, and chat functionality. Richard is an analytical & results-driven digital marketing leader with a track record of achieving major ROI, and improvements in fast-paced, competitive B2B environments. Richard has also written for other domains such as Combin and LoyaltyLion. Check out his LinkedIn.
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