Do you know that the attention span of an average online user is just 8 seconds? In comparison, the attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.
In such a competitive content marketing world, how do you grab the attention of your readers when thousands of other blog posts are also trying to do the same?
First, we write great headlines, right?
We all know that 8 out of 10 people just read the headlines. If they find those headlines interesting, they click. Otherwise, they simply ignore and jump off to some other website or blog post.
Writing magnetic headlines is essential; there is no doubt about that. But it is not the headline that keeps them going.
The purpose of every headline is to make the readers read the first line or introduction of the post. It is up to that introduction to keeps readers hooked until the end.
In this post, we discuss how to write that compelling introduction for a blog post that keeps your readers going.
1. ADDRESS THE PROBLEM
You may have already addressed the problem in the headline, but you need to expand on it in the introduction of your blog post.
Let’s take this blog post (the one that you are reading right now) as an example.
Before you started reading, you already knew that writing good introductions for blog posts is a hassle. It doesn’t always come off. But when we started this blog post, we really dived into it and amplified the problem.
We gave you statistics, mentioned scientific studies, and presented logical reasons that all pointed to the same direction, i.e., writing a good enough introduction is hard.
We clearly identified and addressed the problem you are currently facing.
One of the core concepts of writing a great introduction is to sympathize with your readers.
You know they have a problem. You have written a great solution in the form of a blog post, but your job doesn’t end here. You need to be able to show your readers that you understand their problem.
Address the issue at hand and sympathize with them. Let them know that they are not alone. Tell them that the problem they are facing is a common one — if it indeed is. This is also the reason why writers prefer to use the word “you” in a blog post.
When you sympathize with them and make them feel good, your online readers believe that they can also solve the problem. They feel hopeful, and when they do, they read the entire blog post.
Here is a wonderful example of a great introduction that not only sympathizes with the readers but also makes them feel good and hopeful.
You can also tell them of a time when you also faced a similar problem that they are facing right now. It inspires confidence that they can also get out of it. It builds up to the solution you are going to present, which leads to our next point …
3. PROMISE A SOLUTION
Almost every good blog post is basically a solution to a given problem. For example, this blog post is about writing compelling introductions. It is a problem for you to write good introductions, and this post teaches you how to do that.
But that is not enough.
I also need to make a promise that I have the solution.
Again, online users do not have enough time to read an entire blog post to see if it contains the solution they want. They want to know it beforehand.
You can promise a solution like we did in this post — after first explaining the issue at hand. Or you can be short and direct right away. For instance:
“Want to know how to make your blog posts go viral? Here are 10 proven methods that will definitely spark some solid ideas.”
4. START WITH A COMPELLING QUESTION OR STATISTICS
People like to be challenged.
When you ask them a question, they feel more engaged. It is much easier to hook them with a good question than it is with an affirmative statement.
That’s why it is always a good idea to start your blog post with a question. Bonus points for you if you can make them nod positively.
On the other hand, you can also open your blog post with an interesting fact. When you make a claim, however, you also need to back it up. So it is a good idea to create a link to a credible source — which makes you look more credible.
Starting your blog post with a statistics gives you a definite advantage. Numbers and datas are more likely to grab your reader’s’ attention and make them feel curious to read what is coming next.
And if you notice, this current blog post that you are reading had both of these qualities in its introduction. It opened with a question that also contained an interesting statistical piece of information that stopped you in your tracks and made you think.
And guess what, you are still reading this blog post.
5. PAINT A PICTURE
Can you help your readers visualize the issue at hand?
They may already have a good idea of the problem. Perhaps, that’s the reason why they would be reading the blog post in the first place. But visualization can have a much greater impact.
In the first point, we emphasized the importance of addressing the problem. That’s essential. By painting a picture, you help your readers imagine the exact problem, which makes them feel more about it and see it more clearly.
Here is a very good example.
6. WRITE SHORTER SENTENCES
The above-mentioned tips taught you “what” you can and should do when writing an introduction. This particular tip teaches you “how” to do it.
Whichever technique you choose to go with, it is important that you create the introduction of your post with shorter sentences and paragraphs.
You want your website visitors to stay longer on your web pages. They are not going to do that if they are greeted with a huge wall of text with no proper formatting.
Following are two images. See which introduction feels “easier” to read.
Here is the first introduction.
And here is the second one.
Although the first one is also very well written, it feels slightly difficult to read because it is so congested.
On the other hand, the second introduction is much more relaxed and easy to read and follow. Again, the attention span of average online readers is very small and shrinking rapidly. You want to make it as easier for them to read and absorb the information as possible.
This expanded format of shorter sentences and paragraphs also make them stay longer on your blog, which eventually helps you in achieving higher search engine rankings. So, it is a win-win solution for you.
Writing a compelling introduction for your blog post may seem a bit hard, but it really isn’t. You just need to follow these proven tactics.
Start with a compelling statement, question, or statistics, then clearly address the problem, sympathize with your readers, promise a solution, and write in shorter sentences and paragraphs.