Are you tired of reading this blog post already?
Hopefully not, though a surprisingly large number of people decide to switch off from a post, after having barely read the introduction.
The reason for this is that the introductions are poorly structured and don’t offer a compelling reason to keep reading. Since you’re here, there’s a good chance you’ve suffered this problem in your own writing and are fed up with people giving your posts the cold shoulder.
Well, it’s time to change all that, and give you a rundown of exactly how to begin a blog post.
What goes into a great blog post introduction?
1. The hook
The hook is usually just one line or shorter, and hooks the reader’s attention, giving them a desire to read the next line.
2. The transition
The transition is what ties the hook into the rest of the post, and leads the reader nicely onto the purpose of why you are writing.
3. The thesis
The thesis is where you summarise the topic that you have decided to discuss, and then give the reader a reason to keep reading.
7 top suggestions on how to start a blog post
When you see it like that, writing a great blog introduction may seem simple and straightforward. Well, most of the time it’s not.
Being able to write great introductions takes time, practice and creativity. But luckily, there are a number of different methods you can use to help give you a helping hand in the right direction.
Here are 7 such methods you can use to start writing killer introductions.
1. Ask a thought-provoking question
If ever you are asked a direct question in any format, you can’t help but think of an answer. This rule applies to the written word, which makes it a useful tool in the copywriter’s toolbox.
Simply think of a relevant yet interesting question and use it to start your post. The reader will immediately wonder why you thought to ask such a question and be hooked into reading more.
Sometimes the easiest way is to get the bulk of your article down first and craft your intro last. That way you can begin with an attention-grabbing question based on a reference you make later in your post.
Whenever you pick up a newspaper, what’s the first thing you’ll see on the cover? That’s right, some sort of shocking headline.
That’s because the shock factor causes people to stop and actually want to pick up and read the paper. You can apply the same logic by starting your post with a relevant but surprising statistic regarding the issue you wish to discuss in your post.
3. Write against the status quo
Being different is a great way to get noticed, and is a way you can hook the reader’s attention. If you begin your blog post with a crazy thought or unconventional idea you believe in, then the reader may be interested enough to hear the rest of your argument.
Obviously, you don’t want to start writing outrageous statements just for the sake of it, but if relevant don’t be afraid of holding back or offering a different perspective from the status quo.
4. Tell the reader something personal
Your hook is essentially you trying to build an immediate connection between you and the reader. Sharing with them something personal about yourself is a way to immediately give life and personality to your words.
A statement like “I was recently told I have 3 weeks to live”, is a powerful way to immediately set the tone and become intimate with the writer. As you can imagine, this tactic should only be used in certain circumstances, but don’t worry, you don’t always have to be quite that personal.
5. Start with a question somebody asked you
If you are an authority in your niche with any kind of readership, you could use questions you receive as a means to start your posts. It quickly demonstrates that people are asking you for advice and that what you’re saying is worth listening to.
Better yet, you want to try and use thought-provoking or insightful questions to best hook their attention. For example, “Somebody recently asked me, do you think it’s worth mortgaging my house to buy Bitcoin?” It introduces the topic and leads the post off with an interesting topic of discussion. If you’re stuck for other questions to raise around your field of expertise, Answer The Public is a good resource.
If people are reading your post because the title suggests you will answer a question they desperately need an answer to, then why not start with a success story? It immediately validates that you know what you are talking about, and can genuinely empathise with the issue they are facing.
This is similar to the point above and is best used when you do have some sort of readership or are imparting some form of expertise that you have built up over time. Better yet, it works well for readers who already know who you are, as well as those who’ve never heard of you before.
7. Get to the point
This technique applies to almost all aspects of your writing, and it is especially useful to do in your introductions. Rather than lead into a long and tedious description as to why you are writing about the topic, just tell them.
It doesn’t need to be as basic as “here is your problem, and here’s what you should do”, but should be along those lines in terms of honesty and forthrightness. People will appreciate the genuine help, without all the waffle.
Hopefully, now, you have a much firmer understanding of how to begin a blog post. The great thing about writing is that everyone and anyone has the ability to get better and improve their abilities.
Taking some time to understand the science behind a great introduction will help you with all future posts you write. If you’re stuck for inspiration, just pick one of the 7 suggestions above and get writing.
After some trial and error, you will quickly identify a few techniques that work best for you. Then, once you hit publish, just sit back and watch your fan base flourish.
Got any other tips on how to begin a blog post? Share them in the comments below.