With the huge number of blog posts published every day, it’s no wonder that people aren’t actually reading. It also means you’re competing with hordes of shiny new blog posts every day.
When web analytics company Chartbeatanalyzed the reader behavior of Slate Magazine’s website content, they found that 38 percent of readers who landed on their page simply left and didn’t even bother to read the intro. What’s more interesting is that those who decided to stay on the page scrolled only about 50 to 60 percent of the page.
What Makes a Powerful Blog Post Intro Anyway?
You can write helpful, entertaining, or data-packed blog posts; but without an intro to pull the reader in, the idea you’re conveying will be missed.
Remember in Alice in Wonderland when the white rabbit, with a waistcoat pocket and watch, ran past bored Alice and scurried down the rabbit hole?
You blog post opening should be the white rabbit. It should be something so interesting, so unexpected, that your reader can't help but follow you down the rabbit hole to keep reading.
How do you create an engaging blog intro?
Next time you're stuck, try one of our 10 blog post intro hacks - they might just unleash the inspiration you need to create your intro masterpiece.
Be creative in presenting facts by giving a new perspective. This will not only help build credibility, but also urge your readers to read further.
3. Entice Readers with an Interesting Conclusion
Opening a blog post with an interesting conclusion is a unique way to entice readers to continue reading. By doing so, you’ve already given your readers an idea of what to expect. The shorter the conclusion, the better.
In the example below, Social Media Examiner writes an effective hook by using an interesting conclusion in the form of a question:
4. Empathize with Your Audiences
Curious how the best copywriters and bloggers compel people to read their content?
When you successfully put your readers’ struggles into words, it clues them in that you will take them on a journey to finding a solution. For this reason, it’s extremely important to build your ideal customer persona by asking the right questions.
5. Keep Things Interesting with an Anecdote
Opening your blog post with an anecdote is like initiating small talk.
Think of your blog post intro as a chance to connect with someone you just met.
When you find out about someone’s interest through small talk, it's easier to transition to a smooth, flowing conversation.
Whether it’s your own personal story or some story that happened to someone else, anecdotes that hook are often riddled with a strong feeling or emotion. It’s no secret that great writing is like an emotional magnet — it pulls your readers into what you have to say.
No matter how dry or technical the subject, there will always be something about the subject where you can tap your audiences’ attention through an interesting anecdote.
In the example below, Michelle Lin of Content Marketing Institute flawlessly illustrates how a good story can keep your audiences interested.
6. Ask Away!
Questions are interactive.
A question enables your reader to relate to a problem. It lures them in to scroll down further and find out about the solution you’re offering in the meat of your post.
Take a look at this example by CoSchedule’s Nathan Ellering:
Be wary with rhetorical questions. While they can give that certain drama and flair to your intro, rhetorical questions may sound condescending for some readers. Use rhetorics wisely.
7. Be Controversial
Want to entice your readers further to your blog post?
Start with a controversial statement, and do it with the right mix of clever and finesse.
Take care not to write controversial statements that will most likely offend your readers. Be controversial enough to capture a few seconds of their attention, but make sure you’re using credible sources to back up your statement and not pushing too far.
Besides putting emphasis on one of the reader’s pain points, using but in one of the introductory sentences gives readers the impression that they’re plowing through the blog post quickly. Delayed transition words and phrases also serve as good stimuli for the reader to pay more attention.
Putting it All Together
Whether a one-liner or an entire paragraph, it pays to put some thought time into creating compelling blog post intros.
Kyjean Tomboc finished nursing school but found joy in plucking and stringing words to create value-driven content for brands in the health, life sciences, and lean startup niches. She loves everything strategic in creating content -- from CRO to SEO to SMM to UX (the Internet sure loves acronyms!). Her current obsessions include the human gut microbiome, A/B testing, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Kyjean is also a seasoned trekker.