If you don’t grab your audience in the first two or three lines, you certainly will not keep their attention for 500-800 words. And, that’s the goal, right? You want to keep them reading and coming back for more content.
After a few hundred blog posts you start to feel like you begin them all the same. If you are getting bored, your audience is likely becoming bored too.
It doesn’t have to be boring or tiring writing an intro. Here are few tricks to for grabbing their attention.
When I create my intro, I always ask myself one question, “Will this make them put down the phone to read this blog?” You need to wow them in the first few sentences. You want them to stop at that moment and feel that you are speaking directly to them.
Use powerful words. Construct your sentences well. Give them information that makes them think out loud or not their head. This is how you know you have connected well with your reader.
Put Your Reader in the Blog
Don’t use too many general terms.If you are writing to nurses, set up the audience in the title and the first sentence. Then, speak directly to the nurse who is reading the blog.
Do this by using the pronoun “you” as much as possible. Let’s explore this idea:
Nurses must be organized to be successful.
You must be organized to be successful.
Nurses have a hard job.
You have a hard job.
The pronoun “you” is powerful. It connects your reader to the solution you offer. It keeps them from wondering who you may be writing for and allows them to see themselves in the story.
Tell a Story
People love stories. They illustrate a point and help us to see the struggle in our mind’s eye. And, they create a hero or winner. And, who doesn’t love a winner?
Stories also give you a bit more creative freedom in your wiring. You can use active verbs and adjectives to catch their attention and bring home a simple truth.
Ask a Question
Do you ever start your blog post off with a question? If not, you should. Let me tell you why.
See what I did there? I just got you thinking about how often you use questions to start off your posts. You should not use the same format in every post, because it becomes predictable. But, starting off with a question allows you to connect with the reader and their habits.
Throw a Hook
I’m not advocating physically punching your audience in the face. But, you want to hit them in the face with your words.
Make it specific. Be succinct.
It may be a single word or a few short, punchy sentences, like above. Maybe the single thought that inspired the post is what you hook them within the first few sentences.
It is okay to throw out information that your audience may or may not like. Using the shock factor works. Just do this with caution.
You don’t want to turn them off in the first few sentences. You want to encourage them to read more. Make sure that your into doesn’t offend or alienate an entire sector of your audience. Bring them together with a single thought that makes everyone on both sides of the fence want to learn more.
Tell them the “Why”
I have grown a lot in the past few months in writing in a more conversational tone. One thing that has helped me is to remember that people don’t buy products, they buy the “why.” So, if I am writing a blog post about the new shingles vaccine, I may not start with dumping a ton of information on them about the vaccine.
First, I want to tell them why it is important they know and consider getting the vaccine. The details about the vaccine are rather mundane, but all of the consequences of not getting vaccinated pack punch. Start with the why.
Give Away the Farm
Many writers think that you need to wait until the end of the post to tell them the most important fact. This is not always true. Sometimes, you need to lead with the big stuff.
Okay, so we have covered some great tips for those first few sentences. Before you get to the body of the post, you must transition.
The transition doesn’t have to be a long paragraph. In fact, one or two well-crafted sentences typically works best. If you just hooked them into reading the intro, now you must lead them to the content. It needs to be quick and to the point.
Now that you have them hooked and transitioned into the body of the text, run with it! Give them all you have in a great well-planned out blog and watch your site visits rise!