Can your average blog introduction hook a reader within 52 seconds? If not, it doesn’t matter how compelling the rest of your post is, because the reader is already gone. We’ll explain how to start articles and keep reading hooked on your content.
The benefits of learning how to start articles the right way are lower bounce rates and improved user engagement. No matter how much time and effort you pour into an article, if your readers don’t find it captivating from the start, they will click away from your website, likely never to return.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for crafting the perfect article introduction, we can certainly share some ideas to help you enhance that crucial initial section of your content.
Check out this statistic:
Think about it for a minute, you spend a lot of time researching your article, writing, editing and polishing it before publishing. A poor introduction will sink your engagement and cause visitors to bounce straight back to Google, wasting all the time and effort you took to write the content.
Okay, without further ado, let’s dive into the topic of starting your article.
Table of Contents on How to Start Articles
- Keep it Short: The Critical 52 Second Window
- Kick It Off with a Startling Fact
- Unleash Suspense with “Tell the End of a Story” technique
- Get personal with the “Use an Anecdote” technique
- Make a Killer First Sentence
- Start with an Agreement
- Highlight the Problem
- Explain the User Benefits of Reading the Article
- Say Something Unexpected
- Final Thoughts on How to Start Articles
Keep it Short: The Critical 52 Second Window
Keep your visitors hooked with a short and sweet introduction. After reading your opening section readers should immediately know what you are writing about and what to expect in the following sections.
Your blog introduction plays the starring role in preventing visitors from hitting that exit button.
Here’s what you should aim for:
- Set Clear Expectations: Give your readers a preview of what’s coming up in the rest of the article.
- Hook Their Interest: We’ll discuss various techniques for achieving this later in the article, so stay tuned for some exciting ideas.
- Address Pain Points: Don’t forget to touch on those key pain points that your readers can relate to.
Kick It Off with a Startling Fact
Starting your blog introduction with a compelling fact can be a fantastic strategy. It instantly grabs your reader’s attention and showcases the topic’s importance.
Of course, the fact needs to be relevant to the topic.
By visually setting apart the fact from the rest of your content, you not only capture attention but also provide readers a chance to rest their eyes. This approach significantly boosts the scannability of your content, a crucial aspect since most readers tend to scan articles before deciding to commit to reading them.
Adds facts throughout your articles, especially in the introduction section.
Unleash Suspense with “Tell the End of a Story” technique
Ever watched a TV show that began with the climax, only to rewind and reveal how it all led to that point? It’s a captivating technique, and you can use it in your blog introduction too.
This strategy, aptly named “Tell the End of the Story,” creates an air of suspense and intrigue that readers find irresistible. They’re eager to unravel the journey that led to that intriguing conclusion. So, why not give it a try in your blog posts?
Here are some tips for using this strategy:
- Start with the end: Begin your introduction by telling the end of the story or situation you will be discussing.
- Create suspense: Use language that creates suspense and makes readers want to know more.
- Explain how it happened: After revealing the end of the story, work backward to explain how it happened.
- Be concise: Keep your introduction short and to the point, focusing on the most important details.
- Make it relevant: Make sure the story or situation you are discussing is relevant to your topic and will be of interest to your readers.
- Avoid spoilers: Be careful not to give away too much information in your introduction, as this can spoil the story for readers.
It’s a great technique but you need to make sure the story or situation you are discussing is relevant to your topic and audience.
Get personal with the “Use an Anecdote” technique
This strategy involves writing a short, personal story or experience that is related to the topic of your blog post.
Here are some tips for using this strategy:
- Make it personal: Use a story or experience from your own life to make the introduction more personal and relatable.
- Make it relevant: Make sure the anecdote is relevant to the topic of your blog post and will be of interest to your readers.
- Keep it short: Keep the anecdote short and to the point, focusing on the most important details.
- Create interest: Use language that creates interest and makes readers want to know more.
- Transition smoothly: After telling the anecdote, transition smoothly into the main topic of your blog post.
- Avoid oversharing: Be careful not to overshare personal information that is not relevant to the topic of your blog post.
This technique is best used by experienced bloggers who have years of knowledge and experience in their field and so likely have many personal anecdotes they can share.
Make a Killer First Sentence
The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the visitor to read the second sentence, your article is dead.
To make a great opening statement for a blog post, you need to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading.
Start with a bold statement. This grabs your reader’s attention immediately.
Ask a question. You can create curiosity with a reader by asking a question, this gets readers thinking.
Make it relevant. Ensure your opening statement is relevant to the topic and will be interesting to readers.
Create interest. Use language that creates interest, intrigue, curiosity or is inspiring.
Start with an Agreement
Learning how to start articles with an agreement – a concept or idea that resonates with your readers will result in them instantly feeling a connection with you.
When you start with a concept or idea that your reader agrees with, they know that you understand them. Perhaps your post may address their exact problem and they keep reading. Then, make them a promise you’ll explain in the article.
Start your articles by connecting with your readers on a personal level. Show them that you not only understand their problems but also share their perspective.
Here’s an example: “You’ll agree with me that it’s hard to get search traffic to your website? My blog traffic was really low until I discovered one simple tip that changed everything.”
Highlight the Problem
There are times when your readers might not fully grasp the gravity of a problem. Take, for example, SEO issues on their website. They might not realize the impact it could have on their search rankings. That’s where your expertise comes in. It’s your job to explain just how crucial the issue is and why it’s imperative for them to address and resolve it promptly.
Start your blog post by introducing the problem and emphasizing its significance. Later in the article you can provide clarity and details but make sure to lay the groundwork by highlighting the problem right from the beginning. This way, your readers are immediately aware of what’s at stake.
Explain the User Benefits of Reading the Article
Emphasize the benefits and value a reader receives by reading your article. You can create interest and motivation to keep reading.
Be specific by explaining exactly what a reader gains by reading your blog post. For instance, new knowledge, insight or skills.
Make the benefit relevant to the reader and the topic discussed.
It’s an introduction so keep it short and concise, you can explain benefits in more detail later in the article.
Create interest by using language that stirs curiosity in your reader.
Be honest when listing the benefits. The benefits should be based on your own personal experience or the experience from your customers or clients.
Ensure the benefits you list are relevant and accurate.
Say Something Unexpected
Grab a reader’s attention by saying something startling or unexpected. This will make the reader want to read more.
Make the statement relevant to the topic and of interest to your readers. Being creative can really help with this technique.
And, of course, be honest with your statement. Don’t make stuff up.
Final Thoughts on How to Start Articles
Thanks for reading this article, I hope you found it informative and useful.
Here is a quick recap:
- You have 52 seconds to grab the reader’s interest, otherwise they bounce
- Make a killer first sentence (can be startling, unexpected, intriguing or compelling)
- Use facts and stats throughout your article, especially in your introduction
- Explain the benefits the reader gains by reading the rest of the article
- Highlight problems and pain points the reader is experiencing
- Tell the end of the story: Grab the reader’s attention with this technique
- Use an anecdote: For bloggers with lots of personal experience this is a great technique
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