Even this introduction is hard.
There are countless ways to start a blog post. After speaking to a lot of writers, we can safely say that most of them agree that they do agonize on how to open an article.
We all know the importance of a good introduction. You have seconds to engage your audience.
Are you feeling the pressure yet?
Is there a formula you can trust and use on repeat?
Think back to most books that held your attention, or even shows. I clearly remember one of my mentors explaining to me that although he has no time for Netflix, he has watched ‘Breaking Bad’.
He said the reason was simple. In the first episode, right at the beginning, there is a semi-naked man, in the middle of the desert. My mentor desperately needed to know why!
How did this character get there? Why was he wearing just his underwear?
This is brilliant writing on behalf of the screenwriters. There are some tips for writers in 2020 we can share that will make introductions more attractive for your readers. However, you can push the limits. Get creative and think of your audience.
What would make them want to keep scrolling?
There are many kinds of ‘writing’, for the sake of this article we will focus on online articles /blog posts.
1. Keep Your Introductions Short
Remember to optimize your writing for mobile users. Most people use their phones to read your article. Therefore write short sentences and small paragraphs.
Allow the eyes of your readers to rest.
Remember reading digital screens is harder on the eyes than paper.
Short sentences are understandable and easy to digest.
We know that we have mentioned this a lot in our tips for writers in 2020, but keeping it simple is the new trend.
2. Do You Have a Hook?
Remember the example mentioned in the introduction with ‘Breaking Bad’?
That was a great hook from the writers.
Start with an honest statement or some shocking statistics. You can even start by describing something odd.
Anything sentence that will make your reader scroll down, is part of a fantastic introduction.
3. The Magic of ‘You’
Using the word ‘you’ as soon as possible in your introduction is powerful.
It reinforces to your readers that you are writing with them in mind.
The words ‘you’ carries a lot of emotion, as it helps the readers feel that you empathize with them.
Don’t overuse it and make it sound accusatory, just casually place it in your introduction, letting your readers know that you are writing for them.
4. Create Expectations
Somewhere in your introduction let your audience know what to expect.
Readers respond favorably to that kind of structure. People want to make sure that what they are about to spend their time reading is relevant.
To clarify further, you can use sentences like:
‘In this article, we will be discussing X because of X’ or
‘Today we bring to you the X ways that can help you do X better’
Even better you can, when appropriate use this:
‘After receiving a lot of requests from our readers we put together this guide to learn why X is important’ or
‘You are about to find out X secrets of the X industry’
5. Define the Problem You Are About to Solve
People read in search of answers and new knowledge to improve their lives.
Keeping that in mind, we can agree that most marketing content is designed to help solve a problem.
How to get more readers, or how to make sure your SEO strategy is working, or even how to write fantastic introductions.
Without a problem to solve, there is no need for the content.
This point even applies to books and entertainment content. It solves the ‘boredom’ we sometimes feel.
Self-help books are hot, and the industry is projected to grow at a very healthy rate of 5.6% annually between now and 2022.
This is why it is designed to solve problems for its readers.
Let’s use an article dealing with SEO as the main subject. It is important to explain to your readers that SEO, when done right, will solve many problems for the company. Explain how proper SEO techniques result in more traffic, leads and sales.
Help your reader grasp the importance of what you are offering.
6. Use Statistics
Part of our tips for writers in 2020 is to emphasize the importance of statistics and correct data.
Although we briefly referred to statistics earlier on in this article, we felt that they are deserving of their own section in the article.
Statistics introduce a feeling of credibility in your writing. They let the reader know that you have done your research, and therefore your content is valuable.
Next time you write, use this guide as a quick reference and see if you managed to hit all these points.
Your writing style has a lot to do with how you engage your audience, but the points mentioned here today can at least help you get started when you feel stuck.
Remember, to keep it short, find a hook, create expectations, use statistics when possible, define the problem and connect with your audience.