September 15, 2021

5 Steps To Writing The Best Blog Introductions That Hook Readers

In this post you'll learn:

Introductions can make or break a blog post, but they’re not always easy to write. Here are 5 steps to writing better blog introductions, with a few examples.

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Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter these days. If you want to grab your reader’s attention for long enough to read your entire blog post, you have to hook them right from the beginning. Without a compelling blog introduction, they simply won’t carry on reading.

Your blog post might have the juiciest, most well-researched information, but if your introduction doesn’t hit the mark, nobody’s going to carry on reading. Encourage more readers to carry on reading by writing captivating blog introductions that immediately hook them in.

What makes a good blog introduction anyway?

The best types of blog introductions are the ones that immediately hook in the reader with emotion or something so intriguing that they have to carry on reading to find out more. Emotion is, after all, one of the best ways to drive sales with content marketing.

Great introductions set the scene for the entire blog post and should:

  • Engage the reader with an emotion
  • Address why the blog post matters
  • Highlight who the blog post is for
  • Demonstrate why the reader has authority on the topic

Take a few tips from the original introduction writing experts

Bloggers can take a few pointers from journalists in writing compelling introductions.

According to NPR, there are six types of journalistic leads:

  1. Straight news lead: a lead that’s all about the facts and incorporates the 5 Ws of who, what, where, when and why
  2. Anecdotal lead: a lead that starts with a story that intrigues the reader
  3. Scene-setting lead: a lead that describes a scene with colorful detail that draws the reader in
  4. First-person lead: a lead that starts with the writer’s perspective, making them part of the story
  5. Observational lead: a lead that shares an observation about the story and its broader context
  6. Zinger lead: a lead that shocks the reader with an outlandish statement

Apart from the above-mentioned journalistic leads, here are a few other types of hooks that you can use in your introduction:

  • An interesting fact that relates to the rest of the blog post 
  • Share the final results of the story that you’re about to tell in the blog post
  • Use an analogy, metaphor or simile
  • Ask a question
  • A strong quote
  • Highlight a common problem (like what we used in the introduction to this post)
  • A shocking statistic

Tip: A lot of these hooks also make great standalone social media posts!

5 Steps to captivating your reader with a strong blog introduction

You only get one chance to make a good first impression with your reader, and that’s with your introduction.

Here are five steps to follow to write killer blog introductions:

1.  Address your readers directly

If you want your readers to read your blog post, you need to pull them into the blog post. They need to understand that this blog post is for them. And that it's there to solve their pain points.

Do this by talking directly to them using words like “you” and “your”. This language helps to create an emotional bond with your audience.

Here’s an example:

  • Have you ever installed a WordPress template that just doesn’t look right?

2.  Think about an emotion that links to the ‘why’ of your blog post

Emotion is the most effective form of engagement. You want your readers to feel something when reading your introduction, as that’s what’s going to encourage them to keep reading. Emotions can include anger, sadness, frustration, excitement, love, stress, uncertainty, and desire.

You can incorporate an emotion by directly calling it out or describe an emotion using story-telling techniques.

Adding to the example above, you can include a sentence like:

  • Figuring out WordPress templates can be frustrating and overwhelming.

3.  Identify a problem

Next up, you need to call out your readers' problem – the ‘why’ behind your blog post. Their problems can be a lack of knowledge, wasted money, or poor results. Sometimes, they don’t even know that they have the problem until you tell them. So, as the blogger, it’s your job to highlight the problem in the introduction.

Successful content marketers know that blog content is there to solve their target audiences problems - so all blog posts should be doing that anyway.

Here’s an example:

  • Installing WordPress templates without clear instructions is extremely tricky for non-web developers.

4.  Hint at the solution to the problem

You know what your readers want, so start hinting at the solution. You don’t want to give away too much detail yet, but rather just enough to lead them into your blog. Use transition words like “Follow these steps…” or “Read on to find out…”

Something like:

  • Follow these five simple steps when installing WordPress templates.

5.  Demonstrate your authority

You want your readers to trust you. It helps to include a sentence with a few industry specifics or highlight your experience to back up the claims that you’re making in your introduction. Include something that reassures the reader that you have authority on the topic and why they should listen to you.

You can demonstrate your authority by including something like:

  • We’ve designed hundreds of websites ourselves, many using WordPress templates, and we know exactly how to get them looking epic.

A few extra tips for writing blog introductions that hook readers

A lot is riding on your blog introduction, so here are a few more tips for upping your introduction blogging game:

Focus on your first sentence

An excellent blog introduction starts with a great first sentence. Sure, an opening comprises a few essential parts, but it’s your opening sentence that really hooks the reader.
Start by distilling the point of your blog content into a single, concise sentence. If you have to, start with four to six sentences and cut your way down to one. Figure out the part that makes your piece most compelling and use that to hook the reader.

Write your post introduction last

Since your blog introductions are the most crucial part of writing blog posts, it’s a good idea to save them for last. Why? Because then, by the time you get to writing your introduction, you’ll be incredibly well versed with your content flow and have a better understanding of how best to introduce it to your reader.
It’s also helpful to step away from writing once you’ve finished and then come back to write your blog intro with a fresh mind.

Be real

Readers want to read something that they relate to, so be real. Be human. Try using a conversational writing style in your introduction and stay away from formal language. You want reading the introduction to be easy for the reader.

Don’t overwhelm your readers

You know those people you get introduced to, and within five minutes of the meeting, you already know where they grew up, what they ate for breakfast and why they’re SO EXCITED to meet you? Don’t be that person in your introduction. It’s just too much.

Avoid trying to fit too much information into your introduction. Instead, ease the reader into the article with just the right amount of detail to get them interested in reading the rest of your content.

Remember, introductions are rarely perfect first-time round

Blog post introductions are funny things. Sometimes you write the perfect introduction on your first take; other times, it takes several rounds of tweaking. Don’t be afraid of rewriting your introduction entirely if you have to.

Get a helping hand

Jarvis’ blog post intro paragraph template helps you get over the dreaded writer's block by writing your first paragraph for you. It uses AI technology to develop an intriguing introduction that follows all the rules of writing a good blog introduction. Here’s an example with 3 different blog introductions generated for an article on the topic ‘how to enjoy listening to audiobooks’.

Jarvis blog post intro template

Examples of good blog introductions and why they work

When writing introductions, it can sometimes help to look at a few examples of how other bloggers have done it. That way, you can follow the same principle or flow, adjusting to your context.

Here are three good blog introduction examples:

Here’s a blog introduction example from Neil Patel:

Blog introduction example from Neil Patel

Why it works: It includes an emotion (overwhelm), it quickly offers a solution (SEO plugins) and why it’s a good solution and then shares how this blog post helps the reader (by providing a list of the best SEO plugins).

Here’s a blog introduction example from Backlinko:

Blog introduction example from Backlinko

Why it works: This introduction is super short, but it works because it gets straight to the point of what the blog post is about and gives a strong example that demonstrates the writer's authority.

Here’s a blog introduction example from Shopify:

Blog introduction example from Shopify

Why it works: It starts with highlighting a commonality (everyone needing to eat). It then pulls the reader in by telling them that they made a good choice getting into the food business and highlights a problem they may have (deciding what comes next). It also includes how this article helps the reader by providing a few ideas.

Are your blog post introductions doing their job?

The fastest way to know if an introduction is doing its job is whether it’s encouraging that all-important scroll down. If your bounce rate is high, that’s the first sign of a problem. Good introductions, however, are tough to write. But with the above tricks up your sleeve, you should have a few great ideas on how to hook in your readers.

AI writing tools are also a great source of inspiration when you’re not quite sure how to say it best. Sign up for Jarvis and start crafting compelling introductions that hook your readers in from the first sentence.

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Meet the author

Dave Rogenmoser
CEO of Jarvis

Dave is the Co-Founder Jarvis and Proof, a Y Combinator-backed tech company base in Austin, Texas. He is also a husband and father of 3 boys. You may be surprised to hear Dave once ate the beating heart of a King cobra & is 6'8" tall.

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