Blog Introduction – Grab your Reader from the Start

This post was last updated on February 18th, 2021

Start here - Blog Introduction - Grab your Reader from the Start

That blinking cursor on the empty screen is taunting you to start your blog introduction.  It wants you to write something. Come on and get started!  

We’ve all been here at some point.  Procrastination and resistance are the enemies of getting your blog written.  Given that we’re always facing this barrier to getting our blog introduction onto the page, let’s explore some ways to beat this resistance.  

In this article, I’ll provide you with some useful tools that you can use right now to get started on your blog.

Focus on reader intent

Zero-in on the key focus point of your article in the first paragraph. This will help to clarify in the reader‘s mind that they are in the right place to find what they’re looking for.

The intent of the article will likely be tied into your focus SEO keyphrase or keyword.

Fox showing Intent - What Makes a Good Tech Blog

Accordingly make sure to let the reader know that you will be answering their fundamental question in the first sentence.

Set the Mood for Wherever you are Writing at the Moment

One of the senior managers at a company I worked for had an engaging way of penning company-wide emails.  He would say something to the effect of “As I’m writing this, I’m cruising above the clouds at 40,000 feet on my way to (somewhere interesting).”  Looking back, this was an engaging way to pull the reader in and make them feel important and involved, even if it was just a group email.  

Mood and context engages in a profound way and opens you up to being receptive about the remainder of the article.  By vicariously experiencing travel and cultural experiences, you can whisk someone away, albeit for a short time from their morning commute to that place.  

French cafe - Blog Introduction - Grab your Reader from the Start

It can make your reader feel involved like they are there with you.  So your musings on the cosy Paris cafe or the tea stall in Delhi can be interesting gateways to the main message of your post.

It’s best not to be overly descriptive about your setting.  As all good authors know, just an observation such as the aroma of the croissants being baked can conjure ambience.  Carefully crafted observations invoke the reader’s imagination much more powerfully than wordy descriptions can.

Start with Whatever is on your Mind Right Now

Having a bad morning?  Forgot an appointment? Write about whatever is on your mind to set the scene.  Readers will enjoy your musings when they’re presented in a relatable way.  

Always keep your audience in mind.  Who are they and how do they think? By doing this, you will need to be selective in choosing those things that are relevant to share.  

uncertainty - Blog Introduction - Grab your Reader from the Start

So the trials and tribulations of your morning could be the perfect segue into your article on how you’re setting up an online calendar.  This would be relevant if your blog pertains to personal productivity, but possibly not so if it’s about surfing.

There are no Rules with a Blog introduction

Apart from the normal rules of grammar and punctuation, feel free to write in a style that your readers will engage with.  So if your blog is about gaming, adapt to a youthful irreverent style. If you’re engaging parents with newborn children, your style will likely be supportive, sharing and empathetic.

Read the introductions to a few novels and see how the author will always try to bring you into the story in the first few pages.  The author knows that they need to hook you in within the first few pages otherwise you might get bored and pick up another book. Look at the techniques they use to keep you reading.

Be Conversational!

Nobody wants to read a textbook, so don’t write in a bland style.  Pose questions to the reader and share your thought patterns. Write in a way that brings the reader in and involves them.  Community isn’t as available to many people these days and they are looking for any way to feel engaged with you.  

be conversational - Blog Introduction - Grab your Reader from the Start - be conversational

So bring the reader in warmly like you are their confidante.  This will set the feel for the rest of the article and ensure that they are along for the ride.

Tell a Story

A story will normally involve characters, setting, plot, conflict and its resolution.  Often a short story can be a persuasive way to draw your reader in.

So you might share a story on how you’ve been trying to write a novel while working your day job.  The characters might be your family and the plot could include your strained attempts to wake up at 5am every day to write. Conflict could involve your battles with family to carve out the time required.  You’ve resolved it by bargaining with them to give you quiet time early in the day and implementing some routines.

 

importance of storyBlog Introduction - Grab your Reader from the Start - importance of story

Perhaps by becoming more organised, this extra time enabled you to finally arrange your ideas into a book outline.  This could nicely segue into an article on writing.

Use a Hook to keep them Reading

Great authors will pique the reader with a mystery, a contradiction, a question or anomaly very early in the first few paragraphs of a book.  Accordingly, a hook in the introduction to your blog post will reel the reader in and make them want more.

An example I have seen recently is where there will be a contradiction to current industry belief.  So if for example in the software market, product X is the best product, market leader and held in high esteem by everyone.  

Readers will be intrigued if you say  “I’m not using Product X and these are my reasons why”.  Here’s a nice example of this:  “Why I’m Breaking Up With Yoast SEO“.  

A contradiction like this sets up a query in the reader’s mind and they are much more likely to stay to the end of your article to find out the reasons.  

 

Don’t worry if you think it’s no good

Reality:  first drafts are often dreadful.  Just try to get something down on the page.

Even if you don’t like what you are writing, just keep going.  Nobody uses the first draft. You will come back and edit your article afterwards. For now, just get your introduction down on paper or the screen and continue on. 

By writing the remainder of the article, you’ll gain insight and momentum so that you’ll be more prepared to edit your introduction during the edit stage.

Leave the Blog Introduction until last

It’s perfectly fine to leave your blog introduction until last.  Get started on the part of your article that you know the most about or feel passionate for.  

Leaving the introduction until last is a popular technique for writers. The main advantage of doing it last is that your introduction might need to change as you write your post.  So you will save on re-writing.

Lone Tree on Hill - Value of Persistence

Personally, I usually write my blog introduction first, but that’s just how my mind operates and how I like to work.

 

Summary – Blog Introduction – How to Grab your reader from the start

In summary, the main thing is to press ahead with your blog introduction as quickly as you can.  Use your relevant context, whether it’s your location, setting or problems or goals that you are working on.  

Readers like to hear about your situation so be conversational and tell a story.  Furthermore a carefully placed hook in your blog introduction can gently lure your reader to read the rest of your piece.  

The goal is to keep them reading and you can do this by implementing the tools above.

If you’re interested in starting your own blog, we’ve written a guide which you might find useful.  You can find the guide at this link.

Frequently Asked Questions – Blog Introduction

Should I put my blog introduction before the featured image in a post?

Frequently, a well-crafted introduction with a hook can grab your reader’s interest from the start.  Accordingly, it’s often beneficial to place this text before the featured image.

Regardless, it’s preferable to get the reader’s interest before they reach the fold of the page (ie the bottom of the screen). A large image may prevent this from happening.

Is it really necessary to have a blog post introduction?

Yes, because without an introduction, a reader will be left trying to figure out the goal and direction of the article.  Without an introduction, they might back out and look for another article.

Does a blog post introduction need to be lengthy?

Not particularly. The main thing is that you get your point across.  An introduction can be as short as 100 words.

How many words should my blog introduction have?

Your blog introduction should be approximately 10% of your post.  This means that a 2,000 word blog post should have an introduction of approximately 200 words.

What is the optimum length of a blog post?

Whilst the absolute minimum word count is 300 words, you should be aiming for at least 1,000 words.

Having said this,  many of the web pages ranking on page 1 of search results are more than 2,000 words.  Long quality posts generally perform better than shorter posts.

Which should be longer? My blog introduction or conclusion?

Ideally your introduction and conclusion should both be approximately 10% of the total length of the article.

Main Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

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