Are you ever stumped about how to start writing a blog post?
You’ve chosen the perfect topic, one you know will give your readers need. But the blank screen and blinking cursor taunt you. It can be daunting to think about how to begin a blog post.
Your reader probably clicked on your link or pin after searching for a topic, and if they don’t get the results they’re looking for in the first few sentences, off they go, back on the information highway, searching for the next off-ramp.
If you don’t have a catchy introduction, you can lose your readers before you’ve even caught them.
You obviously don’t want that. You want the reader to see your introduction, wonder if you’ve been reading their mind, and keep reading so intensely that they forget to eat lunch or go to that 2:00 meeting with their boss. Well, you at least want them to get to the call to action at the end of your post.
The introductory sentences of your post will set the tone for the paragraphs to follow.
So check out these tips on how to write a captivating introduction for your blog post so you can capture your audience’s attention and compel them to read to the end.
Tell a Story
A few weeks ago, I began reading Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. The book starts with a captivating story about a friend of a friend who was the victim of a Kidney Heist.
That first page enthralled me so much that nothing could have torn me away–not my screaming kid, not food burning on the stove, nothing.
Spoiler alert: the story wasn’t true, but it exemplified how useful storytelling is, especially in the intro. I couldn’t wait for the rest of the book because the beginning was so good.
We are suckers for stories. Stories connect us with each other. If you can, try to use a story to start your blog post. There are times when you can’t start with a story; some blog niches lend more to this than others.
What kind of story makes for a captivating introduction? Shoot for a story that’s interesting, related to your blog post, and something your readers can relate to.
If you don’t have personal experiences to share, you could pose a scenario, starting with words like, “Picture this,” or “Can you imagine if…”
I’ve read lots of blog posts that start with a story, and then the blogger completely changes the subject, saying, “Well, here’s my recipe.” I’ve also read posts where the writer spends a long time describing something that frustrated them, like traffic or a long line at the grocery store.
If you can, try to tell a meaningful story. That doesn’t mean it has to always be rainbows and sunshine, but as frustrated as I get in rush-hour traffic, I would probably get bored by a long, drawn-out story about it unless it included someone jumping on top of your car while you were stopped.
Here are some examples of blog posts that use stories in the introduction:
How to Talk to Little Girls from The Huffington Post
Waffles! by Pioneer Woman
11 Writing Jobs Near Me – Finding Local Work by Elna Cain
Pose a Question that Addresses Your Readers' Pain Points
They need to know why they should listen to you and what you have to offer. I started this post with a question.
“Are you ever stumped about how to start writing a blog post?”
It’s a question I already knew the answer to. Who doesn’t struggle from time to time about where to start? I knew that you likely have that challenge because I sometimes have that challenge.
The question should be one that shows your readers you know what their pain points are, and you’re here to offer help. Whether that help comes in the form of a five-step plan or just the knowledge that they aren’t alone in their struggle, they can see the value in continuing to read your post.
If you can solve your readers’ problems or help them achieve what they really want, you can gain more than just a reader– you’ll get a true fan. But you have to catch your fans fast. Create a catchy introduction to let people know right away how you can help them with what they need most. If they need what you can help with, they’ll stick around. If not, then they’re probably not your target audience anyway.
Here are some examples of pages or posts that start with a question that goes straight their readers’ desires and pain points:
4 Shocking Truths about Blogging Noone Tells You from Twins Mommy
Begin with an Intriguing Statistic
According to www.seotribunal.com, “55% of readers spend around 15 seconds going through an article.”
Just to add to the case for crafting a compelling introduction, this statistic might shock the reader and make them want to keep reading to find solutions.
If someone is going to check out your blog and spend just 15 seconds scanning the page, they must be looking for crucial information. You want them to see what they are searching for in a highly consumable way. Otherwise, they will be gone before they ever hit the second paragraph.
Starting your post with a statistic can also bring a level of credibility to your writing. If your readers are looking for a reason to trust you, and you quote similar information from another source, they will put more stock into what you have to say.
Here’s an example of blog posts that use a statistic in the intro to suck in their readers:
Stay-at-home moms and dads account for about one-in-five U.S. parents from Pew Research Center
Use an Inspirational quote
A quote brings your readers something from outside your post to support and sustain what you have to say.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning,
But you can start where you are and change the ending.”
-C. S. Lewis
Quotes can help your readers to connect with you, and it leads them to think more about the topic. They’ll want to keep reading to see what other insights you might have to offer!
Don’t just drop the quote and say nothing about it. It’s a *small* pet peeve of mine when people use a quote or song lyrics as their social media caption for an amazing picture and don’t explain why they posted that. I love to hear why something is inspirational. Explain to your readers why you love the quote and how they can relate to it.
Check out how Copyblogger started out with a quote:
There’s nothing like an exciting turn of events to get the blood pumping. Take a look at this example:
“Today began with a smoothie for me and cereal for the little man. We got dressed, and off we went to preschool. Like any other Monday.
But then the unthinkable happened…”
What happened? Your readers now NEED to know what shifted the course of your day so drastically.
You may see this most commonly in fiction, but it works in blog writing, too. Starting your blog post with a story that suddenly changes direction draws the reader into the story, sharpens their focus, and gives them a reason to keep reading.
These are just a few examples of captivating introductions. Make your blog post your own! Keep your audience in mind and think about what might capture their interest. Give them a reason to keep reading line after line!
How will you start your next blog post? Comment below!
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