In this post we’re going to cover everything you need to know about writing an introduction that will grab the readers' attention and give them every reason to finish reading the entire article from title to conclusion.
Did you notice that first sentence? I reinforced the promise of the title. The title's promise is always the priority of an introduction. It’s critical to reassure them that they are where they need to be to accomplish their goal. It’s almost comical that this tactic solves the next issue when writing an awesome introduction.
As a writer, nothing is scarier than a blank page—the cursor just blinking away, almost like it's daring me to write already.
Whenever I start writing a new blog, I expect to write an intro that's attention-grabbing, unique, and convinces my audience to read further. And that can be a bit tricky.
As it turns out, I am not alone.
Writing a good introduction is hard work for many writers. In the words of Dakota Snow, CMO at Lots of Good Ideas:
With 600+ million blogs out there, you want to ensure your audience prefers your content over your competitors’ and is excited about your blogs.
You want to write an intro that makes your readers curious about what's next and motivated to read further. With 55% of visitors moving on from a blog post after only 15 seconds, you have to do something extra to keep their attention.
So, how do you do that? This article goes through common copywriting frameworks to guide you in crafting the perfect intro and examples of some fantastic blog intros for inspiration.
Why do you need to put so much emphasis on your blog’s introduction?
Well, a good intro not only organizes your blog post, but also answers this question from your readers, "What's in it for me?"
A quality introduction should:
Your introduction should achieve these goals quickly—preferably in the first paragraph.
While writing a good intro can be tricky, some frameworks can help you nail it.
Below I cover AIDA, PAS, and the 4 P's, among other writing frameworks, and discuss how you can use these to create a great blog introduction. Let's go!
Problem—Identify a problem
Agitate—Explore what happens if the problem doesn’t have a solution. What if the problem kept existing
Solve—Share your solution to solve that problem
PAS is one of the most popular copywriting formulas as it focuses on showing how distressing the problem your reader is facing is. With this framework, you describe life if the issue persists and then provide a solution to improve their experience.
Vartika Kashyap, CMO at ProofHub, believes the PAS framework is best for writing introductions. She says, "This framework focuses on eliciting an emotional response from the reader. In today's times when the digital copy has gotten increasingly competitive, what better approach to market anything than with empathy and emotion?"
Komal Ahuja, a freelance writer, shared this on Twitter:
With Copy.ai’s PAS copywriting tool, you can generate compelling hooks to write amazing blog introductions. Have a look at the following example I generated through Copy.ai:
Attention—Grab your reader's attention.
Interest—Pique their interest by sharing information that's new to them.
Desire—Show them the benefits and explain why they should buy your product/service.
Action—Prompt them to take action.
AIDA, one of the most common copywriting frameworks, can be used for all types of marketing copy. With blog posts, you can use AIDA to write the most engaging headline or introduction and take it from there.
Copy.ai's AIDA copywriting tool generates gripping blog introductions in less than 10 seconds. Have a look at an example below:
Feature—What your product/service can do
Advantage—Why is it helpful
Benefits—How it helps your readers achieve their goals
Do you know what's better than talking about your product/service? Talk about how it helps your audience.
And this is exactly what FAB focuses on. This framework focuses on the benefits your reader gets from your service/product rather than a simple list of features.
Let's have a look at the feature-advantage-benefits framework generated by Copy.ai.
Qualify—Understand who your target audience is.
Understand—Tell them you know their problem and where they stand with that challenge.
Educate—Show them how you have solved the issue at hand.
Stimulate—It's time to bring in the proof. Show examples that will demonstrate you know what you are talking about.
Transition—Now convince them to become your customers.
QUEST copywriting focuses on explaining a new concept to your readers and is a good framework for blog introductions. You can gently take your readers on a journey from introducing them to an idea, educating them, and finally convincing them to try it.
When I used Copy.ai's QUEST generator, the results were terrific. Have a look below:
Problem—Describe a problem that your readers are facing.
Promise—Make a promise that alleviates that problem.
Proof—Show them proof of how you will deliver on that promise.
Proposal—Now push them to take action.
Like some other frameworks, this one describes the problem your reader is facing. It also focuses on making a promise to your audience and showing them proof of how you will achieve that commitment.
The 4 Ps framework shares specific ways your business can help your audience, along with proof of how you have helped your clients over the years.
Let's have a look at what Copy.ai's 4 Ps generator creates:
Before—Here's your existing world.
After—Imagine how it would be after solving the current problem.
Bridge—Here's how to get there.
Before-After-Bridge focuses on describing a problem, showing a world where that problem doesn't exist, and then giving a solution or workaround to get there.
Writing a blog introduction through this framework is quite simple. Show your audience their ideal world without that problem, and then tell them how to achieve that outcome.
You can generate thousands of variations of Before-After-Bridge for your blog intros, social media content, or email copy through Copy.ai. Let's have a look at this example I generated:
Now that we have covered the various copywriting frameworks you can use to write a kick-ass intro for your blog, let's go over the three main parts of a great intro paragraph—the hook, context, and a thesis statement.
You may have heard about the importance of having a "hook" to get your readers' attention. Your introduction becomes rock solid when you combine the hook with some context and a thesis statement. Your readers will immediately understand what the article is all about, and it makes a great first impression.
Ashley R. Cummings, a freelance writer, shares an excellent method of writing a blog introduction that stands out. "First, treating the first sentence the same way you'd treat a lead in a journalism piece is important. Write something that hooks the readers and makes them want to keep reading. Next, include evidence (e.g., stats, recent data, examples, etc.) that makes a compelling and interesting case. And, then end by telling your readers what you will talk about."
So, what exactly does “hook” mean?
The introduction's hook is the opening statement (usually the first sentence) that grabs your reader's attention and encourages them to read further. The hook has to relate to the overall topic and should be compelling enough to convince your audience to read the whole thing.
The different types of hooks include a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote.
Now that you have a great attention-grabbing hook, it's time to give your readers some background about the topic. Context refers to additional details explaining what you will write about to your readers.
After writing your hook, add a couple of sentences explaining the topic and why they should be interested. 56% of people are impatient and want to find quick answers, so context helps them stick around for a bit longer.
Context establishes why you are addressing a topic, what makes it important, and how it benefits your readers.
So far, you have written an attention-grabbing opening statement (the hook) and given some background on the topic (context). To wrap up the intro, it's time to convey your stance on the topic, which is your thesis statement.
The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction. It emphasizes what the blog is all about clearly, concisely, and compellingly.
Your thesis statement, usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph, tells the reader what ideas will be addressed in the blog. Combining your hook and context and wrapping it in a detailed manner gives you your thesis statement.
The thesis statement is the most important part of your introduction. Without it, your reader won't know the purpose of your blog. So, write a solid ending to your intro paragraph detailing everything your reader should look forward to in the blog.
Look at this blog post from Animalz about the content value curve. The introduction to this blog post has a special place in my mind because it's done so brilliantly.
With a strong hook in place, they immediately move on to building the context of the article.
And then, they wrap up the blog introduction by adding a solid thesis statement that sets the expectations for the reader about what's next.
Tina Donatic, Content Marketing Lead at Alloy Automation, shared three ideas for writing a great blog intro.
Below, I discuss some more ways to write a convincing blog introduction.
Just like a good book changes you, a good quote changes how your article reads.
With a good quote in the introduction, you take advantage of another voice to reinforce your idea. Starting with a strong quote immediately catches your readers' attention and encourages them to continue.
One thing you must remember when using quotes is to avoid using the most obvious ones like "content is king." Source original quotes from experts or highlight unexpected voices to make a better impression on your audience.
Have a look at the quote used in the blog introduction below. The writer has used Ogilvy’s quote as he is considered the father of advertising. A small and relatable quote in the intro sets the tone for the rest of the article.
Starting your blogs with a statistic helps reinforce your main statement as people are more likely to trust solid figures and numbers.
I usually try to find some very relevant and interesting statistics because people trust data. Statistics give them a sense of what is happening in their industry or niche. It also shows them that you've done your research and know what you are talking about.
I wrote a blog on holiday email marketing campaigns for Copy.ai, shared below. To show the significance of holiday sales for brands, I shared my experience with holiday shopping and then doubled down with statistics.
Engaging with an audience through your content helps get them involved. How do you get them to participate in the conversation?
By asking them questions.
When you start your blog with a question, the readers will be curious to know the answer. They might even begin guessing it in their minds and will read till the end to see if they were right.
An example from Copy.ai's following blog shows how you can use questions to engage your audience and make the content personal to them.
Most of the time, your readers click on a blog to get help with a problem they are facing. They want a solution to their problem, and they want it fast.
So, one way to immediately get their attention is by mentioning that problem in the introduction. This way, they immediately know they are in the right place and are curious to read more.
Kate Wojewoda, Content Manager at spacelift.io, says that the best way to write an introduction is by acknowledging the pain point in the first line. She says, "Your audience is on the page looking for answers and solutions. Acknowledging the pain point tells them you understand their problem and aim to provide a solution through this content piece."
I wrote this article for Copy.ai about writing a good resume. The pain point of my introduction? Getting noticed by the recruiters.
Starting your blog by putting your readers in a particular situation makes them feel immediately involved in the story.
Paint a picture and ask them what they would do in that instance. Try highlighting the problem and ask them what they would do in that situation.
This article from Buffer is an excellent example of building a setting that engages the reader and asks them to put themselves in those shoes. Starting your blog introduction with a narrative helps paint a vivid picture and makes the problem more relatable to your readers.
Narrating a personal experience or sharing a quick story in your introduction is a great way to start your blog.
It gives readers a picture of the human behind the article, and they will likely listen to you. Sharing a relatable experience also helps your reader immediately bond with the writer, and they are more likely to trust you as they go further down the blog.
Check out the introduction for this blog below.
Who doesn't love drama?
And taking a stand on a controversial topic or challenging a long-held belief is bound to start some drama and conflict. And there is no better way to create tension and engage your audience than by creating some friction.
Taking a stand also establishes you as an expert and tells the audience you know what you are talking about.
Look at this blog for DirectLync, in which I wrote about the realities of digital marketing for small businesses. I talked about a controversial topic and took a stand on it.
According to David O'Dowd, Copywriter at Sales Enablement Collective, there are two ways a blog intro can stand out. "The first is to be direct, concise, and to the point. If a blog tells right off the bat why it will be beneficial to me, I appreciate that. The other way to stand out is to be interesting — if the first few lines are funny, fascinating, or thought-provoking, I am naturally going to read on," he says.
Let's look at the other tips to follow so you can write a great blog introduction.
If your introduction is too long, it might discourage readers from reading further. So, keep it short and to the point.
There is no hard and fast rule about the length of your intro, but three to four sentences generally work best for blogs and articles.
Craig Dennis, Content Marketer at HighTouch, focuses on keeping intros short. He says, "I try to keep the intro relatively short as I don't want the reader to get bored before they get into the meat of the article."
Don't add extra words and phrases to your introduction. You don’t want any filler content.
It's good to create clean and crisp copy for your blog, but it's especially important for your introduction. The more concise and straightforward the intro is, the more it will capture your reader's attention.
People hate it when they are promised something and don't get it. Or, as I call it, "Don't write a check in your introduction that your article can't cash."
Whatever you promise in the intro, make sure it's included in the article.
You want your readers to feel that you are talking to them directly. Using "you" to address them helps with that. They will feel like the blog post is specifically written for them, and they will be more likely to engage with your writing.
No one likes reading the same thing twice. Your introduction often starts immediately after the blog title (minus the featured image). Repeating your title in the intro makes the experience a bit annoying for your readers.
If you are writing an article about copywriting and don't know copywriters' pain points and challenges, your content won't hit the right chord with your audience.
To make the most impact with your blog introduction, take some time to truly understand your target audience. Then write an intro that addresses exactly what they are looking for.
Understanding your audience also involves using words and terminology they use. Jade Rowlatt, Creative Copywriter at Contrast, says, "Write how your reader speaks. Use language they'd use themselves, so your intro resonates with them. This means the right terminology for their level of knowledge on your topic, more conversational, and shorter, easy-to-read sentences."
This advice might not work for everyone, but drafting the rest of the article and then returning to the introduction really helps. When you are done writing the blog, you are more equipped to introduce it, and you know better about what the article says.
You can also start with a placeholder and then come back to the intro paragraph after the article is complete.
Writing an engaging introduction can be a bit challenging, and sometimes getting this piece of the blogging puzzle just right becomes tricky.
Think of the introduction as your first impression with a reader, so make it count! Give readers a quick idea of your post, and try to hook them immediately. After that, you can delve into more depth on specific points you want to highlight.
And if you need any help with writing the perfect hook, head over to Copy.ai’s writing assistant and generate 1000s of brilliant blog introductions in less than ten seconds.
Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.