Here you are, caught in the dreaded introduction conundrum. You’ve got a great topic, you’re full of ideas, but doggone it – “how do I start?” First, take a deep breath and relax. Writing an introduction isn’t as scary or difficult as many of us make it out to be.
Because the introduction is such a critical component to hooking your reader, it’s easy to stress yourself out when writing them. But fear not! The nine tips I’ve listed below are simple methods and reminders you can use to write quick and interesting introductions.
Whenever you feel like you’re in a rut, revisit this guide to get you back on track. Soon enough, writing quality introductions will feel like second nature.
Ready, set, intro!
1. Write the introduction last
It may seem a little backward, but writing your introduction last is one of the easiest methods to ensure your intro is relevant and focused. Plus, it’s much easier to introduce the content in your body paragraph when you’ve already written it.
2. Don’t overdo it
Your introduction doesn’t need to be lengthy. In fact, it’s more beneficial to keep it short and sweet. Most online readers want to jump into the main content as soon as possible, so don’t keep them waiting! Serve up a quick and healthy appetizer, then let your reader get to the main course.
3. Elicit an emotion
Easier said than done, right? Maybe it’s not as hard as you think. If you share a personal story, you can get your readers feeling empathetic. Just remember (like your English teacher of the past has probably said a dozen times), always show, never tell. Use descriptive words and put your reader in a situation that feels personal.
Additionally, you can elicit emotions simply by being controversial. While you may have to be a little careful here, presenting a controversial topic is a great way to get readers fired up about your post.
4. Add a little bit of personality
Readers are more likely to engage with a blog that has a personality attached to it. Your audience will appreciate hearing a perspective that feels and reads human. This can mean starting off with a personal anecdote or short story, a quirky joke, or maybe you just want to keep it real and write like you talk. (Okay, maybe don’t write exactly like you talk, but there’s certainly no need to be overly formal.)
Whatever you decide, don’t be afraid to incorporate your own unique voice. Chances are, if you include some of your own personal flair, readers will find it more enjoyable.
5. Explain why you’re writing
If you don’t clearly state the reason for your post, chances are, your reader might not know what they’re getting themselves into. Like an essay for school, state your thesis.
6. Solve problems
This one gets neglected often, but it’s vital. After you tell them exactly why you’re writing, let your audience know how you’re going to solve a problem they have.
People are always interested to know “what’s in it for me.” If you can adequately answer that question for your readers, you’ll have them hooked.
7. Include a quote
A wise man once told me, “People will always listen closely to a quote from a wise man.”
Okay, fine. The answer is: no. A wise man did not tell me this. But it worked, right?
Really though, readers want to know about a person’s genuine thoughts on a subject, especially when that person is an expert in the field. They want to see how real people feel about the topics they’re interested in.
8. State the facts
Everyone loves statistics and cold hard facts. Providing intriguing information (with a source) is a great way to give your readers information they can use. It’ll also help prove that you’re a credible author yourself.
9. Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’
On occasion, questions can be a great way to engage your reader. Primarily because there’s a good chance they’ll have a response. However, if that response is a simple “yes” or “no,” then your reader has no reason to continue scrolling. I’m not advising you to stay away from questions altogether (they can be effective when executed correctly), just make sure that any questions you include are some real thought-provoking humdingers.
Hopefully these nine guidelines make writing introduction easier. Just remember, as you’re writing, take a step back and make sure your intro accomplishes at least one of these nine tips. If it does, chances are you have a solid introduction on your hands. Now you’re that much closer to hitting your quickly approaching deadline.
If you have any other tips or tricks that you’ve found helpful while writing introductions, let us know in the comments, or tweet us!