Did you know on average, 80% of people read your headline.
50% the next few paragraphs.
And less than 20% actually read the entire article?
If that’s the average, then obviously there are some achieving better stats than this, and some far less.
So how do you make sure your article lands on the higher end of this scale?
You need a killer introduction.
The point of your title is to get them to read the first line of your introduction. The point of the introduction is to get them to read your body and so on.
An average introduction is only a handful of sentences. So each line of your introduction is vital, to engage and captivate your reader.
You might spend 2, 5, maybe even 10 hours trying to craft the perfect article, the last thing you want is to only have a handful of people actually read it or worse; no one to even get past your introduction...
So how do you make sure your introduction is hooking the reader and not putting them to sleep?
Simple, use this 3 step process.
The first line of your introduction should hook your audience. You want to open with something that will grab your reader's attention, so that they want to keep reading.
There are a few ways you can do this, some examples include:
For this blog post, I used a shocking statistic.
Less than 20% only read your entire article, who wants that?
Every great article needs a purpose. Whether it be to entertain, inform or educate. The reader needs to know what the purpose of your article is, and why it’s important for them to read it.
The purpose of this post is to educate, by addressing a specific problem - the difficulty in writing engaging introductions. So we want to highlight this problem, and why it’s important to solve (so that the reader will want to keep reading).
Finally once the reader understands the purpose of your post, tell them what they’ll get if they keep reading.
In this case, the reader knows what the problem is, it’s time for us to tell them we have a solution.
Here we tell them they are going to get 3 simple steps. Basically we want to set expectations upfront, and make it clear the value the reader will get by reading the rest of this post.
Here are some other great introduction examples using this framework.
This introduction captures your attention by launching straight into an empathetic story. If you’ve ever experienced the same painful problem - “a prospect not returning or answering your calls and emails”, you’ll be eager to read more.
2. "Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes" by Tim Ferris
When you open with a question, your reader can’t help but try to answer it.
Following it with some mystery about a method that never fails, and social proof (principles taught at Princeton University and helping Glenn Mcelhose increase his reading speed by 34% in less than 5 minutes) - why wouldn’t you want to read on?
James Clear has one of the most popular blogs on the planet, averaging more than a million visitors a month. Take inspiration from him here, as he uses a combination of a story and a quote to engage the reader.
The title of this article serves as a hook in itself. Capturing your curiosity, the writer then quickly sets the scene for what the post will be all about - sharing how “five young adults have earned more than many do in a lifetime”. Illustrating that great introductions can be super short, but still powerful.
5. "The One Rule for Life" by Mark Manson
Mark Manson, New York's Times best selling author is known for his controversial, humorous and foul-mouthed writing style, and he uses this style in many of his openings.
Now I’m not saying as a coach or for your business you should be using such innuendo or talk like a French sailor, but it’s a nice reminder that articles don’t have to be like a university lecture snooze fest.
Inject some of your personality into your posts, write conversationally and maybe even be a little controversial sometimes. You’ll find your readership increase and be far more engaged.
Remember the more irresistible your introductions are, the more engagement and readership your posts will create. So take your time in writing them and lay a solid foundation to hook your readers.
Of course there are other valid ways to write introductions - but this process is a great framework to follow or use as a starting point. So save these 3 steps, and come back to it the next time the words aren’t flowing.
Have a different way you like to write your introductions? Let us know in the comments below.
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