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6 Steps To Writing Captivating Blog Post Intros Every Time

Steps To Writing Captivating Blog Post Intros Every Time

What do you do when your million-dollar blog post idea strikes?

You scramble to your computer, giddy with excitement, and type as fast as your little fingers are capable. If there were competitions for typing, you’d be taking home the gold.

When all your ideas are down on paper, you breathe a sigh of relief, read through your post one more time, and hit “publish.”

Only . . . where’s the engagement? No one seems to be making it past the headline, and you’re about ready to swear off any further ideas and ditch the whole blogging thing altogether.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Do you want to get readers past the headline? Do you want them to read your first sentence, and your second, and your third until they reach the end and can’t help but leave a comment or hit that “share” button?

It’s possible, and it all starts with a killer introduction. Use this 6-step formula to captivate your readers from the start every time.

Use these 6 steps to write captivating #blog post intros everytimeClick To Tweet

Step 1: Address your readers from sentence one

You want people to connect with your content, and you can accomplish that by talking directly to them. Use the word “you,” or directly ask your readers a question.

Through this technique, you create an emotional bond with your audience that they can’t ignore.

On the other hand, when you launch by talking about your own stories and successes, it’s easier to lose readers because they aren’t personally invested in your blog post.

Instead of launching with your own story, pull the reader into it by addressing them right away.

Let’s take an example from Adam Connell. In his post, “The Essential Guide To Must Have WordPress Plugins,” Adam gets around to telling his own story, but only after pulling the reader in.

Imagine he opened with this line:

I’ve built my fair share of websites and tested a lot of plugins in the past. This has led me to creating my own list of go-to WordPress plugins.

It doesn’t exactly capture a reader’s attention off-the-bat, does it? Now take a look at the intro Adam actually wrote:

Have you ever installed WordPress and wondered what plugins you should be installing?

You’re not alone.

There are thousands of plugins you could install which means it can be challenging to choose.

I’ve built my fair share of websites and tested a lot of plugins in the past. This has led me to creating my own list of go-to WordPress plugins.

Now that he’s addressed us and made us part of the story, we feel invested in it, and his own experiences become more credible and interesting to us.

Step 2: Launch by describing an emotion

You want people to feel something with your content, and that’s where describing emotions can come in handy.

The idea here is to identify how your readers feel and get them to say, “This guy understands me. What else does he have in store for me?”

Emotions push your readers to continue reading.

Just some types of emotions you might describe include:

  • Frustration
  • Excitement
  • Admiration
  • Love
  • Uncertainty
  • Stress
  • Desire

Most bloggers are already taking this step without realizing it, and it’s actually a lot easier to incorporate into your copy than it sounds. Let’s take a few examples to get a good idea of how to apply this step.

In Elna Cain’s post “How To Do Guest Blogging Right And Grow Your Audience By Leaps And Bounds,” she writes:

Are you brimming with excitement over your new blog?

That’s her intro sentence, and doesn’t it make you want to read more? Of course you’re excited over your new blog! She gets you, and you want to know more about what she has in store for bettering your blog.

Though Elna uses the term “excitement” in her opening statement, you don’t explicitly have to call out an emotion. Here’s an example from Sarah Peterson:

Do you hear that?

The sound of crickets in your comment section.

The radio silence on your Twitter feed.

The deafening sound of a lack of engagement on your blog.

Can you spot what emotion she’s describing?

It’s loneliness.

Sarah never had to come out and say you were lonely, but she elicits a feeling of loneliness anyway.

Step 3: Identify your readers’ problem

Every blog post you write should aim to solve a problem, such as by educating, informing, or entertaining someone. After all, who’s going to read your content if it’s not going to help them?

By explicitly identifying your readers’ problem, they already know that you’re going to help solve it, and that’s going to keep them engaged. Better yet, you’ll captivate the people who didn’t even realize they had a problem worth solving in the first place!

This problem might be lack of knowledge, poor results, wasted time, wasted money, etc.

Let’s take an example from Adam’s post, “How to Get Better Results from Your Content Marketing Efforts.”

We all want our content to get results.

We want more eye-balls on our content and we want that content to convert.

But how can we get the results that we want to get?

Here, our problem is poor results from our content.

Here’s another example from Adam’s post “18 Powerful WordPress Plugins For Bloggers And Content Marketers.”

Have you ever wondered which WordPress plugins could help your content marketing efforts?

Side note: Don’t you love how Adam has incorporated all of our first three steps into one sentence? He addresses the reader by using the term “you,” he describes an emotion (wonder), and he identifies a problem (lack of knowledge in WordPress plugins) all in under 15 words.

Step 4: Play off their hopes and dreams

Now that you’ve identified your reader’s problems, build the excitement by playing off their hopes and dreams. It’s okay to tease your readers a bit at this point. It’s all about building anticipation.

Pose a question about what your readers might want. Tell a story about results successful people have seen in the past. Give a number to how much time or money they dream of saving.

There are numerous ways to apply this step, but it’s easier if I show you a few examples.

Let’s start with a simple one from George Meszaros:

Have you ever wondered how some bloggers seem to be propelled towards success as if a mystical force is just “making it happen” while others just never quite seem to make it?

You’re not alone.

We all dream of making it big and having an audience that hangs on our every word while singing our praises to everyone they meet.

Here, he literally spells out what his readers dream of.

Here’s another example from Blogging Wizard’s Adam Connell:

Have you ever wanted to rapidly increase your email subscribers?

Not just by a few sign ups a day, I’m talking about a 529% increase in conversions.

By now you’re thinking, “Holy cow! I want a 529% increase in conversions!” And now he’s roped you in, and you’re hooked.

See how to work the magic?

Step 5: Promise something the reader wants

You’ve identified what your readers want, and it’s time to promise that they’ll get it. This is typically a short phrase, such as:

  • It’s possible!
  • I’ll show you how.
  • It’s easier than you think.

Feel free to word it however you want, but nonetheless, readers should know that you’re going to make their dreams come true.

In Adam’s post “A Step-by-Step Guide to Increasing Your Blog’s Traffic,” he uses the phrase, “You can make it work” to bring readers’ desires to life. Take a look:

You want to drive more traffic to your blog, but how do you get started?

There are a huge number of tactics that you can use, some work better than others, and some require more time to get working.

But the truth is that even if you’ve found traffic generation challenging, you can make it work, and I’ll show you how.

Here’s another creative example by Mary Fernandez from Boost Blog Traffic:

…your list hasn’t grown much at all in the past week, or the past month. And it’s annoying as all heck.

You groan.

All this hard work, and what do I have to show for it?

Know what? You aren’t alone in feeling this way.

But all you need to grow your email list at hyper speed is to get the word out in an entirely different way…a way that most bloggers haven’t even considered.

Step 6: Transition by hinting at how to solve their problem

Finally, show your readers how you’ll fulfill your promise. This will lead them into your blog post’s body seamlessly to keep them reading. Typically, this will be something along the lines of, “Follow these tips…” or “Read on to learn how…” but you can certainly get creative.

Here’s a strong transition by Eugene Mota, which helps guide us into the body of his post without missing a beat:

…So I decided to take this approach and put it to the test.

I wrote a new post on my blog and outreached to 21 of the top guys in the content marketing world.

Then I followed Adam’s formula step by step.

And….I got an 80% engagement rate!

Let me take you quickly through the specific steps I took in order to achieve this result.

Here’s another simple example from my own blog post, “7 New Social Media Management Tools to Try in 2016.”

… If you’ve already tested out popular social media management tools, chances are you haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s out there. Perhaps consider the following social media management tools for your team in 2016.

Examples

You’ve learned the six steps to this blog post introduction formula, but if you’re a bit overwhelmed at this point, don’t fret! It’s actually a lot easier to put these steps together than it sounds. Remember, you can combine steps, and most of them can be short, simple phrases.

Let’s take some examples from two bloggers to see how they’ve put each step together into a cohesive introduction.

Our first example comes from Adam Connell’s post, “How to Achieve Incredible Results with Blogger Outreach.”

Adam Connell Example

Another example comes from blogger Sophie Lizard on her blog, Be a Freelance Blogger. (Fun fact: I came up with this formula after studying Sophie’s introductions.)

Sophie Lizard Example

Want another example? I used the same formula in my introduction. Can you spot where I used each step?

By no means is this the only formula for writing blog post introductions, but it is one that works. Feel free to play around with these six steps until you find a style that works for you. Combine steps together, skip over a step if you need to, or add your own steps.

Over to you

Now it’s time to practice! Take this six-step formula with you the next time you write a blog post, and let us know how it goes.

About Alicia Rades

Alicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a professional blogger for hire who specializes in blogging, freelancing, and lifestyle topics. Learn more about her at aliciarades.com, where you can download her free blogging guide, 20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hitting Publish.

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  • Hey Alicia,

    Thanks so much for putting this post together for us.

    I love how you brought the steps together into the perfect visual example at the end from Sophie’s blog post.

    This has highlighted how I need to shake up my post intros a bit lol :)

  • Julian Sakanee

    Hey Alicia. Adam.

    Awesome read! Introductions are very important in our blog content.

    And the advice you shared is genius! The examples make it so easier to take in. I like it!

    I’ve always tried to ask a question right away, while included the word “you”. It’s probably the easiest way to draw in the reader, you think?

    Another intro method I use is the APP Method Brian Dean shared on Backlinko.

    I like to:

    – address the reader and his problem
    – let him know that there is a solution
    – and, in one sentence, let him know that I’ll share it with him.

    Sometimes, I’ll even show that I know how he feels right before I let him know about the solution.

    It’s done alright (I think :p).

    Anyway, like always…I enjoyed the post. :)

    Laters!
    Julian

    • That’s a great formula, too, and very similar to mine. I think as long as you’re attentive to the readers and their problems in the intro, you’re doing good. Unfortunately, a lot of people are ignoring the power of their intros.

    • Thanks for swinging by and checking out Alicia’s post, Julian!

      I really like Brian’s method. He has a super engaging writing style.

      Glad you enjoyed the post :)

      – Adam

  • Hey Alicia,

    Really nice post. Blogging Wizard always delivers awesome content.

    After reading this post, I realize that I really need to work on the intro part of my posts. :)

    Keep Up The Gooood Work

    Thanks,
    Mohit

    • Thank you for the compliment! :) Let us know how your intros go.

    • Good to see you here, Mohit. Thanks for the kind feedback about Blogging Wizard :)

  • Terrence Blair

    A simple and straightforward guide to writing introduction. Using “you” and its variation “your,” added to an emotion appeal, is a sure way of pulling in your readers. Loved the examples and visual at the end.

  • Thanks so much for including me, guys! I appreciate it :)

  • Hi Alicia,

    You’ve nailed down a concise version of a complex copywriting lesson in such a short post.

    Amazing work!

    What I really liked is the way you’ve shown a bigger picture and then zoomed in to the detailed aspects of writing an engaging post that readers would love!

    Indeed, you got me reading past the title, the first sentence, the second sentence and here I am leaving a comment in appreciation of your post! :)

    Did I mention, you also write in a ‘communicative’ style that hooks me as a reader, until when I found myself at the end of the post.

    Thank you!

    Arun

  • Hi Alicia

    I loved the examples and loved the step-by-step formula you created for killer openings.

    The only thing extra this post needed to fulfil its promise was to number each step/subheading, e.g. ‘Step 4: Play off their hopes and dreams’.

    I launched into those examples with great enthusiasm. But just found it difficult referring back to the steps – because your subheadings weren’t numbered.

    Nevertheless, this post is so useful that I’m saving it to Evernote and putting in the numbers myself.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Glad you found Alicia’s post helpful.

      Apologies to both you and Alicia – the headings were numbered originally. I should have realized the numbers were missing before I hit publish.

      I’ve gone in and fixed that :)

      Thanks Kevin!

      – Adam

      • If I were docked a pound for every mistake I’d made then I’d be in debt up to my eyeballs.

        Thanks Adam – The missing numbers did seem out of character for this blog.

        • I think I’d be in a similar position!

          Sure thing, thanks again for spotting the omission.

  • Hi Alicia,

    Thanks for this concise list to help us fellow bloggers start our posts with bang. Much appreciated!

    I’ve always heard that the purpose of each sentence is to prompt the visitor to read the next, and your template fits perfectly with that philosophy.

    I also see some very obvious areas where I need to focus on improvement, and for that I am grateful. Keep up the great work!

    Best to you,
    Scott

  • Hi, This was a very good article and had some salient points. Adam has told me some of or probably all of these things, but this is a good refresher course and reminder. I don’t always think of all of these things. Great post with ideas I can put into practice!

  • Hi Alicia,

    Top notch post here! Your examples are spot on. I love those coloured examples at the end, very clear. I love how you tied them into these steps you’ve included here.

    You show how to really get to the heart of what readers will take notice of and find appealing to read. A reader will only notice content if it speaks directly to what they’re going through. It’s all about finding out what their “deep heart problems” are and reflecting these back to them in what you write.

    A good way of being able to find their deep heart problems is to hang out in forums and groups, or anywhere they hang out and keep an eye out for what they’re talking about. Do they ask questions? Do they talk about what’s holding them back, frustrating them? If so, what words do they use when talking about these frustrations?

    You can then reflect these words back to them in your content, which ties into your Step #5.

    Using this technique, I know words like Frustration work for my readers. And Disappointment. Discouraged.

    It’s also important to deliver on any promise you’ve made to the readers in getting their attention.

    Thanks for putting this together, Alicia.

    -Tom

    • Excellent point, Tom! I’ve heard this advice before, and when I took it, I was able to go directly back to the people who were asking the questions and share my blog post with them.

  • Elna Cain

    Hey Alicia,

    Great seeing you here and thanks for the mention. I
    learned quickly that the best blog posts are the ones that connect you
    to the post and make it feel like the writer is writing to you. I try to
    do that in every blog post I write! Great tips and visualization.

  • Hi there Alecia,

    What an awesome post. I’m a blogger as well and I’ve learned a lot just by reading the different techniques that us bloggers should be implementing. It’s funny because we own our blogs and call it mine or yours but in reality, a blog is for the people. A successful blog in my opinion is a blog that knows how to give value to the readers and engage with them making it a unique and learning experience. Thanks for sharing this Alecia. Keep it up!

  • Dave Burnham

    Excellent post. So much great information. Thank you. I have this bookmarked for future reference.

  • Leslie L Denning

    Hi Alicia. I love the way that you showed actual examples in this post. I immediately went to my latest post and changed the intro a bit. It’s like I know all this stuff, but it gets tucked in the back of my brain. It’s nice to have a little jog to get it to the surface.

    I appreciate your sharing this information.

    All the best,
    Leslie

  • I love the visuals! It is good to SHOW the steps in action, as this helps readers/bloggers GET it!

  • Hey Alicia,

    Apart from your captivating intro I really loved the way you stepped through this. You shed some excellent examples to back up your six steps – much appreciated!

    I’m heading over to your place to check out your other posts too.

    Thanks!
    – David

  • a great article. may contact you later for our Home Automation iOS App Blog. do you cover any smart home/home automation topic?

    Vicinno Smart Home App
    http://new.vicinno.com

  • Finally, some useful tips that I can really apply immediately. The examples are superb and can start me going.

  • Hey Alicia,

    You gripped me with your excellent intro. A great illustration of how it should be done – simplified in a step by step format and backed up with solid examples. Excellent post!

    I have featured it as the number 1 MUST READ article in this week’s edition of my Blogging Roundup. Would you like me to share the link?

    I’m heading over to your site now to check out your other work.

    Thanks

    Kimya

  • Jasper Oldersom

    Hello Alicia,

    What an excellent post, I really feel like I have the master key to writing captivating blog post intros now!

    The word “you” is so simple but nevertheless powerful. I like your idea of addressing the reader right away. Adam has clearly mastered this technique because practically anyone that uses WordPress can relate to that.

    I like how Elna started her post but what Sarah does is also very powerful because she’s showing what many starting bloggers are experiencing instead of saying it. Both would definitely want to make me know more.

    I can’t help but love how this simple 6-step process works. I feel like it’ll not only get a person to read the post, but also helps to get a reader excited and pumped up to take action after they have read the article!

    Thank you so much for sharing this here on Blogging Wizard Alicia, I’ll absolutely share this one.

    – Jasper

    • Thank you, Jasper!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jasper. And for the kind words.

      The point when I changed how I write intros was definitely a tipping point. Loved how Alicia broke the process down.

      Let us know how things go with this process!

      – Adam

  • Hi Alicia,

    Fantastic information. I will try to implement in my future posts.

    Great article….

    Regards,

  • Hey Alicia,

    These are great ideas.

    I use a few copywriting formulas, but these strategies makes them a bit more cohesive installing just “jumping into” the blog post.

    I tend to skip number 4 and go into into the promise. I will take note of this since it makes the intro go smoother.

    Thanks for these tips! Have a great week ahead!

  • Hi Alicia
    Many thanks for sharing this high quality post.
    Headlines bring the people on post while its intro holds the readers to go ahead and read the post till end.
    All the tips you mentioned are quite amazing and just a little trick is required to apply them according to the subject matter of the post.
    Have a great rest of the week

  • Hi Alicia,

    Excellent examples of what works.

    Recently I’ve emphasized on what we call the empathy intro and I feel that people love it. It works even better than the story telling intro which is not bad either, but the point is to rise an immediate interest, so they read the first, the second, the third and more sentences, until they read the whole thing.

    Great job!

  • Chris Andrew

    Hi Alicia,

    This is the best post i have ever read. i really appreciate your efforts to write such an amazing article.

    Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

    • Wow. I don’t know about the best blog post, but thank you. Glad I could help!

      • Chris Andrew

        definitely best for me and my pleasure :)

  • Hi Alicia,

    Thanks for the publishing post for blogger .Really helpful to me.I learned that readers are important to us.

  • Vic S Waugh

    This blog post is really useful thank you! I will be returning to this for my next few blog posts until I get the hang of it!

  • Nice post, @AliciaRades:disqus! And great to see you over here on @adamjayc:disqus’s blog!

    Yes, I find myself constantly questioning and revising my post intros before hitting that publish button… heck, sometimes I revise them after I already published the post.

    The intro goes a long way to setting the tone for the rest of what you’ve written.

    I like the example from Mary Fernandez. It reminds me of the Feel, Felt, Found method in sales:

    “I understand the way you feel — other struggling bloggers have felt that way, too. But once they followed my strategy, what they found was…”

    Keep up the great work!

    Brent

    • That’s a great method, too!

    • Thanks for dropping by, Brent!

      Feel, Felt, Found is one of the first methods I used after I started to put more effort into writing intro’s.

      I’m the same with revisiting intro’s – they’re so important. I sometimes go through 4-5 variations before I get a post polished up.

      – Adam

  • Chris DeeWaard

    Hi Alicia.

    Thanks for this great post.

    I’ve already seen where I need improvement in my intros.

    We all want people to read our posts but if we aren’t giving them a reason to do so, it’s just a waste of their time to click on over. One thing I do is to make sure I say hello before I get into the topic of my posts. I think that shows them that I’m treating them like a real person and not an automaton.

    I’ve been reading lately in other blogs about the relationship factor and these steps definitely help to build that. Not only that, it does get them to thinking, “This person knows what my problem is. I think I’ll keep reading and see what the solution is.”

    As we know, if we give them the WOW factor, they will come back more often.

    This post is going into my favorites folder. I’m also going to share it as it’s definitely something every blogger should read.

    Again, thanks for this information……….Chris

  • Thank you Alicia for these simple and effective tips, would include it on my blog to improve my reach and getting more visitors :)

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