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Is Your Blog Intro Putting Readers to Sleep?

By Erin  |   Business Website Tips | Website Copywriting

bored by poor blog introduction

You think you've written a blog post that will (almost literally) knock the socks right off your readers; it's AMAZING.

You publish the post and wait with bated breath, waiting for the responses that are bound to come flooding in. You wait for the frenzy of social shares and the buzz that is about to happen.

You are pumped.
Time creeps by.
You go from pumped to perplexed.
Nothing happens.

You double check to make sure your post went live, that your notification about the post is still on your Facebook page, that your tweet announcing this amazing post wasn't accidentally deleted.

Everything looks fine.

A week after you push your post live you check your stats. Your post received a solid number of visits, but visitors are only spending a few seconds on the page. They're taking off without reading most of your amazing article.

People are busy – you get it.

It will get better, you assure yourself. You check again in another few days, then another few days after that. Your fears come true: your post is a flop.

Nearly no social media shares. No comments.  People didn't spend time reading the post.  Flop.

Not what you expected, yet what could you have done differently? You know if your heart that the content you shared is solid, compelling, helpful, and valuable.  You've spent time learning about great blog post titles and you're confident you've nailed your post's title.  What might be going on?

Here's something you  may not have considered: After the headline, the opening sentence is the most important part of your blog post.

When your opening sentence fails to engage your readers, those readers very well may be missing out on an amazing post you spent hours researching, writing, and perfecting. They don't give it a chance because they're impatient and your opening sentence failed to interest them.

"The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn't induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn't induce him to continue to the third sentence, it's equally dead. Of such a progression of sentences, each tugging the reader forward until … safely hooked, a writer constructs that fateful unit: the lead."

 – William Zinsser, On Writing Well

Remember: There is one and only purpose of your opening sentence. To get readers to read the second one, and the third one, and so on.

Rock star blog introduction examples you can use for your next blog posts

Need some inspiration? Let's take a look at 3 excellent examples of introduction techniques that start their respective blog posts off with a bang.

Technique #1: Paint a picture

Imagine if you were a …?

The goal here is to get your readers to paint the picture you want them to see in their minds.

Here's a great example of this method:
What if, 30 days from now, you had a finished, well-crafted eBook sitting on your hard drive, ready to distribute and sell? (Source: How to Write a High-Quality ebook in 30 Days)

Technique #2: Hook them with a story

Make it personal. Or talk about somebody else.  Research has repeatedly shown that people remember and connect with information presented in stories better than information presented in a non-narrative manner.

Here's a great example of this method:
The doctor cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, but I have bad news."
He paused, looking down at the floor. He looked back up at her. He started to say something and then stopped, looking back down at the floor.

That's when Pat began to cry. (Source: On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas)

Technique #3: Make a shocking statement

Catch your readers off guard. Make them turn their heads or do a double take.  Startle them. You get the idea.

Here's a great example of this method:
What if I said you are worth more when you can do less?
You'd think I was nuts, right?
Heck, I'd think I was crazy, too. (Source: How to Raise Your Rates By Offering Less Value (Yes, LESS value))

Let's rewind and look at your intro with fresh eyes

Go back and reread the first few lines of that amazing blog post you wrote that didn't perform to your expectations.

This time, assume you're a busy human with 2 minutes to spare. Would you read this post?  Bookmark it as a "Eh, maybe later…" option?  Might you skip it completely?

Be honest.  

Even better, get honest feedback from others (preferably, those in your target market).

Most importantly: be wiser, for next time.

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