Writing good intros should not be difficult. You can write an article introduction that can be great, yet simple.
The job of an introduction is to grab attention and keep people reading. You can do it by generating curiosity, telling the reader that they are at the right place, or identifying with their problem.
How Do You Write a Good Introduction?
Keep It Simple
Intros should signal the reader that they have landed on the right page.
And a writer (like you and me) can do it by getting straight to the point.
Let me give an example:
Suppose you are making a list of the top 10 electric vehicles under $5,000.
How would you begin the article?
No need to explain what electric vehicles are. The user already knows that. They are past the awareness phase in the “buyer’s journey”.
Consider these two intros:
- Electric vehicles are powered by electricity and save you a lot of money in the long run.
- We have done extensive research to bring you this list of the top 10 electric cars in 2021.
Intro no.2 beats intro no.1 because:
- It doesn’t tell the reader what they already know.
- It doesn’t waste on word-count
- It contains the keyword “top 10 electric cars in 2021”
- It set the expectation for the reader about what they are going to learn in this article
There Is No Single Correct Way
When a reader is interested in the topic, they will enthusiastically keep reading your content.
No power word can magically ignite their interest if they don’t care about the topic.
Let’s say you are a good writer (like me!!). Not extraordinary, not outstanding, but a good writer.
Let’s say you can’t write extraordinary literature that wins noble prizes.
Let’s say you can’t knock someone’s socks off with your writing.
It doesn’t matter! We are not here to win awards. Our job is to convey information in a way that readers can easily understand.
All you need to do is not to make the job harder for the reader.
And it is done by:
- Using simple words
- Breaking long sentences into two parts or three parts
- Avoiding textbook language (remember how textbooks work as a substitute for sleeping pills?)
- Adding additional information to explain the points you make in your article
- Giving examples
- Stating clear benefits of the solution you offer
Let’s take an arbitrary example.
You have a javelin manufacturing business. One of the features of your javelin is that it’s extraordinarily light, allowing athletes a farther reach with lesser effort.
If you are writing an article about the top 5 reasons to use your javelin, one of the ways to begin the intro is by mentioning a benefit:
Our javelin is rightfully called “the competition obliterator.” It’s designed by experts and tested by athletes. Every result displays its ability to extraordinary distances with minimal effort. It literally flies!
Types of Intros:
1. The Rhetorical Question
Begin the article with a question that will get a “yes” from the target audience.
Are you interested in learning how to write great intros?
2. The Unpopular Opinion
Make a point about a popular subject that’s not going to resonate with most of your audience.
Spending too much time and energy on writing great intros is a waste. Let me explain…
3. The Statistic
Begin with a stat that supports the claim you are making in your article.
According to Josh Schwartz, “for every 100 readers who didn’t bounce up at the top, there are about 50 who’ve stuck around. Only one-half!”
4. The Quote
Start with a quote relevant to the subject of your writing.
“A stout intro grabs the readeth’r’s attention and keeps those folk reading” – Anonymous
5. The 180° turn
Make a claim and then proceed in the opposite direction of what you said.
I never believed in spending time on writing good intros because I was already doing excellent without them. Everything changed once I discovered that spending just 5 more minutes on the intros would have skyrocketed my readership. Here’s what happened…
6. The Obvious
State the obvious to empathize with the reader. It lets them know that they are in the right place.
Good intros are crucial to grabbing attention. And today, I am going to show you how to improve your readership with good intros.
7. The Benefit
Begin the article with the benefit the readers will get by reading your article.
Good intros decrease bounce rate. Wanna signal Google to rank your article higher? Write great intros.
8. The Anecdote
Anecdotes are short personal stories. They make a good intro because people automatically connect with stories.
One morning I sat on my laptop and spent 6 hours reworking the intros of my blog posts. Nothing happened for a few days, and suddenly one day, the bounce rate of my website decreased. I was getting higher traffic, and people were engaging with my content.
9. The Joke
If you like cracking jokes and the brand voice allows it, then certainly do it. Even bad jokes add a human touch to articles, and people feel more connected to the author.
Whenever I sit down to write intros, my mind becomes blank. Therefore, I spent two decades learning from yogis, monks and saints. I spent 23 years learning the art of writing great intros, and I will teach this to you in the next 23 minutes.
10. New Development
Begin the article with new development or recent news about the topic.
Last month’s Google update now ranks articles with shorter intros higher. Here’s what it means for you…
Writing a good intro is like developing muscle memory. The more you do it, the better you get it. Mix and match the intro type and see what you are comfortable with. Eventually you will start better work for yourself and your freelance writing clients.
After reading this post, open Grammarly and spend 15 min practising intros (be a man of action).
It could be about any topic. If you are at a loss for ideas, let me get you started:
- Benefits of using Grammarly
- My hobbies
- Five things I love doing with my friends
- Why I like/dislike road trips
- The ONE book I recommend for everyone to read