A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach. – Brian Clark, Copyblogger
How do you get people to keep reading your content past the headline?
The first few lines of your blog post is where people decide whether they still want to continue reading your content.
It is also the short introduction that comes up on search engines results and social media platforms.
If you don’t take advantage of this crucial part of your blog post, you’re missing out on a lot of readers.
After your headline, they encounter ‘The Turn’
The ‘Turn’ is the part of your post where you introduce your content, and give them idea what it’s about, and what it’s for.
It’s not yet about the details. It’s similar to when Paul Bettany’s character in the movie A Knight’s Tale introduces his the late Heath Ledger’s character, William.
He calls the people’s attention with a powerful headline (the ‘Pledge’), and then he proceeds with his ‘Turn’.
Paul’s character gives a short and sweet introduction that makes the audience go crazy.
Here’s are three ways to write a beautiful ‘turn’.
1. Quoting a famous line
When you quote someone that people recognize right away, it gives them the impression that you did your research for that blog post, and that you know your stuff.
Here’s a shot of Martyn Chamberlain’s post about him deciding to go to college. He started off his blog post with a quote from someone you probably have heard about at one point in your life.
Another way to use quotes is to get one from a famous movie, TV show or a common saying that is relevant to your content.
Here’s a shot of Brian Clark’s blog post about commonly misused words.
2. Asking a trigger question
Another neat way to write the introduction to your content is to ask a question that would get your target audience thinking.
Ask something that would be relevant, something people can’t stop thinking about.
It gets your readers to ask themselves that question, and more often become interested in what you have to say.
It somehow ‘triggers’ the need to know more by reading onward, and finding the ‘magic bullet’, or the ‘ninja secret’.
Here’s a shot of Brian Clark’s introduction for his post on persuasive writing.
3. Inflict Pain
One of the most effective ways to write an introduction for your blog post is to inflict some pain.
I’m not talking about writing insults or derogatory comments.
It’s when you make people imagine being in a bad situation where you can tell them how important your content is going to be.
When you get people to imagine something in their heads that they can relate to, you can get their attention enough to listen what you have to say next.
A great example is how Derek Halpern makes you imagine the pain of not finding what you want when you visit other websites.
Here’s a quick shot. Notice that he also uses a question to get you thinking. This example is actually a combo.
Bonus Tip: Tell A Story
We are all made up of stories.
And when you tell a story as an introduction for your blog post, you’re combining all three of the key points I mentioned above.
- You may not be quoting someone, but a story feels like a quote nonetheless
- Stories make people wonder if the problem that your story is about is happening to them
- When people read stories, they use their imagination along every word they come across
Here is a example of how Roger Dooley starts his blog post with a story to grab attention, and get people to keep reading:
So what do you think?
How do you usually start off your blog posts? Do you have anything in mind that you can add to the list above? If so, please tell me and we’ll talk about it in the comments section below.P.S. - If you liked the post, please click the +1 button.