It’s a proven fact that you have only 15 seconds to drive the attention of your readers. If the intro to an article doesn’t snag their attention right away, they’re likely to join that 55 % of visitors who spend fifteen seconds reading a post and then close the page to navigate to other resources. Knowing how to create a strong opening part that will immediately hook the readers will help you to overcome the appalling statistics.
How to write an article introduction and what its role is?
Firstly, you shouldn’t repeat the mistake of those writers who think that an introduction is only a small insignificant part of a long article. You may do thorough research, fill your story with exciting and useful information, show your unique style of writing, but all this won’t matter if a reader doesn’t look further than the first couple sentences only because they were insipid and blah. The role of the opening part is to hook the readers and help them move to the article’s main body, which will keep them engaged all the way through.
In this guide, we offer you professional tips for writing an introduction that will make your article outstanding.
How to start an introduction: The importance of the first sentence
A strong introduction begins with a perfect first sentence. The highest likelihood of your readers leaving the page is within the first couple of seconds after they open it. Considering this, the purpose of the first sentence is simple: entice the visitors, and make them read the next sentence. Besides, the opening phrase sets the tone to the whole article and outlines its main idea. The readers tend to keep scrolling the page to the very bottom if they are intrigued from the very start.
What makes a good introduction perfect?
What is an introduction other than an eyecatcher? Now, take a moment to go back to the opening of this very article and read it once again. You were stricken with a surprising fact from the very first line. Being intrigued, you moved to the second sentence, which contained another piece of interesting data. To find out more, you kept reading up to this point, and will move on till the end, won’t you?
An introduction makes your material stand out from hundreds of similar ones. Further in the article, you’ll learn about the most effective types of intros, but it may also be a good idea to look for some examples of introductions online. They may inspire you and help to come up with your own ideas.
How to introduce an article: Professional tips
Don’t know what to start with? Here are several do’s and don’ts that will help you create a great introduction.
- Keep the introduction short. Although there are no official rules or instructions, for most types of blog posts and other features, 3-4 intro sentences are a reasonable amount.
- Do not waste words. Your aim is to write as little as possible. Avoid using filler phrases and words. Developing a skill of crisp and clean writing will benefit you in the long run, but it is especially important to apply it to the introductory paragraph, to draw the attention of readers.
- Try eliminating the first sentence. Very often the first one-three sentences you write work as a sort of warmup writing exercise. Try cutting them, to see if the introduction becomes stronger.
- Do not oversell. Don’t let the intro write a check which the whole post can’t cash. Whatever is promised in the introductory paragraph should be delivered in the article itself.
- Try writing the rest of the article before you work on its introduction. In many cases writing the whole piece will make it clear which type of intro should work best. If you are experiencing a writer’s block with the first paragraph (which is not a rare case), don’t waste your time. Just leave a placeholder, and get back to the opening part after the whole piece is completed.
Best introduction techniques for you to follow
There exist many good ways of writing an effective introduction to an article. Remember though that they aren’t universal: each type of intro will work only in a particular situation, depending on the topic of an article, its general tone, and the target audience.
- Ask your readers a question. A compelling question helps to speak out to your audience. People will keep reading to find out the answer.
- Tell an engaging story. Scientists claim that a reader’s brain activates when they try to imagine the same physical and mental activity that a story character is experiencing. Usually, people read the articles that begin with a story until the very end.
- Start with a joke. A funny phrase may break the ice, and entice the visitors into reading.
- Use shocking statistics. People enjoy learning new information. Surprise them with a credible fact, and you have them engaged.
- Use readers’ imagination. Asking your audience to imagine something works as a powerful hook.
When the introductory part is finally ready, take time to re-read it and make editions if necessary. Remember that these few first sentences can attract more readers to your page and make it popular.