Let’s call it a lead, bait, hook, starter, lead, first paragraph, or whatever we like. But the truth is that all blog articles have to start somewhere. And depending on where they start, we will probably know where they end up. To write the lead of a blog article, we must consider that this is where almost everything is decided.
If we fail to capture the user’s attention, they will likely end up going elsewhere.
In a previous article, we talked about some tips for writing attractive titles in a blog article.
And we also talked about the importance of writing with empathy, something that should be reflected in both the tone and the article’s approach.
Today paper writer will talk about how to write the first paragraph of a post, what options we have, and how we can give it that special touch that makes it irresistible.
What is the function of a lead paragraph?
I have seen one-line headers and 7 or 8 written around. The truth is that there is no rigorous formula to guide us. The important thing is not the size but the objective. Each lead-in is a world unto itself.
You may want to create intrigue, ask the reader a question to invite him to reflect, and summarize what he will find in the post. It has a lot to do with the approach.
Entries can be better and worse. But not all of them are equally attractive, nor will they capture the reader’s attention. Writing a successful lead-in will depend, to a large extent, on your literary skills, whether you are inspired, and on whether you have managed to be as intimate as possible with the purpose of the article.
However, I will give you some suggestions if you want to know some of the types of headings you can use. They are not all there are, but they are all there are.
8 types of starters you can use (if you want to)
This classification that I am going to make here does not pretend to be academic, journalistic, or part of a rigorous study of thousands and thousands of posts. It is born only from my experience, from the posts I have read and the posts I have written. And I think it will be beneficial in those moments when you try to start an article, and you don’t know where to start.
1. Didactic intro
Let’s suppose that you have used a word or tool that is a bit complex in the title of the article. It is known to experts, but not everyone knows what it is. But it is essential for the type of audience you are targeting.
In that case, it is important to use the keyword in the title, even if it is a complex concept. But the paper help should not go very far without explaining to the reader what it is.
For example, the title could be: “Why your SME needs a CRM.” And this is a post that is aimed at small business owners. There will be entrepreneurs who do know what CRM is, but many don’t. And it doesn’t make much sense to talk to them over and over again. And it doesn’t make much sense to repeatedly speak to them about acronyms that they don’t even know what they mean. The concept needs to be clarified.
Although, of course, the objective of this post is not to explain “what a CRM is,” it cannot remain a mere definition. It is to delve into the value of this type of software for SMEs and give solid reasons for integrating it into a small business.
2. Summary post
You will talk about a lot of things in the post, and you don’t want the reader to get lost along the way. It is the typical introduction, typical of a teacher who is going to explain a topic. You want the user to be well-positioned. In the first paragraph, they will know what the post is about and decide if they wish to continue reading or not. In just 10-15 seconds of reading, you make it clear. This way, if they are not interested, you don’t waste their time. And if they are interested, you create a particular interest in what they are going to find.
It is a type of post that can easily be integrated into a series. Some posts start directly by referring to previous articles and then explaining what they are going to talk about in this one.
3. Contextual (in the second person)
I didn’t know how to baptize this type of intro, but it is one of the ones I like the most. When you start talking to the reader directly in the second person about his situation or context. You delve into the problem, and the user’s need. “You’ve come here because you have this and that and so and so and so.”
You try to make a sketch, a robot portrait of your reader and his fundamental problem.
I must confess that this is a type of intro that, in addition to being very empathetic with the reader, allows you to introduce the main keywords in a very natural way. It brings together two fundamental pieces of a good article for the Internet: it is focused on the reader and SEO for Google.
I often use it on the blog, for example, in the post ten reasons to get back to writing on your blog when you have abandoned it.
4. Testimonial (in the first person)
It’s the kind of entry in which you start talking in the first person. You start with a personal experience, an opinion, an anecdote. And you use it as a starting point to introduce the post.
One of the main advantages of this type of starter is that you give a personal touch to your post. It shows something about the person behind it.
Remember that one of the fundamental elements to strengthening your credibility as a blogger is to talk about what you are, and what you do. When you talk about things you know, the reader tends to trust you much more because you know what you’re talking about. You know their problem. You speak from a knowledgeable point of view.
It is a style typical of consultants, experts, freelancers, and lecturers. It is one of the most impactful, in my opinion.
5. Conflict or contradiction lead-in
These are the most common headings when you are going to write an article about a substantive problem. There is an apparent contradiction, conflict, and paradox between what you do, believe, or think and what you should do, believe or think.
It is widespread in company blog articles, where you try to offer a solution to a problem. You start by talking about a “myth,” “false belief,” or “bad habit” and expose the reality from a professional point of view.
For example, the entry “Keys to write an ideal “who we are” page for your company” has an entry of this type.
6. Question header
It consists of starting the article by asking the reader a lot of questions. “What if… Is there a way to…? Is there a way to…? This type of entry is very similar to #3. You are trying to reflect the feelings of doubt and uncertainty currently in the user’s mind who has come to your post.
It can be very quickly spun with a summary in which you make it clear that you will answer these questions throughout the post. You have to be careful, of course, not to answer them in the same position. Doing so would make it unnecessary to read the rest of the article. This post by Frank Scipion would be a classic example of a question header.
7. Reader appeal lead-in
The post in which you talk about a reader or another blogger with whom you have been sharing e-mails wrote a comment or asked a question through social networks. You’re giving the readers the spotlight. You show that you are not simply talking about what you want, but they ask you through different media about your doubts.
Thanks to this type of lead-in, you can let the person who wrote to you know that you are quoting him/her. Contrary to what would happen if you mention him/her in the middle of the text, it may go unnoticed if he/she does not read the whole article. It is advisable, if possible, to put a link to the blogger or Twitter of the person you are interacting with. The anonymous quote is also valid when the topic is very personal, and you want to appeal to the reader, but without everyone knowing who it is.
8. Literary lead-in
These are those entries in which you try to amaze the reader. Rich in adjectives, you try to reflect the beauty of a situation, an experience, or a place. They are widely used in tourism or decoration blogs. Their literary character and witty style can encourage the reader to continue reading.
Of course, not everyone likes this type of lead-in. And not everyone has the patience to read such an article. But it depends on your ability to connect with the reader if you use an entertaining and engaging style.
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