A lot of new tech bloggers shared that their biggest concern when writing their first article is: How do you start?
Welcome to another article of Victoria's Blogging Tips Series, a series dedicated to help new bloggers overcome common challenges in blogging.
In this article, I got you covered on how to write a stellar introduction for your article. We will start with the components of a great intro, some tips to start writing your first paragraph, and then some examples. Let's begin!
Components of a Great Introduction
1. Start with a Compelling Statement
A good introduction can make the reader stay on your article out of curiosity, but a great introduction can entice the reader to continue reading because they are literally hooked to know more.
The first sentence of a great article should be compelling and engaging. It can begin with:
- A problem
- A thought
- A story or experience
- An idea or personal opinion
- An interesting question
- A particular topic
- A quote
Regardless how you write your first statement, make it is clear enough for readers to understand the article topic. That is how you can easily transition to the next component of a great introduction.
2. Communicate Goals
After your first attention-grabbing sentence, your introduction should transition to elaborate and communicate about the topic further.
Write about the main points of your article that the reader can expect to read about. State the goals of the article and your intention for writing it. If you highlighted a problem in the beginning of the introduction, briefly explain how your article can resolve it.
Once the article's main points and goals are outlined to your readers, remember to end off the introduction strongly.
This can be done by strengthening the article's objectives and focusing on why your readers should read your article, such as:
- Explaining the benefits or knowledge readers will learn from the article
- Promising a solution for the problem at the end of this article
- Re-iterating the main topic that your article is focusing on
Tips & Examples
Now that we have learned the 3 components of the strong introduction for your blog, allow me to share some of my personal tips. I will include a few examples too.
Write to Your Reader
A lot of new writers start their first paragraphs with "I". It's okay to begin with a personal story, but without addressing your reader first, it will be difficult for the readers to feel connected to you.
For example, take a look at this introduction:
I've been a front-end developer for 5 years, and I know a thing or two about React. I first got into React in 2016 and in this article, I would like to share some tips to get started on React...
It does not seem very engaging to a reader, doesn't it? It's just okay, so some people may read further, but some would also stop here.
Now let's take a look at the same introduction, but the writer writes to readers directly from the start:
Are you having difficulties learning React? You're not alone. I first started learning in 2016 and in this article, I would like to share some tips to get started on React...
By addressing the reader with "you", the writer has made us part of the introduction itself. The introduction feels more engaging and relatable.
Tone and Length
Remember that the introduction are the first lines that your readers read. Keep it simple and direct. A technical article's introduction should not be like a novel.
Here are some DON'Ts:
- Don't beat around the bush when presenting the article's topic to your readers
- Don't leave out important context or explanation that your readers needs to know
- Don't start with unrelated topics that may confuse your readers
- Don't start with a negative tone, which conveys pessimism (unless it serves to compel)
An example of an introduction that's too long and left out significant context.
I have tried many plugins for my blog. From my experience, I have learned that the best plugins are usually open sourced ones. I have curated a list of some helpful plugins. With this list, I believe they will help your blog.
Most readers would be left confused after reading this introduction. What kind of plugins is the writer writing about? In what way are these plugins helpful for blogging?
This introduction is very ambiguous and difficult for the reader to grasp the article's main points and goals.
Let's see a better version of this introduction:
Are you a Wordpress blogger struggling to get traffic to your site?
While Wordpress offers many plugins for content marketing and SEO, it can be daunting to find the right plugin for your blog. In this article, let me share my curated list of 10 Wordpress plugins to increase your blog's traffic easily.
In this improved version, we clarified the missing context regarding the plugins and identified the target audience: Wordpress bloggers. Next, we stated how this article is useful for the reader: to increase their blog traffic with the curated list of Wordpress plugins.
As seen from these examples, just making these small improvements can drastically change how impactful an introduction is. But a great introduction is not just about its content and hook, but also about delivering expectations. Let's discuss that in the next tip.
Regardless on how you choose to hook your reader with your first sentences, make sure it directly addresses/connects to the article title.
A lot of new bloggers easily fall into this pitfall. They wrote an amazing introduction to their article, but their blog post title makes it seem incomplete. The article's title has to be strongly emphasized in the blog's introduction; or the article will be seen as one with no direction and does not deliver on what its title promised.
There is no need to repeat the title explicitly in the introduction, as we would assume readers have read the title and clicked to read more. Instead, the introduction should be reinforcing the title and highlighting the main topics that the reader can expect to read.
Let's say your article's title is: "6 Tips to Optimize Your Website for SEO". And your introduction goes:
Attracting more visitors to your website can lead to more conversions and growth for your blog. By adopting good practices such as measuring key metrics and monitoring bounce rates, your blog can be ranked higher on search engines...
This introduction is decent, but it doesn't quite hit the mark in terms of the expectations from the article's title. In this case, there are 2 actions you can do:
- Change the title to fit the intro
- Change the intro to fit the title
Since this is a guide to writing better introductions, let's do the latter action. The improved introduction can be something like:
Learning how to optimize your website for better SEO will help attract more visitors to your website. This leads to more conversions and growth for your blog. The following 6 tips are some key strategies that I've learned to grow and drive traffic to my blog...
This introduction seems more aligned with the "6 Tips to Optimize Your Website for SEO" title. I reinforced some keywords such as "optimize", "SEO" and "6 Tips" so that the reader understands that this article is why he/she clicked it in the first place.
In summary, there are many ways to write an effective and impactful introduction in your article. It all comes down to aligning with the reader's expectations, communicating why they should read further, and keeping it simple yet engaging.
Thanks for reading! I do hope this article has been helpful to some degree for new tech bloggers. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Don't forget to like and share this article around if you think it might help a fellow blogger.
All the best to you and your blogging journey, and stay tuned to my next Blogging Tips article. Cheers!