Writing the Perfect Introduction
Do you know the term “elevator pitch”?
This term is very common in the business world, where businessman describe their proposals (in very short form) to their potential investors. The premise behind that phrase is that you bump onto someone who could change your life, but you’re going to get only 20-30 seconds to impress them. Think of it as being in the same elevator with a CEO or owner of the business.
So, you got only 20 seconds to woo them. And since this kind of opportunity only comes once in the life, you have to make your every word count.
Now, this is the attitude you want to have—every time you write an article for your client or for your blog. You should write your introduction like an elevator pitch.
Still don’t get it?
See the thing is that the very first sentence of your article should take the reader by surprise and hook them to what you have to say. Then the next lines of the introduction paragraph should show you as an experienced or an expert on the topic, so they don’t doubt the worth of reading your article.
And then you should finally finish your first paragraph revealing what to expect from your whole post. And you have to do all of this with just the first 50 words.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry amigo. I too used to have this same feeling when I started my writing career until I learned about this structure which I am about to tell you in this post.
Wanna see it in action? Alright then, let’s take a real example.
Let’s say you have to write an article on “Importance of SEO in Digital Marketing”
Now if you had read the previous post in this series, you know that the first, we should do is to figure out …” who will be the target readers of this article?”
The obvious answer will be Any online Business that is looking to increase their online reach.
So our real goal is to convince the business owners that why they should focus on SEO in their online business.
How To Research?– Creating the Reader Personna.
Now, we will try to answer the series of questions to create a clear image of our reader in our minds.
Question.1.- What do website owners really care about when it comes to SEO?
Answer- They care about
- Getting More Visitors
- Getting More sales
- Increasing their website reach
- Like everybody else, they care about making more money
Question.2.- How much they know about SEO?
Answer- Most business owners barely know anything about online marketing. (Although it is changing now).
Question.3.- What are their pain-points? (What is troubling them most?)
Answer- One problem that everyone faces in the online business is that people are scammed by the many marketing companies. As a lot of them tend to overpromise things which they can’t deliver.
So, we certainly want to build trust and make a good first impression on our readers and potential buyers.
Now since I know about this topic, I didn’t have to paddle through various sites and research to find the answers to these questions.
But you have to create this reader persona before even opening the word and start typing. Remember you got to do solid research not just on the topic only but the reader as well. Simply copy and paste these set of questions in a sticky note and try to answer each of them, every time you write a new article.
Who is the reader of this article?
How much he knows about the keyword or topic of the article?
What are his pain paints? (What he is really looking from your article? The answer would be specific Solutions to his problems)
What are his likings?
How to deliver this information in an attractive way?
If I had to write on something else, like “How to Start Investing?” or “How to lose weight?” Then I have to do some actual research before writing the article. But let’s save “The art of researching” for another post. For now, let’s just focus on the introduction part only.
Here we go—
“Do you know? That over 79% of consumers search online on their mobile phones before buying the product in the stores. You might be thinking that I have my website to take care of that. Don’t you? But the thing is, having a non-optimized website is good for nothing to attract new customers. In fact, chances are that even your most loyal customers are finding other places to shop. That’s why SEO is crucial for small business in the Internet world. It is the only way to make people find your shop and know your brand.”
If you notice you will realize, that I started my introduction with a shocking statistic. It will definitely catch the eye of anxious businessman wondering the causes of his low sales. They can’t just click on the back button after reading this first line. They have to know more… so they will read the next line.
Then, there is a tone of friendliness by using words like ‘your best customers’, ‘my website’ etc. This lets me establish a link with the reader and make them to trust me and read further.
In simple words, it interacts with them, they feel that the post is specially written for them only.
SEO-wise also, I managed to insert a long-tail keyword “Why SEO is crucial for small business”. Thus having achieved my all goals, I wrapped up the paragraph by getting to point of telling the importance of SEO in their business.
Now you might be wondering that why not add a few more sentences. Why not tell the reader more?
Well, technically there is not any rule regarding the length of the introduction. Your only job is to ensure the reader will read the whole article. And for that, you do whatever it takes.
But you got 20 seconds only to impress your reader. Thus, you can’t take all day to just brief him about the topic. That’s why my advice is to keep your intro between 50-100 words only.
Further Reading: How to Captivate Readers With Simple Language?
Let me make one more point before I conclude this topic.
How to Shape up your Voice and Tone of the Article?
Throughout this post, you may start to resonate with me as a writer. You may also start to think of me as a friend of yours who is trying to sharing his experience. Thus, in some way we have started to build a strong relationship together.
The way I’m speaking with you is a choice… Because I want to connect with the reader through my words. That’s the reason we have to establish our connection. And this should your goal too as a writer. You should always strive to connect with your reader. The more reader feels that they know you, better the information will be received by them.
So always write like you talk, as famous copywriter Gary Halbert used to say—even if you’re writing for Forbes and hundreds of readers. Your top priority should be to connect with each of them as individuals, not as a group of people.
That’s it now. In the next post, I will tell you…How should format your article for maximum engagement.