7 Clever Ways to Write a Killer First Paragraph
Starting off on the wrong foot can really turn off an audience. But a killer first paragraph can similarly make all the difference in keeping their attention up to the last word of your article. Boring methods like starting with a definition or sounding uncertain about your points, just don’t cut it anymore.
Here’s how you can attract positive attention from your target audience and get more views:
1. Intrigue Them With a Question
Do you agree that an intriguing tone hooks people’s attentions right away? We do. This tried and tested method makes people think of a “what if” scenario that keeps them reading on to the next paragraphs. Open with this hook and you’re sure to keep people interested.
Example: What if you knew exactly how to get the most out of Facebook’s Newsfeed Algorithm?
2. Quote a Relevant Personality
People will associate the credibility attached to certain famous personalities with your work, if you cite them. Aside from this, their name alone will turn heads – especially avid fans who are interested to hear the opinions of those who also follow in the footsteps of their favorite celebrity or public figure.
Example: American motivational speaker Denis Waitley aptly states, “Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.”
3. Use Shocking Statistics
Seasoned writer Richard Evans, from editing service EduGeeksClub, states that “In the same way that looking at an old life event from a different perspective makes it more interesting, starting off any topic with interesting statistics can catch people’s attentions. This adds credibility to your work and makes it more unique than simply describing the topic at hand.”
Example: Women comprise 46% of the total US labor force and yet they make only 77.5 cents for every dollar that men earn.
4. Start With a Compelling Idea
People are tired of hearing the same old thing over and over again. Jumping out at them with an interesting and unique idea makes your content shine through the competition. If you don’t have any snappy ideas yet, try to reframe a simple sentence into an engaging one.
Example: Evernote’s above the folded copy is very simple yet presents a compelling idea. “Remember Everything.” It then goes on to describe how to get it done. “Modern life can be complicated. Simplify it with Evernote, the app to manage it all.”
5. Lighten the Mood With a Relatable Story or Joke
People prefer creative narratives over blatant self-advertisement, so if you want people to notice your pitch, lighten up the mood first and relate to people’s interests. Use familiar examples and stories that will pique people’s attentions and keep them from drifting off into a different page.
Example: Brilliant 19th-century violinist and master showman Nicolo Paganini regularly performed at packed concert halls in Italy with a full orchestra.
Towards the end of one such performance, while Paganini’s unbelievable composition is putting the audience in awe, a string from his instrument suddenly snapped. Paganini continued to play and improvised brilliantly.
But luck was not on his side that night as another string snapped, and then the third one. Like a slapstick comedy, Paganini stood at the spotlight with three strings dangling from his Stradivarius. Instead of walking offstage, he completed his piece with just one string.
It happens to the best of us, but the key is to not give up. The show must go on.
6. Keep It Simple
Don’t go over-the-top with your initial paragraph. Your purpose is to hook your readers in, not distract them with a wordy start. Keep it simple with a clear and concise beginning. Avoid putting in unnecessary descriptions or filler words that might move away from your main points.
“Don’t go into great detail describing places and things, unless you’re Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language” – Elmore Leonard, famous novelist gave his recommendation for writers.
Example: A good hook is important in attracting an audience. People’s shortening attention spans have led them to skip through a bulk of the text to only the most interesting points in a paragraph.
7. Paint an Image
A vivid picture in people’s minds will definitely give your article a better edge. To create a neat but descriptive start, think of just one main idea. Once you’ve zeroed in on your chosen topic, describe it in the best way you can. Don’t resort to simple adjectives. Think of more unconventional and creative ways to paint that image.
Example: A trip to the countryside often reminds us of a warm summer breeze through an open window. Imagine just relaxing on the way there, the radio humming a soft tune of your favorite music.
Strengthen The Core Statement Of Your Blog Post
Once you’ve finished the body of your article, it’s time to go back to the start and strengthen your main idea in your conclusion. You can reword it or rephrase it into a different sentence that contains the same concept. Since repeating things to a reasonable extent will make people remember them more, going over your points quickly for the second time makes them more memorable to your readers.
Example: After you’ve written down all your points, it’s time to do a quick run through of each through a brief summary at the end. “Here are the previous eight points in review:…”
The Takeaway: Reel your audience in – hook, line, and sinker
Achieving people’s total interest in your article can be a challenge, but it’s also very doable. Keep them reading with an intriguing start. Use good questions, quote relevant personalities, reframe otherwise mundane ideas, and most of all, relate to their interests. In writing, remember to keep it simple, but at the same time, let them in on important details that will bring your article to life.
At the end of it all, don’t forget to strengthen your core statement by going right back to your first point in the conclusion. Get off with a good start and reel in more readers!
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