How To Write A Compelling Intro For Your Next Blog Post

You stare at the computer screen.

Your mind is a blank.

You know you have only 3 seconds.

Then they’re gone. Forever.

Everything hangs on the Intro.

But knowing just adds to the pressure.

Now you’re paralyzed.

Does this sound familiar?

If so, keep reading.

Because I will show you exactly how to write blog post Intros that suck your readers in like a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

How Does an Intro Work?

A good intro is like a piece of magic – you feel utterly transfixed by it.

But you could watch that magic trick a hundred times and still not understand how it’s done.

To understand it and do it yourself, you need to go behind the scenes.

And it’s the same with a good Intro. To understand how it’s done so that you can do it as well, you need to go beneath the surface.

And that’s what I did.

I sat down and analyzed the Intros of over 50 successful blog posts by well-known writers, including such masters of the compelling Intro as John Morrow, Brian Dean, Sonia Simone, and Derek Halpern. I wanted to understand exactly how they do it.

This is what I discovered: most compelling Intros use one or other of the following two techniques.

Technique #1: The Pain and the Pleasure

  1. The Hook
  2. The Problem
  3. The Solution
  4. The Promise

This technique aims to trigger an emotional response, the fear of something and the promise of something else.

The Hook

The hook is the opening line of your article. It’s the most important part of your Intro, because you literally have only 3 seconds while your reader decides whether to stay or move on.

That’s why I’ve made it the focus of this article. But in this technique, the Hook needs to be followed by three other vital elements.

2. The Problem

This is a problem your reader faces. It’s something they’ve been grappling with and can’t seem to overcome. It might be getting listed on page #1 of the search results, it might reduce the weekly spend on groceries, or it might get rid of acne.

3. The Solution

This is where you tell them there’s a solution to their problem and you’ve got it. You don’t have to go into details at this stage but you do have to say you know how to solve their problem.

4. The Promise

This is the reason they will keep reading your post. It usually looks something like this: “And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you in this article or “And I will show you exactly how to do that using a simple 3-step strategy.


how to write a blog post intro

writing a blog intro

writing a blog post

writing a blog post intro

write a blog post intro

Technique #2: The Simple Transition

  1. The Hook
  2. The Transition
  3. The Thesis

This technique is usually shorter and more straightforward than the previous technique, as you are not trying to hit emotional triggers.

1. The Hook

In this Intro technique, the hook is simply a question that addresses a common need and to which the answer is almost always going to be Yes’.

2. The Transition

The transition connects the hook to the thesis and usually hints at the solution.

In the examples below, the transition states briefly how the tool mentioned in the hook can benefit the reader

3. The Thesis

The thesis sets out in one sentence what the article will address and why the reader should keep reading.


writing a blog post

write a blog post intro

writing a blog post

3. Back to the Hook

Now that you’ve understood the structure of a compelling Intro, let’s get back to the hook. Because, as I said before, it’s the most important part of your blog post.

Ask a question

A question is always an excellent hook because it demands a response.

A question sets up an unfinished dynamic – you can’t leave it without seeing the response.

Examples are:

  • Has this happened to you? You spend hours writing a post, wracking your brains for the best ideas and then crafting your words on the page. And then it falls flat. (Mary Jaksch)
  • Have you ever wished you could peer inside the mind of one of the greatest writers in the world and find out exactly what makes them tick? (John Morrow)

But there are some questions that don’t require a response. These are also very effective because they are actually making a statement:

  • What is it with interviews? All the top bloggers seem to do them. (Leanne Regalla)
  • How the heck do they do it? How do your favorite bloggers attract so many gung-ho, drum-thumping followers? (Katherine Di Cerbo)
  • Know what’s tougher than creating great content? Creating it at scale. (Glen Long)
  • You know you’re in a war, right? Ok, so no actual guns or tanks are involved, but you are indeed in a bloody battle for the eyes and minds of your readers. (Gary Korsiko)
  • Ever notice how some blogs seem to arrive out of nowhere? A few months earlier, you’d never even heard of the blog. (Brian Dean)

Then there are the questions that only have one answer. These work well when used in the ‘Simple Transition’ technique:

  • Want to take your blog to the next level? (Aaron Lee)
  • Want to maximize sharing of your content on Facebook? (Dan Zarella)

Make a confession

A confession immediately intrigues us–what terrible thing are they going to admit? It’s also a very clever way of drawing the reader into your world:

  • I’ve got a confession to make: I love reading about business owners who went broke… (Derek Halpern)
  • Can I tell you my worst nightmare? (Jon Morrow)
  • Blogging has been very goodto me over the last twelve and a half years, but it’s come at a personal cost that I’m sure many can relate to. (Darren Rowse)
  • Before I became an inbound marketer, I once made $50,000 a month spamming Google. (Jeff Deutsch)
  • OK, confession time — when I was a kid I was a… (Sonia Simone)

Get inside your reader’s head

This technique is rather cheeky. It works very well as a hook because it seems to get right inside the reader’s head:

  • Frustrating, isn’t it? You work tirelessly on your content – but no one reads it. (Imran Esmail)
  • Let me guess… At least one of your New Year’s resolutions relates to your writing. (Glen Long)
  • Annoying as hell, isn’t it? When a guy who launched his first blog a couple of months ago is already getting dozens of comments and hundreds of shares anytime he posts something new. (Will Hoekenga)
  • Infuriating, isn’t it? When a site loads so slowly you want to throw your computer out of the window. (Devesh Sharma)
  • Admit it. You’ve thought about writing an e-book. In fact, you’ve already imagined the front cover. (Ali Luke)
  • Be honest for a moment… When publication day rolls around, do you have a post ready? Or do you frantically scramble at the last minute to figure out what you’re going to write? (Sonia Thompson)
  • Don’t try to deny it; you’d love to write a book. In fact, you’ve been dreaming about it so much you can visualize it. (Cathy Presland)
  • You want it so bad that it dominates your waking thoughts. You’re even afraid to say it out loud, in case you sound plain crazy: “I want to make a living as a writer.” (Glen Long)
  • Strange feeling, isn’t it? Both exciting and terrifying at the same time. But that’s what it’s like, starting an online business. (Blaine Wilkerson)
  • Do you feel insecure, anxious and doubtful about your writing? (Jill Jepson)
  • A troubling thought, isn’t it? You’re slaving away at your blog, but you can’t help wondering if you have a shot in hell of getting anyone to read it. (Jon Morrow)

Assume something about your reader

This technique is very presumptuous because you’re assuming you know something about the thought processes of your reader.

But it’s also very effective because it creates an immediate bond between you and the reader:

  • You know exactly how it happened. (Mary Fernandez)
  • No doubt you’ve seen them. The eye-catching posts that promise to reveal the 5, or 10 or even 57 WordPress plugins you absolutely must use on your blog. (Adam Connell)
  • You’ve seen it… over, and over, and over again. “The only thing readers read are the headlines.” (Aaron Orendorff)
  • You’ve heard it countless time Know your readers. That’s the secret to creating a blog that thrives. (Meera Kothand)
  • You’ve heard the advice a million times, right? “To write better, study the writing of other great writers.” (Shane Arthur)
  • So you finally decided to take this whole social media thing seriously for your business. (Elna Cain)
  • As a marketer, you know the importance of strong search engine rankings. (Adam Connell)
  • I think you’ll agree with me when I say: It’s REALLY hard to convert ice-cold traffic into email subscribers. Or is it? (Brian Dean)
MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  8 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing For Bloggers

Give bad news

This works well as a hook because we’re all primed to hear bad news (from the doctor, from the boss, from the taxman):

  • Blogging is hard. You’re forced to wear many hats—writer, editor, promoter, social media manager, even an accountant. (Andy Libunao)
  • Getting traffic to your blog is a lot of work. In fact, more work than you ever imagined. (Chelsea Baldwin)
  • Can I be painfully honest with you for a moment? (Jon Morrow)
  • It hurts me to write this. (Jon Morrow)

Be controversial

 This hook sets you apart from the crowd. It tells the reader that you’re a maverick, a free-thinker, someone with a fresh point of view, or even an expert:

  • Some people tell you a story always needs to have a point, but I disagree. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to quit your day job to start your own business. (Jon Morrow)
  • So many online marketers and web designers will recommend that ‘every business should have a Facebook page’ but I disagree. (Eva Pettifor)
  • Contrary to popular belief, LoremIpsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. (Unknown)
  • Can I be straight up with you? 95% of the advice on the web about how to increase your website traffic is totally useless. (Jon Morrow)

Contrast pain and pleasure

Everyone lives constantly with the prospect of pain and the prospect of pleasure. Those are the two parameters that guide every decision we make.

So if you put those two things together in your opening sentence, it’s going to grab your reader’s attention:

  • Building your personal brand can lead to fame and fortune or it can cost you years of wasted time. (John McDougall)

Use the Title as part of the Intro

This is a very clever hook: the title is a question and the opening sentence is an answer to that question:

  • Title: Can I Trust You? The first line of the post: Everyone asks themselves this question. (Seth Godin)

Use Paired Opposites

Binary opposition or paired opposites are fundamental to human thought. Examples are ‘good/bad’, ‘light/dark’, ‘winner/loser’ etc. This hook is effective because it taps into a universal thought pattern:

  • There are two ways to go about business. The first is to have an idea and then frantically do a lot of stuff hoping some of it works. (Sonia Simone)

Use a statement that makes little sense

Starting your blog post with a sentence that doesn’t make sense on its own almost forces the reader to keep reading:

  • It always begins with so much promise. (Sonia Simone)
  • Oh, the drama! (Sonia Simone)

Make a shocking statement

In your opening sentence, you really want to stop people in their tracks. Nothing does that better than a shocking statement (or question):

  • I once wrote a newspaper story that killed a man. (Julie Neidlinger)
  • We’ve been telling you there’s no great secret to search optimization, but that’s kind of a lie, isn’t it? (Sonia Simone)
  • Could it really be possible that almost everything you are doing to promote your website is a waste of time? (Jon Morrow)

State a startling fact

We all love facts. Maybe because it makes us feel we became a bit smarter in less than a second. Whatever the reason, opening with a fact will draw your reader in:

  • In 1995, authors, experts, and influencers sold $10 million worth of eBooks through Amazon. 18 years later that number has grown to $1.6 billion. (Jeff Bullas)

Start at the end

When your opening sentence hints at the result, it does two things: it tells the reader where this is going and it forces the reader to wonder how you got there. Compelling!

  • When I started the 8-Week Fitness Challenge, I had no idea what the response might be.

Make a statement your reader will agree with

This works well because when you state something that your reader will agree with, it tells the reader “this is something I need to see”:

  • I think you’ll agree with me, it’s a constant struggle to engage your blog readers with new and interesting content. (Martin Nikleva)
  • I think you’ll agree with me when I say that building a start-up is hard. (Bill Wilson)

Make a statement that shows you understand your reader

Whenever you open with a statement, or a question, that resonates with your reader, you’ve hooked them because you seem to have a special insight into their problems:

  • Raise your hand if you’re a new blogger and you recently signed up for more free webinars than you can count on one hand? (Elna Cain)
  • As a blogger, you put your heart and soul into creating perfectly crafted posts, eye-catching images, and attractive leads. It’s a lot of hard work! (Christine C. Renee)

Tell a story

We’re storytelling creatures by nature and have been for tens of thousands of years. We’re almost hard-wired to hear stories. So this is another powerful hook.

The story-telling hook almost always begins with a reference to a particular moment (as in “Once upon a time”):

  • In the early summer of 1976, my life was as any 7-year-old kid’s life should be – fun, making new adventures, and looking forward to a long, glorious school holiday. (Danny Brown)
  • About a year and a half ago, I almost moved to a tiny island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, Deal Island. (Janessa Lantz).
  • On a warm Spring morning in November of 2002, I started my first blog. (Darren Rowse)

Be short and direct

Getting to the point quickly is also a great hook because it doesn’t give the reader time to get think twice:

  • Want to maximize sharing of your content on Facebook? Here are seven tips that are sure to help. (Dan Zarella)
  • I’ve got three things for you today: A rant, a lesson about selling that will serve you well, and a quick request. (Derek Halpern)

Open with a teaser

Opening with a teaser leaves the reader wondering what it is that you’re going to tell them. What is this ‘innate human behavior’ that I can take advantage of?

Well, you’ll just have to keep reading:

  • How’d you like to learn how to pull your audience into your content by taking advantage of an innate human behavior? (Derek Halpern)

4. Start Writing!

I hope you’ve realized now that writing a compelling Introduction is not that difficult.

Start your post with one of the following hook types:

  • Ask a question
  • Make a confession
  • Get inside your reader’s head
  • Assume something about your reader
  • Give bad news
  • Be controversial
  • Contrast pain and pleasure
  • Use the Title as part of the Intro
  • Use Paired Opposites
  • Use a statement that makes little sense
  • Make a shocking statement
  • State a startling fact
  • Start at the end
  • Make a statement that your reader will agree with
  • Make a statement that shows you understand your reader
  • Tell a story
  • Be short and direct
  • Open with a teaser

Then pick one of the two Intro techniques described above.

If it’s the Pain/Pleasure technique, describe the painful problem in clear, tangible, and excruciating detail. Then hint at the solution and make the promise.

If it’s the Simple Transition, open with a “Would you like to know how to…” question. Transition. Then state the thesis: “This article will show you how to…”.

A word of caution. A powerful Intro will keep people reading your article. But the body of your article must deliver on the promise or the thesis of the Intro. If it doesn’t, the reader will feel deceived.

One final tip: write the body of the article first and the Introduction last. The reason? Before you make the promise in the Intro you need to know what it is you are going to deliver.

Let me know how you go in the comments below. I’d love to hear your experiences with blog post intros.

Rob Powell is a blogger and a recovering academic who fled Venezuela in 2002 and now lives with his wife and two daughters in tropical north Queensland. Download a PDF version of this article with 2 extra bonus tips for writing compelling Intros.

53 thoughts on “How To Write A Compelling Intro For Your Next Blog Post”

  1. Weldone, Rob! Good delivery and what a well-written post. I'm so glad you got to share this awesome post on Successful Blogging.

    This really inspired me and made me realize I'm on the right track.

    Well done Rob!

    Off to share!


  2. What I always weak in is creating a captivating intro of my article. Having this great guide, I have inspired and got sure of being able to do in future. Thanks for filling my knowledge field with these tremendous tips.

  3. Hello Rob,

    Great post. Very detailed and informative too. I really like the techniques you have mentioned in this article and will definitely try these in my upcoming blog posts. Thanks a lot for sharing this.
    Vishwajeet Kumar recently posted SSL , Do you need it?My Profile

  4. Well said Rob, Intro plays a very important role, you have guided us with a well versed content to write a perfect intro for any blog post. I have learned a lots from this post. Thanks for sharing such an informative post with us. I will use this in my nest blog post intro.

  5. Hi Rob,

    Wow, what a brilliant and well-researched post! I love the real life examples you have used to drill home your points. My favorite of the two techniques is Technique #1: The Pain and the Pleasure. And that's probably because its more appropriate to my niche. And I agree that "writing a compelling Introduction is not that difficult" but only if one isn't clueless!

    • Hi Pedro, thanks so much for your feedback! Great to hear that you found it useful. I agree with you, Technique #1 is the more powerful of the two. But I've noticed that some big blogs prefer a more understated approach to the Intro, so Technique #2 is sometimes more appropriate. All the best with your writing!


  6. You've hit it, Rob!

    Grabbing readers' attention is something we bloggers deal with.

    It's undeniably hard.

    Thanks for this article. Really helped. Took a lot down πŸ™‚

    Simon Zaku

  7. Rob,

    This is absolutely stellar – I need to swipe this into my copywriting files. It should be required reading for anyone that's writing for business, especially the web.

    Rob, if you ever produce a text on writing, let me know, l'll be the first in line to buy it.

    God Bless!

    P.S. Thanks so much for letting us download the .pdf!

    • Thanks Mark, I'm thrilled to get your feedback! If I do create a guide on blog post writing I'll definitely let you know. Awesome comment, thanks so much!


  8. Incredible article, I have to say. The author has broken down the art of blogging into several steps. The strategy of using hook is indeed wise if you’re a novice blogger. I see most of the bloggers missing out on using the hook. Stating the problem right after stating hook is very much necessary to keep the readers engaged.
    Venu recently posted Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime 32GB Variant Launched In IndiaMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Venu! Yes, most people don't spend nearly enough time on the hook. It really is the most important part of the post (after the title). All the best,


  9. It's really important to not only touch the right nerves of the readers but getting hold of it is equally important. What makes it easier for bloggers, readers are already looking for either sales hook or information hook. You just need to hit a nerve. That's it!!

    How to do it? Well you have answered it all Rob.

    You did not leave any stone unturned. You said it all.

    Great article and a big thanks for sharing.
    Nayab Khan recently posted Importance of backlinks 2017My Profile

  10. Wow! What can I say?

    Thank you. Am a typical skimmer and scanner when I read blogs….but I actually read your article without stopping. Am looking forward to reading and highlighting and chosing my opening lines. Thank you. Brillliant piece of writing.

    • Thanks Ntathu, so glad you enjoyed the article and found it useful. All the best with your opening lines and your blog posts!


    • Hi Aysha, thanks so much for your comment! So glad you found the article helpful. Yes, I love Brian's Intros as well – he's a genius. All the best!


  11. Hey Ryan, great to see you here! I love what you're doing over at Blogging From Paradise! Yes, the pain/pleasure formula is a good one, I guess because it governs everything we do. But it takes a good understanding of what your audience is struggling with. Jon Morrow is a real expert with this kind of Intro. Thanks again!


  12. I have to admit, Rob, that this post is by far the best I have read so far on getting to the heart of your blog's readers from the word go.

    A few years ago, I wrote my first 4,600 words post and it attracted over 169 comments…

    …I do believe that I got this much result owing to the fact I started with a hook, a story of someone who's frustrated about their blog not getting enough engagement. I used the problem, solution and promise strategy and that post turned out to be magical as a result of using that technique…and I didn't even know it to be a technique until now. πŸ™‚

    I should add. That post also won me $30, a web hosting account and of course a celebrity figure.

    I haven't been writing much lately though but I will definitely give it a shot in my next article.

    Thanks for sharing this piece here on Successful Blogging, Rob. It's so helpful!


    • Hi Anil, thanks so much for your comment. Congratulations on that post with 169 comments. I'd love to see it if you'd like to share the link – sounds like a great post! I'm so glad you found the article useful. All the best with your writing πŸ™‚


  13. Hii Rob.. well done i really appreciate you for your skills.. this blog really inspired me…

    Thanks for shearing me….

    • Thanks, I'm glad the article inspired you, that's what its all about! Good luck with your writing!


  14. Hi Rob,

    Great tips on how to write an excellent intro to get people to actually read your article. I've actually started testing out new ways to write intros.

    I love reading John Morrow's blog and his intros always draw me in and make me want to read it. I've started asking questions on my intros.

    You've given so many different types of intros to use, I may have to implement some other ones like using the pain and pleasure intro. I think if I can use that one effectively, it will help me get more people to read my articles.

    These tips will definitely help us improve our intros for our blog posts. Now I'm off to check out how I can improve my blog intros.

    Have a great day πŸ™‚


    • Hi Susan, thanks for your comment, and really glad you're trying out new ways to do intros and hooks. Jon's hooks are amazing – they always draw me in, like a fish on a line! All the best with your Intros – go get 'em! πŸ™‚


  15. I've read a ton of these, trying to improve my postings and this guide is top notch! Really love all the thoughful layout, and helpful advice- writing is tough!
    Allison recently posted Best Pet Camera 2017My Profile

  16. This is an eye opener, Rob. I'll be the first to admit that I hate writing intros. Whether i'm writing for myself or a client, the intro is the very last thing I touch. Not as a result of some strategic move, but simply because I rather not deal with it until I have to, LOL.

    But this year I have been improving in some ways, and (thankfully) better intros are also on my to-do list. They are, after all, similar to first impressions; why should I treat them like an afterthought?

    Thank you VERY much for a wonderful read, and nice to virtually meet ya πŸ™‚

    Elvis Michael recently posted Scams Nearly All Freelance Writers Fall For (And How to Avoid Them)My Profile

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Elvis. So glad you found the article useful. All the best with your Intros and nice to meet you too πŸ™‚


  17. Hey Rob,

    Intro is the essential part of any post. Without a compelling intro, you can leave reader feeling confused. Here, I find great tips for compelling intro for my blog post.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Praveen verma.

    • Hey Praveen, I agree: the Intro is really important. People are so rushed now that if they don't see something that grabs their attention within the first few seconds, they're off. So you have to grab them right from the beginning. All the best with your next post!


  18. Hey Rob,

    Nice to meet you. πŸ™‚

    Very informative post indeed. Glad to know the importance of intro of blog post. The techniques you have explained here one by one is very interesting to know. Given example on it made easy to understand and I learned here write an intro to site very well.

    Making an statement that is very easy to understand by the user always leave a positive impact. Writing short intro but explain everything is good keeping in mind the user's opinion. Here is everything to know the all about writing a great intro, I have learned many new things here and going to implement it from next time. I enjoyed reading this article too.

    Thanks for the useful stuff.

    – Ravi.
    Ravi Roshan Jaiswal recently posted 13 Content Marketing Strategies Suitable For Even the Smallest BudgetMy Profile

    • Hey Ravi, thanks so much for your comment! Really glad you found it useful. All the best with your writing! Nice to meet you too πŸ™‚


    • Hi Marija, thanks for your comment, so glad you found it useful! I totally agree – always best to write the body first and then come back to the Intro. Unless, of course, an amazing Intro or hook just pops into my head (as it does sometimes) and then I write it down immediately. All the best with your writing.


  19. Woah!

    Great technique for an intro paragraph.

    I quickly created a short code in the back of my mind while reading it.

    H-P-S-P !

    • Hi Yaseen, ha-ha, that's a great mnemonic, I didn't think of it! All the best with your Intros! πŸ™‚


  20. Hi Rob,

    You went so deep in this one again as usual.

    The intro is such a great thing one need to pay more attention to if they truly want to steal the attention of their audience.

    Looking at some of my most successful posts right now, I can admit that their intro played a key role.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks Emmanuel, you're right – the Intro is crucial. In fact, the very first line is crucial – it really has to hook the reader right away. All the best, Rob.

Leave a Reply to manisha Cancel reply

CommentLuv badge

Get Your Free Guide

You'll also get tips, strategies and updates delivered to your Inbox about once a week. Don't like it? No problem. You can unsubscribe in a click.