Did you know that you have less than twenty seconds to grab your
reader’s attention? Once you have it, you have to keep it of course.
However, the truth of the matter is that once they’ve made a decision
to continue reading, it’s easier to hold their attention. So the first few
sentences matter. They may be the most important words you write.
So how do you hook them? How do you grab your reader’s attention?
#1 Ask a Question
One of the easiest ways to capture attention is to get your reader
immediately involved. You can do this by asking a question. They
person will read the question and answer it for themselves or guess
at an answer. By doing this, they become invested in the answer. Were
they right? Did they make the right guess? Did the information you
provided back them up or did they learn something new?
#2 Share a Statistic, Preferably One That Evokes Emotion
People enjoy data. It helps them make sense of the world around them.
And data can be used to make a very strong point. In fact, did you know
that one in five articles and blog posts written online starts with a statistic?
Not really - just providing you with an example of how a statistic can be used.
You can use statistics to evoke emotion too. Tapping into guilt, fear, and hope
can pull your reader right into your article or blog post.
Do you love quotes? Many people do. So much so that Facebook, Twitter,
and Pinterest are inundated with thousands of them daily. Start your content
off with a quote to pull the reader in. It gets them thinking right away and tends
to arouse curiosity.
#4 Share a Joke or Funny Story
Humorous posts are often shared online with others. If you want to motivate
others to share your content, as well as read the full article, consider starting
with a funny story. If you find writing humor to be a challenge, consider simply
sharing a funny comic strip that relates to your topic.
#5 Make a Promise
Finally, consider getting right to the point. Tell your reader what you can do
for them and what they’ll gain by reading your article. A wise businesswoman
once said, “tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them
what you told them.” It’s a simple template for a consistently effective article
or blog post.