Writing a good hook is key for creating a successful blog post. The hook (or opening sentence) is what makes a particular post stand out in the minds of readers for days to come.
Here are a few methods for crafting a post that separates your blog from competitors, draws readers in, and holds their attention from the headline to the call to action.
1. Do your research
In this day and age, there are few topics that haven’t been written about to exhaustion. For content creators, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. It takes more effort to identify topics that haven’t been over discussed, and to convey that information in an original way. Take advantage of this by researching existing posts on a given topic, identifying holes in how they’re discussed, and then addressing those holes by adding your unique perspective to give readers insights that they can’t find elsewhere.
2. Write an attention-grabbing headline
Your superbly written content might go unnoticed unless you entice readers to look at it. The challenge here is creating intrigue and urgency, while communicating your post’s value — in as few characters as possible. Try writing your headline last and spending nearly as much time on it as the rest of the post. The best headlines grab readers’ attention, give them an accurate idea of what’s to come, and leave them wanting more.
3. Break up your post with multimedia
Images, videos, and infographics are visually interesting and invite readers to scroll further down a page than they otherwise would. In addition, adding multimedia to posts gives readers more options for how to consume your content, and makes your posts more appealing to share. Make sure that you’re using a blogging platform that makes it easy to embed multimedia files and optimize them for viewing across all devices.
4. Make your posts easy to skim
This might sound counterintuitive; after all, if your goal is to write posts that engage visitors, why would you want to encourage them to skim instead of read? According to a study from Stone Temple, the majority of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. When you use headings, short paragraphs, and lists to break up text and help readers navigate through your posts, they are more likely to keep reading and absorb your content in full.
5. Consider the value you’re providing
Always ask yourself, “What value am I providing to my readers?” Make sure to deliver on what you state at the outset. This consideration should be at the center of your entire content creation process, from choosing a topic to writing a headline. It can be helpful to visualize who you’re writing for by coming up with personas that exemplify your target audience, and jotting down a list of what their goals and pain points might be.
Forbes reports that WordPress.com users produce nearly 70 million new posts every month. With content being created on such a massive scale, what matters most is creating a high-quality post, and writing a good hook that captivates readers from the start.
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