Do you want to make a faster, stronger connection with the people who click through to read one of your blog posts? When they finish reading, do you want to leave them feeling good about you and that connection you’ve established? If so, read on!
As part of my seven-step blog writing process, I encourage you to spend time shaping your blog post by crafting an effective introduction and conclusion. And I suggest you do this after you’ve done the majority of your writing.
Why your intro should be an afterthought
Your introduction must draw the reader in with the promise of what they’ll get if they keep reading. But you won’t recognize the full scope of those benefits until the body of your post is written.
A blog post is a living, breathing entity from idea to completion. As you write, new ideas will surface, and you’ll connect your thoughts in different ways. In between writing sessions, you’ll be out there experiencing life, reading other people’s content, and talking with clients and potential clients.
That means sometimes a blog post doesn’t end up the way you thought it would. Your entire premise may change, or you may just add a new point or two. Either way, make sure your introduction matches the post you actually finished, not just the one you started.
Why does this matter and why should they care?
To entice people to keep reading, include one of these seven elements in your blog post’s introduction:
- A quote – Whether it’s flowery, provocative or inspirational, the perfect quote can set the tone for your entire article. Search for quotes in Google or your favorites quotes page.
- A stat – Statistics are used a lot in traditional media. Find them via Stats Can, the Census Bureau, or on wellness industry websites.
- A powerful statement or question – Get people’s attention with a provocative line that taps into a key need or concern for those in your target audience – just be sure to back it up in your actual article.
- A story – Tell a story about a fictional member of your target audience, an anonymous client, or someone you read about in the news. Or use your own story as it relates to the topic.
- A story about the reader – Make your reader the main character of the story, e.g., After hitting the snooze button three or four times, you finally crawl out from under the covers and head straight for the coffee pot. You can’t see how you’re going to get through another long day with this little energy…
- A song lyric – Sometimes musicians have sung it best. Song lyrics go one step further than quotes because they can also evoke powerful musical memories.
- A definition – Give your readers the gift of a fresh perspective on a well-used term, and explore alternate or deeper meanings that could spark some insights.
Send them on their way – with love
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Blogging is an opportunity to create and deepen your relationship with a prospective client, so they can get to know you better and see if you are the right one to help them make a change.
When readers reach the end of your article, you want them to feel heard, understood, inspired and empowered. That inspiration – that hope that they can actually make a change, solve a problem or take a step – is what they will remember.
Beyond inspiration, give them specific instructions for the actions they can take to implement what they learned from your article. As a bonus (also known as a content upgrade), you can offer a downloadable checklist, worksheet, or template that helps them take action. Give this away in exchange for their email address and permission to keep in touch with other valuable content and announcements from you.
For some topics, the best follow-up action might be no action at all, but rather to ponder a new approach or perspective on something. Here you might suggest a question or writing prompt.
Before you publish your next blog post, re-read your introduction and conclusion. Have you done enough to draw in your reader, and are you sending them away with a good memory of the time you spent together?
P.S. Want more ideas about how to write high-quality content that has more impact, attracts more ideal clients, and makes you more money? Register for my FREE webinar, Write Less, Earn More With Blog Posts That Are Easy to Write and Irresistible to the Perfect Clients For Your Health and Wellness Business.