Comedy and writing great intros have something in common: surprise the reader.
Some call it the hook, line, and sinker approach. Like in fishing, that’s also what you need to write great introductions to your posts.
Of course, this is what your primary school teacher taught you. But let’s go a bit further.
Your goal is to surprise the reader with a pattern interrupt. Start with something that the reader would never expect, like talking about a wild boar chase in a finance article. A few formats you can use are:
- Metaphors: These make unfamiliar topics easier to understand, and they allow the writer to pull stories and ideas from interesting places.
- Hypothetical: Bring the reader in your article with a hypothetical situation.
- Quote: Start with the quote of an expert, even if it’s not related to your topic.
- Non sequitur: Introduce a fact that has nothing to do with the topic, and then link it to your argument.
- Anecdote: Create a connection with the reader by sharing a personal experience.
- Data: Let numbers speak.
Your hooks shouldn’t be disjointed from the rest of the article. If you spend a good amount of mental energy to come up with an innovative hook, you should make the most of it. Come back to that unexpected fact or metaphor throughout the rest of the article. This helps you build a consistent narrative along with all the text.
A common tactic in journalism involves using the hook at the beginning and tying it back in at the end.
After you hook the reader, your job is to provide some substance to deliver the expectations created by the hook. You can do this by:
- Making a clear, concise summary of the argument you’re making.
- Demonstrating relevance to the reader.
- Highlighting concrete benefits from reading your post.