by Ali Luke from Daily Blog Tips http://bit.ly/1eAIgGd

Do you ever come up with a great title … then struggle to begin your post?

The introduction (the first few lines or paragraphs of your post) is absolutely crucial. Assuming you get them right, they’ll draw readers in and lead them to the main body of your post.

It’s easy to make the wrong first impression, though … so here are three different ways to begin.

#1: Ask a Question

This is my favourite technique (just glance up to the top of this post to see an example).  It’s usually really easy to find a question to kick off your post — something that readers are likely to say “yes” to is perfect.

Example:

Can parallax design be bad for SEO?” (Why Parallax Design Doesn’t Have to Tank Your SEO, Jerod Morris, Copyblogger)

Why it works:

Questions get readers thinking, prompting them to engage with your post right from the start. They also hold a promise — that if your reader has the problem or difficulty described by the question, your post will help.

#2: Quote Another Blogger (or Writer)

If you’re writing a post in response to someone else’s, or if you’ve found a great provocative statement or even a funny saying, that can make a great opening for a post. Try to keep it short, and make sure you name the author and link to the original source.

Example:

Alex Blackwell does this to great effect at the start of each of his posts on The BridgeMaker.

Why it works:

Using quotes helps to show that your post is part of a broader conversation. Quotes may also lend a sense of authority to your post, if the reader recognises the name.

#3: Tell a (Short) Story

Is there a funny or inspiring story you could tell to introduce your topic? Use it at the beginning of your post — but keep it short and get to the point quickly, otherwise readers may be turned off by thinking your post is going to be a bit self-absorbed.

Example:

“When I was studying journalism, it was pointed out to us very early on that our first drafts of anything were never going to be printed.” (The Stephen King Drawer Method for Writing Better Copy, Stacey Roberts, ProBlogger)

Why it works:

We all love stories, and a good story can serve as an example of why the post matters. If it’s a story about a mistake you made, it can also make you seem more human and real to your audience.

Have you used any of these techniques? Which one do you like best?

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