5 minutes reading time (960 words)

What to include in a great introduction for your small business blog post

Write-a-great-blog-introduction

So you’ve written an attention-grabbing headline and you’ve caught the reader’s attention. Hooray! They’re reading your blog post. How do you ensure that your visitors read on past the introduction to the rest of your post?

This blog post will demonstrate some of the clear benefits to a well-crafted introduction and will outline what you really should be including. Has it worked so far?

What's the relevance of the beach picture? Well only that this time of the year I find it very inviting (tenuous link to an inviting introduction) ... in fact I like to go to the beach any time of the year.

But back to the blog post introduction

The objective of your introduction is to encourage the reader to continue. It should:

  • Outline what you are going to be writing about.
  • Offer a clear benefit to reading on.
  • Make the reader feel comfortable that the content being shared is valuable and worth their time investment in reading it.

Think of your audience and try to address them personally.

If you’ve done your research you will know who your readers are. You will have clearly identified who you are trying to target you will be able to outline a clear benefit to them for reading on to the end of your post.

Use the right language

This is very important and again you need to understand your target audience. If I’m writing about web design for developers I’m going to use very different language from writing about web design for small business owners. Avoid jargon and keep your sentences short and concise.

Be specific

Introduce the main point of your post. If you’re finding that you have too many topics in the introduction consider separate blog posts. Too many points being introduced could cause overwhelm and turn your reader off.

What techniques can you use to achieve the above?

These will vary depending on your business and who you are writing for. Below are some examples of blog post introductions that work for varying reasons.

Make it personal

Visitors will identify with a personal story. It will engage and draw them in and encourage them to read the rest of your post. Above all personal experience is real and shows your reader that you have a valid reason for your opinions.

Get straight to the point

I have shared this post a couple of times on my own social channels. It’s covering a thorny old subject that I’m sure a lot of small business owners and freelancers can identify with. Customers asking for discounts.

"I bought several new vests recently. One was from G-Star, another from Banana Republic. They were not cheap, but not unreasonably expensive, either. I paid the price the shop asked from me. What I did not do was haggle over the price with the vendor."

Immediately this writer has set the scene and stated how he feels about price negotiations. Read the full article … it’s worth it, although I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try any his tactics.

Share a common pain point

The article in my previous example could also be used to demonstrate this. Not only did it very quickly get to the point, it has immediately introduced something that many readers of Entrepreneur will identify with.

Ask a question

A question is open and begs an answer. By ending your introduction with a question that hasn’t been answered yet you will pique the reader’s curiosity and they will feel encouraged to read on and find out the answer.

One of the posts on this blog does just this. Arguably it is a little beyond the introduction, but it is a heading and asks the reader a direct question.

"There is an art to writing copy for your website. You may enlist the services of a professional copywriter, but chances are, if you’re a small business on a budget, you may decide to tackle it yourself. After all, you know your business better than anyone. So you have all the facts about your small business and its products and services, but here are a few guidelines, to help you present all that knowledge in its most effective manner. It’s about attracting the right readers who will convert to customers. Who is your ideal reader or visitor to your website?"

Read the full article here.

Use statistics and facts

A concrete statistic or fact from a reputable source will add credibility to whatever angle you are hoping to present.

"Reports shows that a large percentage of small companies are not moving with the digital times. Despite living in the age where nearly everything we need can be found on the internet, a majority of small businesses in Britain don’t have their own website. According to a report commissioned by domain hosts GoDaddy, 60 per cent of businesses with five employees or less simply aren’t moving forward in this digital era."

As a web design company specialising in small business and start-ups this was something which I immediately identified with and read on.

Read the whole article here.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to consider here and this is just for the introduction. You may be hard pushed to get it all in and stay concise. So to condense and summarise:

  • Outline the topic and convey a clear benefit to reading on.
  • Be precise and use language that is appropriate to your audience.
  • Use one or more techniques to draw your reader in be it a personal story, a common pain point or a question. Statistics and concrete quotable facts are all good to include if possible.

And as with all your blog post writing make sure that you are using your own voice and if you’d like some help getting started please don’t forget to get in touch. 

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Monday, 22 October 2018

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