How can you hook a reader with your very first line?
Oh, look at that, I just did.
Seriously, though, your blog is a way to converse directly with readers to your site. If you don’t offer up anything interesting right away, visitors are going to walk away.
While there are a plethora of tactics you can use to “hook” a reader, asking a question is a simple and effective way to peak their curiosity and get them thinking about what you have to say.
I’m going to go over two very good reasons why you should use a question to start a blog post, as well as some examples of the types of questions you can use to draw in your reader.
Questions Are an Invitation to Participate
Questions create intrigue.
When you ask a question, you are inviting your reader to participate in a conversation – whether this is directly with you or simply inside their heads.
A question draws the reader in and gets them thinking. As soon as they engage in active reading, they are paying closer attention to what you have to say.
The point of writing content is to have readers actually, well, read it.
Asking a question creates a more engaged reader – one who will internalize your content, leave comments, subscribe for more and possibly purchase a product or service you are selling.
Engaged readers are the key to higher traffic. Sure, you can get some newbies landing on your page to boost your numbers, but it’s the returning visitors that keep your traffic in the high numbers.
And it’s those returning visitors that evolve into a loyal audience.
I’m not going to kid you and tell you that asking a question at the beginning of a blog post is going to sky-rocket your traffic and reader-base, but it is a simple step you can take to create a connection with your readers.
People Ask Questions to Find Information
When you hop onto Google to find information, what are you really doing?
You’re asking a question.
Most people type in a question when performing a search query because they are looking for an answer to a question.
Thinking about the questions that your audience may be asking is not only a great way to generate blog topics but to find a eye-catching title or hook for your first line.
The flip side of gaining a loyal following to your blog is actually getting people to your blog. While social media marketing, such as Facebook and Pinterest, is effective, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seems to be the key to driving good traffic to your site.
That’s because Google (the only search engine, really) uses complicated algorithms to ensure that the top search results contain accurate and valuable information.
It does this a number of ways, but the first step in achieving SEO is injecting relevant keywords into your content. When Google searches, it “crawls” sites throughout the interwebs. Before it determines if a site is of high quality, it picks up on the keywords that relate to the search query.
Okay, in order for Google to even know you exist, you need to include keywords in your post relevant to the topic you are writing about. The trick is, you don’t want to stuff your content with these keywords because Google doesn’t like that.
So an easy way to ensure you are including relevant wording in your post is to ask a question that people are asking on Google.
The easiest way to see what people are asking on Google is to Google your keyword. Oftentimes, Google will offer up some suggested questions to provide you further information.
For example, I Googled the term “blog post” and Google offered these questions:
So I may start a post about writing blog posts by asking: “Do you know how to write a good blog?”
Other Questions You Can Ask
Asking a question related to a Google search in order to inject a keyword into your post may not flow with the rest of your content.
And, if you do it all the time, it’s going to seem lame.
So, there are other types of questions you can ask that will get your readers thinking and engaged with your content. The next time you write a blog post, try one of these:
Did You Know…?
Hitting readers with facts, especially surprising ones, is a great way to create shock value and get their brain juices flowing.
It also helps to specify exactly what problem you are going to solve in the post.
Example: Did you know that 90% of visitors don’t bother reading past the first line of your post?
Ask for an Opinion
Readers want to feel connected to you and by asking their opinion on something, you are reaching out to them through your content.
This also encourages them to leave a comment on the post or contact you.
Example: How do you hook your readers when you write a blog post?
Do You Want to…?
When you ask a question where the answer is really only “yes”, you compel the reader to continue reading your content.
By asking a “yes” question, you put the reader into a “yes” state of mind. This makes them more receptive to the solutions you are offering.
Example: Do you want to know the secret to hooking readers with your very first line?
Use Sparingly and With Caution
Again, you don’t want to be using questions at the beginning of every single blog post you write. Doing so it simply a tactic you can use to engage your reader.
There are other tactics you can use and many ways you can create a compelling hook that will get your readers devouring your content.
You can state a need or problem, such as “So often I find myself staring at my computer, wondering how to start my blog post.”
Or you can make a claim: “This blog post is going to change the way you hook readers!”
No matter how you choose to begin your blog post, you need to create an instant connection with the reader if you expect them to stick around and see what you have to say.
Are You Ready to Hook Your Readers?
Look at that, I ended with a question too.
Which, by the way, is a great way to encourage people to leave comments.
So, don’t prove me wrong – drop a comment below!
Leave me a link to a blog post where you’ve drawn in readers with a question!