5 Strategies for Writing Blog Intros That Engage Your Audience

Blog Intros

Today’s the day. You’re about to unearth a treasure map outlining how to create content that captivates your audience and ranks high in the SERPs. It all begins with mastering the art of writing blog intros. 

Intros set the stage for that all-important first impression — not just for a specific article but for your entire brand. They establish trust, help readers understand what to expect, and let them know if your content aligns with their search goals. Nail them and watch bounce rates tank while engagement and time on page soar. These are the types of metrics Google cares about — not backlink counts.  

The treasure map doesn’t lead you to any clever tricks or shortcuts. You have to demonstrate expertise, trustworthiness, and relatability through focused storytelling. Below, we outline five strategies for writing introductions that engage readers and compel them to take action. 

1. Meet Readers’ Expectations

Specializing in the practice of rhetoric, George Gopen believes engagement hinges on a writer’s ability to meet readers’ expectations. That means being able to anticipate and fulfill their needs.

Like trail markers on a hike, clear signals of an article’s argument, purpose, and intent keep people moving in the right direction. 

the right direction

You have to provide obvious cues about content, structure, and direction along the way — in titles, headings, introductions, and section transitions. Each point serves as a signpost, setting up an expectation in the reader’s mind and drawing them in closer. 

In the Gonzaga Law Review, Denise Riebe backs Gopen’s theory, saying, “By consistently placing pieces of information where readers expect it, writers gain readers’ trust.” An intro that follows smoothly and logically from your headline establishes trust right off the bat. To maintain it, demonstrate experience and expertise, and meet readers’ expectations throughout the piece.

Based on Gopen’s teachings, some things to avoid when writing blog intros include:

  • Intros that don’t relate to the headline
  • Unclear purpose and direction
  • Overly complex, wordy, or dense intros
  • Lack of engagement techniques, such as storytelling, rhetorical questions, or filler quotes

For content creators, that means writing highly focused blog intros that capture the intent of your target audience. Show off your expertise, share opinions, write with confidence, and use transition words to guide your audience seamlessly from point to point. 

Never overpromise and underdeliver. Engage your audience with well-thought-out examples, opinions, and scenarios — not gimmicks or clickbait.  

What about hooks?

Writers have been using hooks since the dawn of storytelling, but a hook alone isn’t enough to make a blog engaging. 

When marketers write blog post intros, they want readers to take action. Storytelling paints a picture of how the article directly relates to them. It creates an emotional connection between your brand and the audience by holding up a mirror to their fears, pain points, and desires.

2. Master the Art of Storytelling

Master the art of brand storytelling, and you’re well on the way to being crowned as content royalty. 

Look at it this way: Imagine yourself sitting by a crackling fireplace, listening to Grandpa spin a tale. He doesn’t throw facts at you. He draws you in with vivid descriptions, relatable characters, and a touch of mystery. That’s the power of storytelling we’re aiming for.

Our Vice President of Content Operations, Rick Leach, says,

“Storytelling is an effective tactic for engaging audiences in an article’s intro. It’s more relatable than tired and readily available statistics and builds reader trust better than gimmicky hooks. It also sets the stage for the reader, showing them what’s coming next is what they need.”

Let’s explore some dynamic ways to use storytelling in intros.

Paint a captivating picture

Describe a captivating scene to set the stage for your article. Use imagery in a way that immediately grabs the reader’s attention, places them right in the thick of it, and makes them curious about what unfolds next.

Say you’re writing an article for an inbound sales company about how to close more deals. The intro might start like this:

Ever feel like you’re battling uphill against a relentless current, desperately trying to close more deals? You’re not alone. Our guide acts as your trusty raft, navigating you through calmer waters and revealing insider secrets to closing deals that’ll have you riding the wave of success in no time.

Introduce a relatable character

Introduce a relatable character facing a challenge your audience experiences. As readers visualize themselves in the character’s situation, they’re compelled to discover how the story unfolds and what lessons they can learn. Continue referencing the character throughout the piece to keep readers engaged in their story. 

Here’s an example intro opening for a blog post about conversion rates for a digital marketing agency:

Meet Sarah, a brand-new digital marketer feeling lost in the jungle of online engagement. Among the tangled vines of clicks and impressions, Sarah uncovers a hidden gem: conversion rates. 

Tell a personal story

Share a personal anecdote or experience that aligns with your audience’s search intent. This adds authenticity and depth to your writing while building trust and rapport with your audience. Offering a glimpse into your world makes you relatable and demonstrates your topical authority to help them problem-solve. 

Let’s look at the first few lines of a recruitment company’s fictional blog intro about the top 10 traits of impactful leaders:

I’m Alex, a seasoned recruiter with a proven track record of hiring exceptional leaders. After running a business for 12 years, I’ve crafted a definitive list of the top 10 traits possessed by impactful leaders.

Set up a mystery

Begin with a mysterious or puzzling scenario that intrigues readers and makes them want to uncover the answers. Using precise, targeted language throughout your article ensures flow and seamless transitions as readers move through the piece.  

If an HVAC company writes a blog post about upgrading your cooling system, the intro might look like this:

Is your home suddenly a sauna? Perhaps your energy bills are soaring, yet you’re still shivering under thin blankets. These might be signs it’s time to investigate your cooling system’s health.

Invoke emotion

Craft your introduction to evoke specific emotions, such as empathy, aspiration, and a sense of belonging. This fosters deep connections and makes storytelling compelling and memorable. Everyone agrees striking an emotional cord with their targetted audience is the holy grail of marketing in the digital age. 

Here’s an example of how to start a blog post for an addiction treatment center. The article discusses the first step on the path to recovery: 

In the journey toward healing, every step, no matter how small, is a testament to your courage and resilience. Take the first step on the path to recovery with us, where compassionate guidance and practical advice await. 

3. Pose Questions and Integrate Quotes

Quotes and questions are powerful tools for writing blog intros, captivating readers, and arousing interest from the outset. Strategically incorporate these elements into your storytelling efforts.

Questions immediately pique readers’ curiosity and invite them to reflect on the topic at hand. Use questions to introduce a problem, prompting readers to continue reading in search of answers. Asking questions in this way creates a two-way dialogue between writer and reader, sparking deeper engagement with the content.

Quotes can add credibility, authority, and depth to blog intros — but they need to provide value. Source them from experts, industry leaders, or influencers to offer fresh or thought-provoking perspectives on a topic. Always remember to tailor the quote to user intent. For example, if you’re writing for an audience that seeks reassurance, don’t use a negative quote. Let’s say you’re working on a blog post for a rehab clinic titled Do I Need Addiction Treatment? If you start with a quote that suggests 60% of people relapse, you won’t be particularly persuasive. 

4. Strike a Balance Between SEO and Reader Engagement

Since Google’s helpful content update and the relentless march of AI, crushing SEO and reader engagement with equal force has become critical for success. Content marketers practicing the dark arts of keyword stuffing and backlink buying have been banished to irrelevance. Now, the name of the game is balance — juggling the demands of search algorithms with the desires of real people.

But how do you approach this tussle between optimization and engagement? Let’s explore some advanced optimization strategies that go far beyond keyword placement.

Advanced SEO strategies

Improve your content’s visibility using advanced SEO techniques for writing blog intros.

  • Semantic search optimization: Embrace semantic search optimization to align with the evolving nature of search engines. Focus on understanding the intent behind search queries and delivering relevant content accordingly. Use synonyms, semantic variations, and related terms to naturally weave keywords into intros.
  • Content structuring: Structured data markup provides context to search engines and improves the chances of your intro appearing as a rich snippet. Focus on providing clear and concise information, using relevant headings and subheadings, and ensuring your content is navigable by users and search engines.
  • Natural language processing: Use NLP techniques to analyze user queries and create intros that resonate with their specific language patterns. Understanding how your target audience phrases their questions and searches allows you to tailor your content and improve search engine ranking.

Remember, SEO is more than just keywords. By combining these advanced strategies with compelling storytelling and engaging writing, you can create content that ranks highly, speaks to your audience, and drives tangible outcomes.

AI and voice search optimization

Stay ahead of the curve by tapping into AI and voice search optimization. Integrate these strategies into blog intros to enhance their relevance, resonance, and performance in voice-enabled search environments.

  • AI-driven content optimization: Experiment with AI tools, such as Jasper and Rytr, to optimize your intros for engagement and SEO. AI can analyze data to identify trends, predict user behavior, and suggest content optimizations. 
  • Voice search optimization: Tailor intros to the conversational nature of voice queries. Use natural language patterns and concise language. Remember, voice searches for services often go straight to Google Maps local results. Optimize your Google Business Profile and gather stellar customer reviews to climb the local pack.

Legal and ethical guidelines when writing blog intros

Handle the complexities of content creation with ethics and legal compliance front and center. Avoid plagiarism and adhere to advertising standards while crafting authentic intros.

  • Avoid plagiarism: Conduct thorough research and cite sources properly. Use plagiarism detection tools, such as Copyscape, to verify content originality. Plagiarism destroys credibility and tarnishes your brand’s image.
  • Comply with advertising standards: Be transparent with your audience. Disclose sponsored content and affiliate links in your intros to instill Google’s final E-E-A-T guideline: trustworthiness. 

Global audience consideration

Expand your reach and impact by crafting culturally sensitive and inclusive intros that resonate with a multicultural audience. Find customers in new territories by learning how to customize intros effectively across different cultures and regions, enhancing SEO performance and reader engagement on a global scale.

5. Measure Audience Interaction Using Hard Data

Understanding your audience is crucial for creating compelling blog intros. Embrace feedback as the gold mine for improvement it truly is.


Analyze reader comments to identify common themes, recurring questions, and areas for improvement. Use technology to streamline the process and aim to focus on patterns instead of individual comments.

Social shares

Track which intros receive the most social media shares to gauge what sparks audience interest. Research the granular details of these intros so you can replicate successful elements.

Blog engagement KPIs

Engagement metrics, including bounce rate, time on page, and click-through rate, are prime KPIs for measuring blog intros’ effectiveness. Tracking these metrics over time helps you identify trends and patterns that indicate whether intros successfully capture and retain readers’ attention. For example, a high bounce rate indicates your intros aren’t effectively engaging readers, and low time on page likely means your intros aren’t up to scratch.  

 A/B testing 

To conduct an A/B test:

  • Craft two intro variations with distinct elements, such as tone, length, or formatting.
  • Present each variation to your audience and track performance through relevant metrics.
  • Analyze A/B test results to determine the winning intro and incorporate its elements into future content.

In addition to A/B testing, try out analytics tools and social listening platforms. They can give you valuable insights into audience preferences and reactions to your intros. For example, Google Analytics tracks engagement metrics, while social listening platforms monitor conversations and sentiment around your brand and content.

Case studies from the trenches 

Crowd Content

At Crowd Content, we used A/B testing to compare two variations of an intro format: one with a conversational, concise intro and one with a long, technical intro. We measured how the posts performed using time on page, average session duration, and bounce rate and found readers engaged more with the conversational intro. As a result, we adopted the conversational intro format across all blog posts.


LinkedIn provides a clear example of integrating feedback mechanisms into blog posts. Their buttons, conveniently placed at the end of each post, invite readers to engage.

LinkedIn: integrating feedback

These feedback loops serve several purposes. First, they offer readers an opportunity to go beyond passive consumption and express their reactions, questions, and opinions, and that increases engagement. Second, they provide valuable insights for content creators, enabling them to gauge audience sentiment and identify areas for improvement.

Unleash the Power of a Captivating Blog Intro

When writing blog intros, use compelling storytelling, strategic SEO techniques, and data-driven optimization to attract readers like a magnet. Bring them along on journeys of discovery and engagement, using each intro to lead customers into the valuable content that lies within your website.

Elevate your blog with professional intros. Discover our blog writing services, and learn how we can help you captivate your audience from the first line. Explore our services today! 

Carlos Meza

Article by

President and Chief Executive Officer at Crowd Content.

Carlos is a guiding voice in an SEO and content creation industry brimming with turbulent growth. He has leveraged his past experience as a technology executive, engineer, and corporate financier to bring innovative end-to-end content creation solutions to SMBs and enterprise clients around the globe — delivering high-quality, scalable products through the marriage of human talent, technology, automation, and artificial intelligence.

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