At university I was often told that once you've finished writing an essay, the best thing to do is delete the introduction. Cut out the waffle and get to the point.
Sometimes I re-wrote the first paragraph, sometimes the second was indeed already the best beginning... the point is, dashing out your points and clicking publish straight away isn't going to work.
There is a danger that the central section of your article will become the only engaging, interesting part, when actually the introduction and conclusion are you most powerful resources. You need to draw the reader in, and then leave them inspired, having learnt something, with a call to action at the end, particularly if you're a business.
Starting with waffle and ending abruptly will never get you very far.
The issue many of us have is lack of planning. The vast amount of content out there makes us eager to add our own thoughts, but the writing process shouldn't be a quick dash and go. Put some thought into it.
Of course, everyone has a different writing process, but here are 3 quick tips:
- Plan. I'm not talking a long winded process, but get something down on a blank page, break it out into sections and make sure you've got a point to kick it all off, and a way of tying it up at the end.
- Once it's written, leave it a few hours, and then read it again. It will give you a fresh perspective and help you to see it from a readers point of view.
- Ask yourself why someone would read this from the title and first few lines, and then what they would do next if they get to the end (don't take that last part for granted, you need to keep it interesting to keep their attention).
Don't fall into the habit of contributing to the noise of the Internet without adding any value. The article below outlines 11 common blogging mistakes which you should be seeking to avoid.
Remember that when it comes to clicking publish, it's about your reader, not you. If you don't make it worth their time, they aren't going to make it past your first paragraph.
Blogging Mistake #7: Your conclusions are stale It’s an easy mistake to make. You’ve poured all your energy into writing your post. Now you’ve gotten to the end, and you wiz through writing your conclusion so all is done. But serving up an uninspiring conclusion is like presenting the cheapest supermarket ice-cream after a lavish home-cooked meal. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Don’t disappoint your readers with a bland conclusion. Try writing your conclusion first. Or write it the day after you’ve written your post. Put all of your enthusiasm into a conclusion that inspires, motivates, and energizes your readers.