A hook is the attention grabber.
That means, your lead sentence must be able to grab attention.
To begin, either you state a statistic, ask a question or provide a quote.
Your lead-in must sets the scene, able to tell a story and create the atmosphere. This is the first impression to capture and hold readers’ interest. Don’t try to compose the perfect opening. Among the best example, that I personally love is the book by Robin Sharma, The Secret Letters of the Monk who sold his Ferrari. If you want a copy, please click on the link (embedded in the book title in previous sentence), and if you do buy a copy from the link, thanks, you just made me a few cent richer.
So, in order to get your creative juice flowing, begin writing at any point in your piece that comes to you easily. For example, instead of starting with the introduction, go straight to the end of the articles, or story.
Or, the middle of your article by offering stories, updates, explanations and examples as it better tells an engaging story. Identify a tread to weave through your article so that it flows and most importantly, would be able to holds the reader’s attention. (of course, different setting shall be applicable to different type of writing, i.e., blogging, business reports, copy writing, etc).
If you get stuck or hit a wall, like I typically did, take a short break, read a sentence or two aloud, or simply start writing around a problematic section. The point is, just continue writing (of course with occasional short breaks), not to worry about the grammar, spellings and proof-reading it. That comes later.
As an example.
Journalist usually front-load information and structure their articles as inverted pyramids. Meaning, they lead with the core of the story, covering the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, and why).
In contrast, web copy follows a diamond shape. The opening sentences hook readers, the middle section spells out the details whole the end often offers a summary or a conclusion or something else entirely such as a memory.
One of the most common copy writing structure follows the acronym “AIDA”, which means “Attention, interest, desire, action”. Or alternatively, :AICDA” which adds C for conviction.
- Attention : where you hook your readers on with a catchy headline and enticing introduction.
- Interest: stimulates attention by demonstrating how your offering fulfills a need
- Desire: Shows how your products / services would be able to benefits your client from an emotional perspective
- Conviction: Add proof to your statement. Could be by testimonials or proof of research.
- Action: or CTA (Call to action) which actually an instruction to tell the readers what you want them to do. In facebook, it would be the buttons “Learn More”, “Shop Now”, etc.
So, that’s is a bit of my notes on the beginning, the middle and the end, of writing that is.
Categories: Personal Development