Just because you write facts does not mean you have to make things boring. When a reader goes through that one ho-hum sentence, he may just switch the tab, flip the page, or just leave your work altogether. Not only fiction writers and politicians should have a way with words. You, as an article writer, must hook your prospective reader from the get go. In this day and age, there are plenty of potential distractions that could grab your readers before you can. So, how should you begin your articles?
Start with a vignette
You may begin with a story. Even speech writers do this to try to earn the sympathy, empathy, and attention of their audience. A story can spark interest and inspire involvement. It can better explain a complicated idea.
Explode with the outcome
Begin at the end, instead of sticking to chronological form. Tell them the outcome of the story before you delve into the details of that event. Maybe a man got shot or a girl had won a prestigious international award. Write about that ending then dive into the background stories of how they ended up that way. People love to read to discover why such things have happened.
Grab attention en media res
An article writer can immediately state the situation or place the readers in the middle of it. In fiction, it was all about starting en media res, skipping boring introductions to get to the middle of things. While the previous tip jumped straight to the ending, this one is all about the middle.
Some people love a good mystery. In fact, some would be ready to fight you if you post spoilers about whodunits on social media. Capture the attention by tickling your readers’ imaginations. Get them to think about what could have happened and how it happened before getting to the root of the problem or the point of the article. However, don’t linger too much on the mystery, either. Your audience may get impatient.
Pose a question
An article writer must encourage people to think. Before discussing the topic, he must first a question that would prime the readers to be involved in the rest of the narrative.
Provoke your audience
Some writers provoke their audiences with unpopular or controversial ideas. By merely presenting these ideas, they encourage further reading. A responsible article writer, however, should justify that provocation by elucidating on the idea. Is the idea controversial for the sake of sensationalism or is it posed that way because there is another side that people often neglect to explore?
Make people laugh
An article writer could employ some humor. This is a little tricky because humor can easily fall flat in the hands of the wrong person. If you feel like you can handle giving a joke without it backfiring on you then you might want to use it. Remember that not everyone has a sense of humor that everyone else can understand and relate to. You aim to please and not to annoy.
There are various ways of starting an article. The point really is to keep on exploring not just these tested ways but also newer, more unexpected methods. However, always avoid sensationalism as this would be a cheap way of earning an audience. It is better to start with a hook and then proceed with good writing to show that it is worth reading in the first place. Do not annoy or disappoint your audience. There are pieces, whether fiction or nonfiction, that start off well but end up sputtering and letting everyone down. Start strong. End strong.