How to Write Better Introductions and Conclusions

by Ashley Barnett
*Some of the links below may be from our sponsors. My full disclosure statement.*

According to the Center for Blog Post Writing 99.8% of bloggers struggle with writing intros.

Ok, I made that up. But the truth is intros are super hard! If you've ever written a blog post then you've struggled with writing an intro.

And then you have to close the post! Another struggle.

You can write better intros by writing them last and keeping them short and super relevant. For conclusions, give a quick summary of the post and then ask a question or give a call to action.

How to Write Introductions

Even professional writers struggle with intros. As an editor I probably rewrite 80% of the intros that are submitted to me. That's proof of how hard they are! So if this is something you that struggle with, don't feel bad. Know that it's hard for everyone.

Write the Intro Last

It makes sense that you would write the intro first. I mean, you read it first — so it makes sense to write it first. But that is not necessary, or even best.

If you write the body of the post first you'll have a great handle on exactly what to highlight in the intro. This will make it much easier!

Answer the Reader's Question

You should give the reader what they came for right at the start. Just answer their question.

I know that might feel like you are giving away the goods right in the intro but that's ok. You've already won! They clicked through to your site. That is the goal of promotion and SEO — to get people to click through.

Once they are on the site our goal is then to make sure they have a good reader experience. We are not trying to trick people into reading the article. If the intro gives them all the info they need they are free to leave, but if they are interested in learning more the body of the post is right there.

A good trick to make sure you are answering the question in the intro is to take the title of the article and turn it into a question… then answer that question in two or three sentences.

For example, if I turn the subject line of this article into a question I get “How do I write better intros and conclusions?” The answer is this:

You can write better intros by writing them last and keeping them short and super relevant. For conclusions, give a quick summary of the post and then ask a question or give a call to action.

If someone is satisfied with that short summary of the post then they got what they came for and are free to leave. But the content is there if they would like to learn more. But the key is that they will be happy either way,

Keep Introductions Short and Super Relevant

Lastly, keep your intros short and super relevant. No one is visiting for the intro — they want whatever information was promised in the title, so don't go off on a tangent or tell a long personal story. Keep the focus on the reader.

Here is an example of a common intro you might see out on the internet. (This is adapted from a real intro out there in the world. I tried to change enough so it's not identifiable.)

Pssst… I have a confession… I was once a money moron. Yikes, don't tell my kids I used such harsh language, they are only 3 and 6 they don't know mommy even uses words like that.

 

I think back at the mistakes that could have been easily avoided if I had only known. Do you have one of those things that once you learn it you can’t believe you didn’t know it before — like, it was so obvious you can't believe it? We all have those things. Right? I can’t be the only one (please don’t let me be the only one!)

 

Getting back to being a money moron. My biggest money mistake is around something I didn’t know, and it KILLS ME! Yes, I need to just get over it. I can't go back and fix it now so I should just move on. But I’m stubborn, so I hold on to stuff I shouldn't. The main point is that you don't have to make the same mistakes I did! I want you to know ALL THE THINGS, especially the important things, the things that can dramatically change your financial life!

 

Today, I am laying out all the best money advice that I've gotten over time from real women who have been kind enough to share their money tips with me. These women know our struggles and our needs, so in my book, they’re the pros! All of these money tips are valuable, and each has resonated with women on a deeper level.  

 

Read their words of wisdom, and I hope that something sticks with you and improves your financial situation! You may have heard all this advice before, but sometimes, for some reason, someone says something in just the right way at jus the right time and it totally blows your mind!

There are a few problems with this intro.

  • It tells the reader nothing.
  • It's long — over 300 words.
  • Even the personal story is vague and uninspiring. What was her money mistake?

What I like about it is that I get the feeling that this author knows who her readership is — other mom's of little ones. I think the tone and language is fitting for this demographic. It's kind and welcoming.

Ok, that said, I think we can keep the good parts and lose the trouble spots. Maybe something like this:

You've probably made some money mistakes that you look back on and wonder “What the heck was I thinking?” I know I have!

 

For me, educating myself about money lets me stop making mistakes and break these old cycles so my kids don't fall into the same traps I did.

 

So here is some money advice from a few amazing women that have inspired me along the way.

 

My biggest takeaways were to learn how to use a budget that works for me, the importance of paying off debt, and the power of getting started early when it comes to investing.

My short intro, only 101 words, conveys the same information that the long intro did but in a way that won't lose the reader before they even get to the meat of the article.

Plus, if they stop after the intro, they got something. They were told the importance of learning about money and a few basic tips.

Don't Feel Like You Have to “Warm Up” the Reader

I think a lot of writers feel like they have to warm up the reader. That there should be some pleasantries at the beginning of the post. That they need to work into it slowly.

“Hello, how are you? I'm good. I went to movies last weekend and it got me thinking…”

No, you don't need that. Save that stuff for social media. There, on social, yeah… the reader isn't thinking about you or your topic so I can see a little conversation before bringing up your topic. Like when you call someone on the phone, they weren't expecting your call so you chit chat a little before getting to the point.

But once they have clicked over you can just jump right in. The pleasantries are done. They are ready to read whatever it is you have to say.

And if they came from Google, then they are double ready to just have their question answered and be on their way. No need for any chit chat at all. They have specifically asked for this info.

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    How to Write Conclusions

    Sometimes ending the article can be as hard as starting it! You get down to the end but it seems easier to just keep going than to close it up.

    Create a Summary H2 Heading

    The first thing to do is create a “Summary” or “Final Thoughts” H2 heading. This tells the reader “this is the end of the post” so it doesn't feel like it ends abruptly.

    In the summary section simply summarize what was stated in the article. Don't introduce any new information here, it should just be a quick rehash of what was already said.

    And it's ok to repeat some of what was in the intro — if someone actually read every single word of the article they are very interested in the topic. So repeating the main points won't be annoying. You are driving home the information.

    Just like the introduction, this section can be short, maybe just two or three sentences. Or if there is a lot to summarize, it can be longer. But I'd likely keep it limited to two paragraphs.

    End with a Question or Call to Action

    At the end of the summary you can ask the reader a question to encourage comments.

    If you don't care about comments, you can end with a call to action. What do you want your reader to do? Something like “Sign up for this service here.” Or “Sign up for my newsletter.”

    If it's a review or affiliate post definitely sum up the features of the product and end the article asking the reader to sign up. Here are some more tips on writing review posts.

    Summary

    So that's it! That's my advice on how to write introductions and conclusions. Basically, keep them short and super relevant to the article. The reader is there for info, not the intro.

    Having a system for these things makes things easier for you and creates a consistent structure for your articles that makes them look professional.

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