4 Writing Techniques To Grab Your Reader’s Attention 

grab your reader's attention

Want to hear an uncomfortable truth?

The bloggers, the entrepreneurs, and the content creators who don’t immediately grab their reader’s attention…

… will waste hours, days, or even weeks of time and effort every time they publish a blog post!

It’s sad, but true.

The fact is, right now our attention spans are shorter than ever.

Therefore, if you want your audience to read your blog posts…

you’ve got to grab your reader’s attention right from the beginning and keep them engaged.

But you already know you need to grab your reader’s attention…

… you’re probably just not 100% sure the best way to do it.

Truth be told, grabbing your reader’s attention is easier said than done.

(you’ll find out just how easy it can be in a moment)

That being said, I completely understand if you’ve struggled in the past to capture your reader’s attention.

The struggle is real! 

Hooking my readers into my blog posts was one of my biggest challenges as well.

That is until I figured out these 4 strategies to capture my reader’s attention and draw them into my blog posts.

After you’re done reading this article you’ll be armed with 4 proven strategies that will hook your readers and keep them engaged through your entire blog post.

As you probably already know, when your readers are engaged throughout your entire blog post you will…

  1. Establish more authority
  2. Generate more leads
  3. Acquire more customers

Who doesn’t want that?

The best part is, you can start implementing these strategies into your blog posts starting today!


[NOTE: struggling to create sharable content quickly?
Download The Ultimate Blog Post Writing Formula HERE…
… and start cranking out high quality blog posts that get you more leads and sales for your business fast!]


4 Writing Techniques To Grab Your Reader’s Attention

In case you didn’t already know, people don’t allow themselves to be bored online.

From the very first sentence of your blog post your reader is asking themselves…

“What’s in it for me?”

Because of this, the moment your reader feels like your blog post is…

  1. Un-interesting
  2. Unable to answer their question
  3. Not meant for them

… they’ll immediately click on the “back” button to find a different article.

It’s just that simple.

Therefore, as a blogger it’s your job to hook your reader from the moment they start reading your article.

How do you do this?

One of the best ways to grab your reader’s attention is to write an introduction that speaks to their problems and hooks them right away.

One of the best ways to do this is by using the P.A.E.S. formula outlined below.


1.) The P.A.E.S. Formula

The P.A.E.S. formula is a formula used by many web writers for blog introductions, ad copy, and even promotional emails.

I recommend using the formula to structure your introductions in a way that is both catchy and speaks to the pain of your readers.

P.A.E.S. stands for…

  • P = Problem
  • A = Agitate
  • E = Empathize
  • S = Solution


Let’s now dive into each section of the formula so you can see exactly how it works.


P = State the Problem

A good blog post will provide value to your audience.

Your goal should be to teach them something new or help them overcome a challenge they’re dealing with.

Specifically, there should be an inherent problem you’re blog post is helping to solve.

Therefore, you’ll want to state the problem your audience is dealing with in the first few sentences.

The images below are from a blog I wrote titled “The Ultimate Blog Post Writing Formula”

You can see how I stated the problem my audience is trying to overcome in the image below:

grab your readers attention


Stating the problem should be fairly straightforward.

No need to complicate things or make your reader try to guess what problem your blog post will solve.

Make sense?

After we state the problem, we move on the next step in the P.A.E.S. formula which is… Agitate the Problem.


A = Agitate the Problem

It’s one thing to make your reader aware that a problem exists.

It’s another thing to make them realize they need to fix the problem.

This is why we don’t stop at simply stating the problem.

We have to agitate the problem in order to motivate them to take action.

Here’s the thing… agitating the problem is similar to pouring salt on a wound.

Therefore, we agitate the problem to give your reader a glimpse of what life might look like if they choose to do nothing about their problem.

Often times, it’s the agitation that makes them realize…

“Oh crap! I better keep reading this blog post because this problem is worse than I thought!” 

In the image below I show you how I agitated the problem that was first introduced in the previous image.

In this case, agitating the problem begins after the phrase “To make matters worse…”

grab your reader's attention


As you can see, I agitated the problem by:

  1. Alerting them to the competition they face (300 million other blogs online)
  2. Making them aware their blog posts need to stand out

I go even further by saying if their blog posts don’t stand out they’re going to waste their own valuable time.

Now that we’ve agitated the problem we move into the step of the P.A.E.S. formula…

Empathize With Your Reader.


E = Empathize With Your Reader

The next step in the P.A.E.S. formula is to empathize with your reader.

When you empathize with your reader you’re showing that you understand and can relate to their problem.

Empathizing with your reader is a powerful technique to keep your reader engaged.


Because you give you give the reader the opportunity to resonate with you.

For example, would you rather be perceived as a high and mighty “know it all” who’s speaking down to people?


A trusted authority and someone your reader can relate to because you’ve been in their shoes before?

Truth is, it’s more effective to be viewed as an authority and a person our readers can relate to.

This is why if you want to grab your reader’s attention you also have to empathize with them.

In the image below you’ll see how I used empathy statements to appeal to my readers and help create a bond.


grab your reader's attention


The following are Empathy Statements you can use in your blog post introductions to keep your reader engaged.

“I get where you’re coming from…” 

“I know how you feel…”

“You’re not alone…” 

“I used to be like you…”

After you’ve empathized with your reader it’s time to move towards the final step of the P.A.E.S. formula…

Presenting the solution.


S = Present the Solution

Lastly, in order to really grab your reader’s attention you need to present the solution to the problem.

However, when you present the solution it doesn’t have to be done in a high pressure or “salesy” manner.

It can be as simple as informing your reader about what they will learn if they read the entire blog post.

Check out the image below to see how I presented the solution to my reader.


grab your reader's attention


As you can see, when all 4 elements of the P.A.E.S. formula are used you’ll have a compelling blog introduction that grabs your reader’s attention and pulls them into your content.


grab your reader's attention

2.) Dog Whistling To Your Ideal Audience

Another way to grab your reader’s attention is to “Dog whistle” them.

I didn’t come up with the term “Dog Whistling”, but I’m 99% sure Dan Kennedy did.

Not sure what “dog whistling” your audience means?

Just for a second, think about a traditional dog whistle.

You blow into a dog whistle for the purposes of calling a dog.

However, the frequency of the dog whistle is so high that humans can’t hear it (only dogs can).

I could blow into a dog whistle all day long and the only thing that will respond to me will be a dog.

This same concept applies to “dog whistling” our audience.

To “Dog whistle” your audience is to write an opening line that will only appeal to your target market or customer avatar.

In the images below you’ll see how I “dog whistled” my audience in the very first sentence of the blog post.


grab your reader's attention

If you’re someone who’s interest in “cost effective strategies to increase organic traffic to your website” …this blog post is for you.


Here’s another example of “Dog Whistling” that’s appealing to the solo-preneur or small business owner.

grab your reader's attention


As you probably noticed, the “dog whistling” technique is best used in the form of a question.

The reason for this is you want your target audience to answer “Yes” when they see the question.

On the flip side, you’ll want the people who your blog post is NOT meant for to answer “No.”

In the example above, if someone reads the opening sentence…

“Are you an entrepreneur who does your own marketing?”

… and their answer is “No”, I’m okay with that.


Because the rest of the content within the blog post is not meant for them and I don’t want to waste their time.

It’s important to note that as much as I’m trying to attract the right audience by dog whistling them…

… I’m also trying to repel the WRONG audience. 

This is why “dog whistling” your audience with attention grabbing sentences is a great technique to hook your reader.

3.) Grab Your Reader’s Attention: Use Short/Punchy Opening Sentences

One of the most effective ways to instantly grab your reader’s attention is to use a short, punchy opening sentence.


Because a short/punchy opening sentence acts as an audience attention grabber.

First, it will arouse your reader’s curiosity.

Then it will hook them into your blog post.

As a content creator that’s the best thing you can hope for.

To hook them.

Notice the opening sentence I used in the blog post below.

grab your reader's attention


Now isn’t that a curiosity inducing opening sentence?

My goal with this opening sentence is to make the reader wonder…

“How are we not that different? Where’s the author going with this?

I need to keep reading to find out!”

I use these short sentences as hooks to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into my blog post.

Here’s another example of a short, punchy opening sentence.

grab your reader's attention

Two words…

“Headlines matter!”

That’s it!

This opening sentence not only states a fact…

… but it also draws the reader in and requires them to keep reading in order to find out why headlines matter.


Or how about this sentence I used in a blog post titled…

“The 3 Most Important Facebook Advertising Metrics”

Check out this opening sentence:

short punchy opening sentence


Lastly, an example of a short & punchy opening sentence (and one that begs you to keep reading)…

… is the first sentence of this blog post.

In case you forgot what it was… go back to the beginning of this article to refresh your memory.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

It’s pretty catchy, right?

My goal with this sentence is to create a pattern interrupt by asking you a provocative question.

I want to force my reader (in this case YOU) to wonder…

“What uncomfortable truth is Bill going to reveal to me??” 

Did it work?


Here’s the deal… according to an article written in Time Magazine you only have 7 seconds to grab your reader’s attention.

So if you’re wondering how to keep your readers hooked…

… use a short, punchy opening sentence that captures your reader’s attention and arouses their curiosity.

Make sense?


4.) Hook Your Readers w/ Rhetorical Questions

Rhetorical questions are also a great way to grab your reader’s attention.

However, the point of the rhetorical question is not to answer a question.

The rhetorical question is there to make your reader think…

“Well yeah, obviously… but I want more.”

Now here’s the key to using a rhetorical question… you’ve got to give them more!

If you litter your blog post with multiple rhetorical questions without providing solutions to the problem…

… you run the risk of annoying your reader by oversimplifying important points.

With that being understood, here are 3 examples of rhetorical questions used at the beginning of blog posts.


grab your reader's attention using rhetorical questions


use rhetorical questions to grab your reader's attention



The rhetorical question starts both you and reader off on the same page.

As a result, there’s a certain level of bonding that can immediately take place which will help keep your reader engaged.

Therefore, when examining writing techniques to grab your reader’s attention…

… you should consider using a rhetorical question as a viable option.


Related Posts:

How to Write a Pillar Blog Post

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Content

3 Basic Copywriting Rules You Should Never Break


Final Thoughts: How to Keep Your Readers Hooked

Now that you’ve read this article about how to grab your reader’s attention you’ve got a good grasp on:

  • Why you need to capture your reader’s attention right away
  • The P.A.E.S. formula you can use to start your blog posts
  • How you can use hooks to grab your reader’s attention
  • How to “Dog Whistle” your ideal audience

You’re also familiar with using short/punchy attention grabbing sentences…

… and why rhetorical questions are a good way to open your introduction.

(Feel free to book mark this article so you can refer back to it again in the future.)

The truth is, the better you get at writing attention grabbing sentences, the more you’ll find your readers consuming your entire blog post.

And isn’t that the whole point?


[RELATED: If you’re like most content creators you want to get more leads and sales from your blog. 
Download the Ultimate Blog Post Writing Formula HERE…
… and start cranking out high quality blog posts that get you more leads and sales for your business fast!]

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