Whether you want to craft compelling blogs, thought leadership pieces, web pages or essays, engaging the reader is the hardest job of any writer. However, once you have their attention, your reader will be a lot more likely to continue along their journey with you, whether that’s clicking through to browse your products, getting to the end of your piece or subscribing to your newsletter.
This is where a hook comes in. But what is a hook in writing? And how do you write a good hook? In this article we define a hook in writing, share some examples and a step-by-step guide to how to write a good hook.
What is a hook in writing?
- What is a hook in writing?
- Common types of hooks
Examples of hooks
1. A question hook
2. A quotation hook
3. An anecdote hook
4. A statistics hook
5. A statement hook
- How to write a good hook for an article (or other piece of content)
1. Nail down your reason for writing
2. Talk to the reader
3. Be factual – do your research
4. Set out to intrigue
5. Show your intent
- Hook your readers from the start
Put simply, a hook is the opening statement in your piece of content. Traditionally, a hook appears in the first sentence; however, some writers might prefer to use it as the last sentence in a paragraph to push the reader into the content.
If you're writing sales copy and want to understand what is a hook in copywriting, then you might consider it as the chief customer 'pain point'. The pain point is the reason your customer is on your page and offers you a lead in to discuss the benefits of your product.
In essence, the hook is designed to draw the reader in and make them want to read on. It offers the suggestion they will have an answer to whatever their question is, whetting their appetite for what is to come. For this reason, it's commonly used in tandem with storytelling copywriting.
Common types of hooks
There are some common types of hooks that you can use in order to draw your reader into your article, piece, story or essay:
- You can open with a shocking or surprising statistic and then go on to explain, back up or refute it.
- You can use a quotation by a well-known or knowledgeable voice in the field you are writing about.
- You can begin with an anecdote that will stir up the reader’s interest, or make a statement that you will go on to explain throughout the body of your article.
- You can start by asking a question – something that they will want the answer for, and they will need to read your piece to find it.
The hook is both how you attract and intrigue your reader, and it works as a statement of intent of what they can expect to find as they read on.
Examples of hooks
Now that you know what kind of hooks many writers employ, what are some concrete examples of hooks in writing?
A question hook
A question hook means that you will ask the reader a question.
Example: “Have you ever thought about what people really eat for breakfast? We explore the strangest early morning meals in the world and who eats them”.
A quotation hook
If you are using a quotation hook, you will want to find a credible source to cite and open with, along with an explanation of how it pertains to the article.
Example: “Journalist and food critic A. A. Gill once said, ‘Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life.’ We share some good habits to start each day the right way.”
An anecdote hook
An anecdote hook opens with something a little more personal, such as a story from your own life, and then goes on to explain how this relates to your article.
Example: “I never thought I would see a fried egg and noodles for breakfast, yet everyone around me tucked in with gusto – was I the weird one? We explore unique and unusual breakfasts from around the world”.
A statistics hook
A statistics-based hook starts with a (well-researched and cited) figure that intrigues in some way.
Example: “35% of people eat cold cereal for breakfast, while only 5% eat haggis – we look into strange breakfast trends from across the globe”.
A statement hook
If you are using a statement hook, you might wish to open with an assertion of a generally perceived ‘truth’ that you willl later refute, or a clever turn of phrase to make the reader stop and think.
Example: “Breakfast food trends have taken a turn for the unusual, so we are going to explore some of the most unusual breakfasts that prove this trend”.
These are just a handful of examples. There are so many ways that you can use a hook, and the best of them will make your reader want to know more.
How to write a good hook for an article (or other piece of content)
From looking at some examples of hooks, you may feel quite confident about writing your next hook for an article, long-form piece or story. However, there are some other elements that you may want to keep in mind when writing your hook:
1. Nail down your reason for writing
When crafting a hook, consider the purpose of your content and the intended audience. Is it to inform, persuade, or entertain? Is your audience young or old? Do they think of the world in a certain way? Your hook should reflect the content’s purpose but also challenge and inspire readers to keep reading.
2. Talk to the reader
Use of the second-person pronoun ‘you’ is a great way to draw a reader into the content, but it isn’t always relevant to the audience or the content type, so consider whether it's right for the type of content you're writing. Other ways to engage the reader are by using an emotive quote, image, example or statistic to make them stop and think.
3. Be factual – do your research
Make sure that any statistics or quotes that you use are well researched and factual. Even when it comes to an anecdotal hook, it should firmly back up or illustrate the content of your argument, not just be used to grab attention. While engaging the reader is the main point of the hook, it must also be cohesive with the rest of your piece.
4. Set out to intrigue
If you are trying to give a balanced or measured approach to a certain topic rather than prove a conclusive point, this should also be clear in your hook. Your hook is not the clickbait of your article – it should interest readers, but not draw them in with false shock value. A good way to do this is to engage your own sense of curiosity as you research and write. Your piece should be as much about what you want to learn from the journey and taking your reader along with you.
5. Show your intent
That said, the hook should aim to make it clear what readers can expect and the major points of the journey you are going to take them on. Illustrating this upfront givesyour readers a reason to be excited, intrigued and ultimately satisfied when they have finished reading, knowing they got what they came for.
Hook your readers from the start
The rules of writing can feel confusing, but a great hook is a vital part of so many articles, blog posts, thought leadership pieces, speeches, emails, long-form essays, web pages,stories and more! Getting the right hook can really bring your whole piece together and sell your product, business or story to the reader.
Now that you know what a hook is, you have all the tools to go forward and create incredible hooks that will make your writing more attention-grabbing, interesting and cohesive. This is a vital skill for anyone looking to use the written word to find and engage a new audience.
Of course, if you're struggling, why not call on the professionals? At Copify, we work with experienced writers who can craft a compelling hook and content for whatever you need.
✏️ Enquire about our article writing or copywriting services today to start engaging your audience with meaningful content.
Header image: The Dark Queen
Put simply, a hook is the opening statement in your piece of content. Traditionally, a hook appears in the first sentence; however, some writers might prefer to use it as the last sentence in a paragraph to push the reader into the content.How do you write a hook for a blog? ›
The hook element has to be brief, specific, and interesting (What the article will be about). It can be a word, phrase, or a single sentence. The hook point can also be closed or open-ended questions. The content has to inspire you to read about the blog post.What is an example of a hook in writing? ›
Example: “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen” said Michael Jordan, arguably the best player to ever play in the NBA. Here, Jordan talks about how people want, dream, wish, and pray that they will one day make it to the big stage.What is a hook in creative writing? ›
A hook (or narrative hook) is the literary technique of creating an enticing beginning—the very first line or opening of a story—designed to capture readers' interest.What does hook mean in copywriting? ›
In copywriting and marketing terms, a hook is exactly what it sounds like — a concept or an idea that gets people interested in what you have to say… and what you have to offer. Therefore a good hook has the job of reeling in a prospect by getting their attention enough to take the next step.What are some good hook sentences? ›
- I lost my arm on my last trip home. ...
- A screaming comes across the sky. ...
- It began the usual way, in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel. ...
- Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. ...
- We slept in what once had been the gymnasium. ...
- It was love at first sight.
The biggest thing to keep in mind when trying to write a hook is that it needs to be simple. The biggest thing to keep in mind when trying to write a hook is that it needs to be simple. Your goal should be to make your hook so memorable the audience can remember the lyrics and sing along to the melody.How many sentences is a hook? ›
It can be one sentence long, often for shorter pieces, or composed of several lines - usually for larger pieces. Making the reader want to keep reading is what an essay hook accomplishes for your paper, just as an intriguing introduction does for any piece.How many sentences are in a hook sentence? ›
A hook is typically the first one or two sentences of an essay or article that is designed to grab the reader's attention.What is an example of lead hook? ›
Example: I never cried when my grandmother died. I hadn't been allowed to attend the funeral; my mother thought I was too young. I guess that is why I felt so sad the morning it happened.
- Rhetorical questions.
- White space.
The attention grabber, also known as a “hook”, is the first sentence that the reader will see, and its purpose is to grab the reader's attention. A few common attention grabbers are: - A short, meaningful quote that relates to your topic. - Think of a quote that interested you during your research.How do you write an attention grabber? ›
- Relay an anecdote. Start by telling us a story that directly relates to your speech. ...
- Cite a startling fact or opinion. ...
- Ask a question. ...
- Use a quotation. ...
- Build suspense through narrative.
- Start with an interesting fact. ...
- Use a compelling anecdote. ...
- Begin your writing with a quote. ...
- Explain a common misconception. ...
- Use data to inform your thesis. ...
- Tell a joke. ...
- Ask a question. ...
- Use a contradictory statement.
"I know how you feel about your back pain. I know because I have back pain myself, but I figured out a solution, and I want you to know about it." This isn't perfect, obviously, but it's a good generalization of this type of hook.
The hook works in tandem with the headline; the headline delivers the reader to the first lines of an article, and then the hook in those first few lines launches the reader deeper into the piece of content.What is catchy hook? ›
A hook is usually centred around a killer melody on top of great chords. There may be additional harmonies and counter-melodies, but the bit that makes it catchy is the bit we all hum along to long after the song has finished. It's the main melody.What is an example of a curiosity hook? ›
A classic example of a curiosity-driven content hook is the headline "I've Got a Secret" by PostSecret, a blog that publishes anonymous confessions from people around the world. The headline invites the reader to discover the secrets of strangers, which can be funny, shocking, sad, or relatable.What is a topic sentence with a hook? ›
What is a topic sentence? Main idea of the paragraph and sets up what that paragraph is about. ○ Usually it is the first sentence in the paragraph ○ It can be referred to as a hook. Is the main idea of an essay.What are the rules of hooks? ›
- Hooks can only be called inside React function components.
- Hooks can only be called at the top level of a component.
- Hooks cannot be conditional.
The hook can be as short as a single sentence or as long as a full paragraph. Writing hooks is a necessary skill for all types of writing—narrative essays, research papers, fiction writing, and more.How many paragraphs should a hook have? ›
A good hook should be just one or two sentences. The goal of your hook is to introduce your reader to your broad topic in an interesting way and make your reader excited to read more. Even though your hook is at the very beginning of your essay, you should actually write your hook LAST!What is a powerful hook sentence? ›
A strong statement hook is a sentence that makes an assertive claim about your topic. It connects to the thesis statement and shows the importance of your essay or paper. A strong statement is a great technique because it doesn't matter if your reader agrees or disagrees with your statement.What is a catchy opening sentence? ›
Start with the chase. A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader. Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don't think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.”How do you make a good hook lead? ›
Hooks compliment leads in that they give your reader another reason to read your article to the end. A good hook answers the reader's unspoken, but nevertheless ever-present questions of: "why should I read this?" or "what's in it for me?"What are basic hooks? ›
After State Hooks, the most basic hook in Reac is the Effect Hook. It allows us to perform side effects (in action) in the functional components. It does not use components lifecycle methods that are available in class components.What is the most common type of hook? ›
Probably the most popular type of hook is an eye hook with a latch. The primary advantages of an eye hoist hook with a latch are strength and security.What words attract people's attention? ›
- Immediately. The word "immediately" conveys a sense of urgency that you should do something right now. ...
- Sharp. The word "sharp" may create different visual images depending on the other words in the sentence. ...
- Renewed. ...
- Instantly. ...
- Invigorated. ...
- Unleashed. ...
- Unlimited. ...
- Start in the middle of a story. The first lines don't have to begin with long descriptions of a room's appearance or a character's personality. ...
- Open with a mystery. ...
- Flash back to the past. ...
- Describe the current state of affairs. ...
- Set the tone. ...
- Start with a voice.
- Begin at a Dramatic Moment. ...
- Add an Unusual Situation. ...
- Start With Some Type of Conflict. ...
- Show the Antagonist First. ...
- Make Your Readers Wonder. ...
- Introduce Some Dread. ...
- Start With an Intriguing Character. ...
- Use a Compelling Narrative Voice.
Examples of hooks/grabbers include: An intriguing question that will make readers curious. A historical or current-events example of the concepts being discussed. A personal example of how the writer connects to the topic.What is give me five attention getter? ›
" Give Me Five " is a popular way to get the attention of your class. The teacher says, " Give Me Five ," and the students go through five steps: Eyes are watching, Ears are listening, Lips are zipped, Hands are still and Feet are quiet. In five seconds, the class is quiet!What is hook in blogging? ›
This is, most of the time, the very first sentence/paragraph of your blog post. The hook is used at the beginning of your blog post to pique the reader's interest. This section is your last chance to catch your reader's attention and make them want more. It should be short, straight to the point, and catchy.How do you start a blog sentence? ›
- Ask a question. ...
- Share an anecdote or a quote. ...
- Invoke the mind's eye to write a blog post introduction. ...
- Use an analogy, a metaphor, or a simile. ...
- Cite a persuasive statistic.
- Brainstorm blog topics.
- Refine your topic with keyword research.
- Define your audience.
- Create an organized outline.
- Write engaging content.
- Craft an irresistible headline.
- Choose a blog template.
- Select a blog domain name.
A hook is a word or phrase that sparks the reader's interest or attention and can be found woven into the headline and the first few sentences of a piece of content.What is a blog example? ›
A blog is a website or page that is a part of a larger website. Typically, it features articles written in a conversational style with accompanying pictures or videos. Blogging is a fun and flexible way for self-expression and social connection, so it is no wonder blogs have become very popular.What is a good blog introduction? ›
The introduction lays out the article's benefits in unambiguous terms. Make it clear what your content is about and how your audience can benefit from reading it.How do you write a blog example? ›
- Address a compelling topic. ...
- Come up with a great post title. ...
- Outline your post. ...
- Explain your connection to the topic. ...
- Use a clear layout. ...
- Write from the heart. ...
- Propose solutions. ...
- Consider search engine optimization.
- 5 Types of Hooks to Grab Readers' Attention. “The best writers hook their readers with voice, not just action.” — Stephen King. ...
- Rhetorical question. ...
- Provocative or strong statement. ...
- Shocking fact or statistic. ...
- Story or personal experience. ...
Hooks that create questions in the reader's mind are the easiest kind to come up with. Does what you've written make the reader ask: who, how, what, where, why, or what's going on?What is a blog writing style? ›
But in blogging, the style is less formal and paragraphs may be as short as a single sentence or even a single word. Use short sentences. You should keep sentences short for the same reason you keep paragraphs short: they're easier to read and understand. Each sentence should have one simple thought.What makes a great blog post? ›
Great blog posts answer readers' questions as quickly and simply as possible, and your headings and subheadings can help accomplish that. Think of them as a continuation of the main idea of your post — use your subheaders to include keywords and topics that naturally follow your main topic and keyword.