How to Write a Blog Post That Pulls Your Readers In With Curiosity

by Derek Halpern | Follow Him on Twitter Here

Curiosity picture

If you want to write a blog post that pulls your readers into your content instantly, curiosity is the answer.

You see, curiosity is an innate in humans, and every TV network, movie, blog, book, and other form of media takes advantage of it.

But it gets better:

What if I showed you how to use curiosity to increase your blog traffic, build an email list, and earn more sales?

Keep reading.

The Secret to Creating Curiosity: Information Gap Theory

When you write a blog post, how can you create curiosity?

George Loewenstein, a professor at Carnegie Melon University, came up with what’s called “the information gap theory of curiosity,” and it’s, hands-down, one of the best ways to create curiosity on demand.

Quite simply, curiosity, as defined by Loewenstein, is an innate human behavior that’s triggered when people feel there is a gap between what they know and what they want to know. (source).

Loewenstein then goes on to explain how this gap influences people to take action (aka buy your products, subscribe to your list, or share your article with their friends).

But the question remains: How can you do it?

How Curiosity Helps You Attract Subscribers and Sales

What’s the key to attracting leads and making sales online?

You must get attention and keep that attention.

As you know, your headline and image grabs attention. Curiosity, on the other hand, helps you keep attention.

I’ve said this before, but it’s important, so I’ll say it again. If you get people to read your first few sentences, they’ll read your entire article or sales letter.

And that’s where curiosity comes in…

Remember, when you create a gap between what people know, and what people want to know, they feel compelled to fill that gap.

So, if you want to pull people into your content, you should create that information gap early in your article.

Some people suggest you use curiosity based headlines because they work.

I, on the other hand, prefer to write curiosity-based introductory sentences.

How to Write a Blog Post That Piques Curiosity

When you’re staring at a blank document, the task of creating curiosity can be daunting.

So, how can you open your article or sales page up with a sentence that invokes curiosity?

If you’re teaching, like I do on Social Triggers, there’s a simple formula you can follow, and it almost always works. Here it is:

[New, Cool, and/or Hopefully Remarkable Thing] + [Desirable Outcome] = [Curious Reader / Viewer]

To use this formula, here are five templates for inspiration:

  • How’d you like to learn about [new remarkable thing] that [desirable outcome]?
  • Ever wonder how you can earn [desirable outcome] with [new remarkable thing]?
  • There’s a way for you to [desirable outcome] with this [new remarkable thing].
  • If you heard about a [new remarkable thing] that could [desirable outcome], would you be interested in learning more about it?
  • The key to a [desirable outcome] is to make sure you use [new remarkable thing].

Couldn’t be easier, right?

What do you think? How do make your readers curious? Have you used the information gap theory to create persuasive messages before? Leave a comment!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark

You see curiosity commonly being applied in headlines, but I like the idea of growing and expanding it in the opening of your copy to ramp up your reader’s interest even more. The formulas are also helpful.

I think when it comes to sales content, you also have to leave some curiosity unfulfilled or your prospect may not buy. Think of those movie previews that seem like they reveal the whole plot.

Reply

Derek Halpern

When you’re selling, you can’t give away the house, that’s for sure. Have to leave something to the imagination… with information anyway.

When you’re selling something like a TV though, it’s different. That’s more about the experience. How you’ll feel when you’re sitting in front of your brand-new TV.

Reply

Brian

AWESOME! This is extremely valuable and something I can use immediately.

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Derek Halpern

Thanks! Hope it works out for you.

Reply

Jim Raffel

Derek,
This is great because for most good writers it’s a very small adjustment or addition to what they are already doing.

Strangely, over the last few days I’ve been talking with friends and business associates about how most big changes in life occur because of a relatively tiny adjustment in what you are doing.

In my case for example, I already have a successful company with products people buy. By adjusting the copy of our sales letters using your formula above I suspect we would increase our online sales substantially.

Thanks for sharing this. I will be having my new marketing team member take a look at this post and start reworking our sales copy over the next month or so.

We’ll let you know how it turns out!

Respectfully,
Jim Raffel

Reply

Derek Halpern

Sounds like a plan Jim. I’d love to hear about the data associated with your test too :-D

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Susannah Noel

My editor gave me the same basic formula for headlines: curiosity + benefits.

Another tip is to use “these” or “this” in the headline without saying what “these” are. For example, “How to Increase Sales by up to 75% with These.”

Reply

Derek Halpern

Yea… One of the best headlines is “Do You Make These Mistakes When You [Blank]. It’s a little overdone, but it still works like a charm!

Reply

Duane Christensen

Understood. Good article.
But people trying to follow the formula often bore the socks off prospects in the middle of the sales copy…and lose them. I’m eager to read more. Just signed up.

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Derek Halpern

I do think people can use formulas wrong… I merely included those for inspiration to show people how they work. If people copy it word for word, I think it could be dull, though.

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Duane Christensen

This post IS great inspiration! Referring to Jim’s comment, most sales letters, or ANY sales message for that matter, could most likely use a healthy dose of curiosity within them. Good post. A lot of value!

Reply

Eddie Gear - The Guy With An Attitude

The Information Gap Theory – this is something that i believe in. I know that this system can drag your readers into your blog.

Good writing.

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Tom Allinder

Derek, I feel like a fool. I have been blogging for years but have just discovered your blog. I will be a consistent reader from now on. You have great insights!

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Derek Halpern

Hi Tom, and thanks! I did just start this blog, so that’s why you haven’t seen it yet :-P

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Brian S

Thanks Derek…should be fun to write a post tonight using this method

Reply

Derek Halpern

let me know how it turns out?

Reply

Aled

Just stumbled upon your site via thesis themes.

Some awesome content, really enjoyed the curiosity formula post. Will be coming back for sure.

Cheers

Aled

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David Bouhez

I stumbled upon a link to your site through an email that I just received. This is good stuff. It’s in line with what Joe Vitale teaches in his Hypnotic Writing Book. I’ve bookmarked your site and will visit often. Thanks,

Dave

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Constantin

I think I’ve used this a few times without actually knowing what I was doing. Now that I’m aware of this technique I think I can do it better. :-)

Thanks, Derek!

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Jason - Muscle Building and Fitness Workouts

Great post. I am going to give this a try on my next post and newsletter.
Thanks

Reply

Chandler Turner

This is right on point in gaining new clients. We know we have only 3 to 10 seconds to attract attention. Then we have to keep it. I learned this as a manufacturer’s representative my first day on the job with Scott Paper Company in 1979 when the trainers taught us the difference between a product or service feature (what it is or does) and the benefit (how it helps you). The benefit gains interest. The feature – merely a fact or factual statement about the product – is used to reinforce or prove the benefit. Far too many content producers try to overwhelm with facts. but until we are pulled into the conversation or article by something engaging to us personally, we could care less what the facts are. Lack of understanding of this costs companies millions in lost revenue every year.

Reply

Tim

That picture pulled me in this post)

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Rodger Johnson

I’m testing these headline and opening line ideas for one of my clients. Let’s see how they work.

Reply

Coach Comeback

Lets see if I can put this to the test….

Find out how Derek Halpern [New Remarkable thing] changed my business by giving me laser sharp focus with direct psychological insights into the minds of my reader [Desirable outcome]

How did I do?

Reply

Monja

hi derek,

just bookmarked your post – awesome stuff. i´m going to try a curiosity headline for my next newsletter, will be really exciting.
thanks a lot!

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Daphne Dangerlove

I love this! I love your posts. I got here from Pat Flynn’s site and this link could not have been more timely. Thank you so much for all of your helpful posts. I am going to try this out right away.

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Daphne Dangerlove

I love this! I love your posts. I got here from Pat Flynn’s site and this link could not have been more timely. Thank you so much for all of your helpful posts. I am going to try this out right away.

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Jantje

Hey Derek,

just a little note to say that I have read this post about twenty times now (for different articles) and every time I see a new angle to this. I have to admit the photo does a great job to pull me back into it each time. Great stuff, thank you a lot! I appreciate your work and your willingness to share!

Greetings from Germany,
Jantje

Reply

Mats

Derek,
I have a question: do title posts with questions make people more curious about reading the article?

Thanks.

Mats

Reply

Matthew Jeschke

This is one of the things I struggle the most with in sales & writing.

Reply

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