Stop Using Templates to Write Your Hooks (And Here's Why)

Stop Using Templates to Write Your Hooks (And Here's Why)

Editors Note: Joshua will be writing a column for us and will now be on Thursdays. This will, at some point, be for paying members. But for now enjoy Joshua’s wisdom!

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If you’re one of those marketers who relies on templates to write your hooks…


Here’s the thing:

Hook templates are ultrageneric.

You’ve seen them a thousand times.

And they (probably) sound nothing like you!

Now, you ALREADY know hooks are important. That’s why you’re using templates in the first place — so you can create great hooks.

But like I just said, there’s a lot wrong with them.

So what’s the alternative?

Knowing WHY great hooks work.

That way, you can craft hooks that:

  1. capture attention

  2. are unique

  3. fit your personality

Let’s get started.

Here’s something lots of people get wrong about hook-writing.

There’s tons of generic advice out there.

They say if you want to create a great hook:

  • state an interesting fact

  • tell a story

  • ask a question

  • give a statistic

But these are only tactics.

Sure, they’re all parts of great hook-writing — but the basic idea is much simpler:

open loops.

Imagine you sit down to watch the first episode of a brand-new TV series. What happens nearly EVERY time?

You get the end of the first episode, and…


You still have lots of questions.

Who’s that guy?

What does he want?

So what do you do?

You watch the next episode…

And the next…

And the next.

It’s the same principle with writing!

These cliffhangers are hooks.

They open a loop.

They ignite your curiosity.

So when you’re writing a hook, you want to make your readers wonder about something. And as long as you keep it open (and maintain the open loop by injecting bits of curiosity)…

they’ll keep reading.

For the reader, it’s all a game of satisfying their desire.

It’s powerful stuff.‌‌​

But here’s the thing

If you want to pull your audience in…

they need to WANT to close the loop. Otherwise, they’re not going to keep reading.

This is where audience research comes in.

  • what do they want?

  • what are they interested in?

  • what do they value?

Show your audience why what you’re about to share is:

  • relevant

  • desirable

  • necessary

But that’s not all.

Writing a great hook isn’t just about knowing what your audience wants.

It’s also about showing them why they should listen to YOU.

You can do this by:

  • proving your authority (so they know you’re credible)

  • showing your personality (so they know what you’re like)

And you need to do this quickly.

You don’t have a second to lose.

Your audience WANTS to scroll by…

you just need to give them a reason not to.

So to sum it up:

A great hook is about:

  1. Knowing what your audience wants

  2. Making them wonder about something

  3. Showing them why they should listen to you

You can always add fancy power words & structuring techniques…

but these 3 things are what really matter.

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About the Author

Joshua Snitgen the founder & CEO of WordButler — a content management company helping businesses 2x their exposure by transforming their existing video content into written content.

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Click HERE to request a free 20-minute consultation.