A hook is useful in all forms of writing and consists of the first sentence or two which tell a reader to "drop everything and pay attention to this!" Of course, the hook accomplishes this indirectly by evoking emotion, asking a question or instigating an action.. See what I just did there? :)
The first step to developing a hook that works for your writing is to know who you are writing for. For example a blog post is more informal and conversational, but if you are writing a marketing proposal for a major corporation; you would obviously want to avoid being too casual.
Next is understanding the goal of your piece. Are you solving a problem? Sharing information? Trying to get people to buy something? Your goals will also determine the type of hook you want to develop.
Once you know the goal of your piece and the type of audience; you can craft a great hook.
If your piece is developed to solve a problem - state the problem and invoke feelings of empathy for the reader. Let them know right out of the gate you know what the problem is and how it feels to have that challenge. This develops an immediate connection and sense of trust.So, there you have the basic components of what makes a great hook. Practice of course makes perfect and this is one skill you want to hone.
If your piece is informational - sometimes opening with a question is best. Ask your reader a question "Did you know? How do you? Chances are they may have ideas in their mind already, but will want to see how their notions align with yours. Questions pique curiosity and draw people in.
Use captivating words and for Heaven's sakes don't be boring.... "In today's article I will discuss.." zzzzzzzzzzzz Don't make it about you! ALWAYS write for your reader - no matter what type of writing you do!
Did I miss anything? What are your tips for creating great hooks?