You strive to educate and empower your readers. Heck, at times, your goal might even be to make them laugh. But as the blog post comes to a close, have you enticed your readers to take action?
We all know there’s more to blogging than putting out an informative read. One key component of moving your reader beyond a passive visitor, and into a loyal follower or customer, is to sprinkle your blog posts with calls-to-action, or CTAs.
These little snippets of text, graphics or web forms should offer your reader something extra. Whether it’s a tangible item, like a white paper or a checklist, or additional resources that relate to the blog topic, the CTA should always focus on how it will benefit the reader — not you!
Choosing a Custom CTA Message
Not all calls to action have the same impact. I find that customizing a CTA to relate to the blog topic gets more click throughs. For example, I often blog about writing tips. If I dig into a technique or idea that some readers might brush off as too labor intensive or time consuming, I’m sure to wrap up the post with a CTA that offers my writing services. After all, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with what you’ve just read, it’s easier to hire someone else to do that task for you. Click!
Here are a few more examples of how to align your CTA with your blog post topic:
|Blog Topics||Possible CTA|
|Launching a new product||Offer a limited-time discount to readers by clicking a special link to a product page reflecting the sale price|
|Discussing how to do a task||Offer a checklist of tools needed to complete the task. Is one of those tools something your business sells? Promote it!|
|Announcing a new service||Offer a free 10 minute phone call consultation to answer questions about the service and plant seeds for a future sale.|
As you brainstorm your upcoming blog posts, always ask yourself, “What do I want to gain from this posting?”. More sales? Increase my newsletter subscribers? Create more visibility in the marketplace? Align your CTAs with those goals.
Beyond the Cookie-Cutter Sidebar CTA
You know your blog post really should be doing more than just providing fabulous information, but where should you put these extra little nuggets of information for your readers?
A common CTA that many businesses already have in place is a sidebar webform or button. These usually lead readers to join a mailing list or grab a free download. Perfect! Now customize those! With a little extra effort you can make each sidebar CTA relate to the blog topic. For example, if the article title was “6 Ways Twitter Makes Freelance Writing Easier” the sidebar’s message could be “Grab this list of 21 must-follow Twitter accounts for writers”. When the reader clicks through, they sign up for your mailing list and you send them the promised Twitter document. They’re pleased, and you gained another subscriber.
CTAs can also be embedded within the blog text itself. After explaining something, put a link in parentheses that goes to the tool or product you just discussed. This makes it easy for the reader to learn more instantly and gets eyes on your product’s landing page or a shopping cart where you can easily convert the reader into a customer.
Or, consider wrapping up your blog post with a call to action that offers continued tips and industry-specific insight. The final paragraph is the perfect place to entice readers to sign up for the blog’s e-newsletter so they can get more advice directly in their inbox.
Do you need someone to help with your blogging strategy and writing? Volume Nine does that, and a whole lot more. Give us a shout!
Angela is a guest contributor to the Volume Nine blog. She spends her days creating marketing content and journalistic pieces for brands, magazines and newspapers. She also writes about content marketing and working online at Web Writing Advice. Visit with her on Twitter @AngelaTague.