In this post I want to share with you 4 ways to use effective ‘call-to-actions’ in your blog posts.
Almost every blog will use a call-to-action of some sort, depending on what type of response they’re looking for from their blog visitors, call to actions can be of any type.
I want to look at using effective call to actions to encourage visitors to do four things on your blog:
- To engage with your content
- To explore other content on your blog
- To subscribe to your blog
- To share your blog content on social media sites
Of course the very first step to encouraging visitors to do those four things outlined above, is not by adding call-to-actions all over the place, but to actually write compelling content that will make your visitors WANT to take action.
Check out the following post I wrote on how to write ‘great’ content for your blog.
OK so how do you harness the power of using effective call to actions in your blog posts to achieve the four things I mentioned above?
Let’s take a look.
How To Use Effective Call To Actions In Your Blog Posts
#1. Use call to actions to encourage content exploration – Funny old phrase to use I know, but to me ‘content exploration’ means reading and digesting more than one piece of content on a blog, exploring other pages thus spending longer on a blog.
Some ways to encourage visitors to explore other content on your blog is to use ‘related posts’ and ‘popular posts’ plugins of various types, but you can also use effective call-to-actions to recommend other posts too, by linking to other content as you know.
Tip: Instead of linking keywords or a string of phrases to other related content the old boring way, actually ask your readers to check out the posts you recommend them to read.
An example of this would be the method I use to recommend other posts. See the image below.
I kindly ask my readers to check out the post I’m linking to. You can put it in a nice quote as well like I do, which I think highlights the call to action/link better.
#2. Use call-to-actions to encourage engagement – There’s nothing worst than seeing a blog with no comments. A post with zero comments does very little to encourage others to leave a comment, so you need to add a call-to-action again, kindly asking people to leave a comment, here are some ideas and suggestions on how to do that:
- Use the last paragraph to request comments, for example use a title like “Now it’s your turn” or “Have your say”, followed by a unique comment request.
- Post questions (where appropriate), during and at the end of your post. Questions are great to get readers involved in the conversation, and it shows that you care about their thoughts, opinions and experiences too.
- Occasionally invite your readers to suggest and share links to related posts from their own blog, perhaps they wrote an article similar to yours that can provide additional value to the post they’ve just read.
- Post a mini quiz at the end of your post.
In addition to encouraging comments through call to actions, commenting on your blog shouldn’t be a challenge for your readers, it should be simple and fun.
#3. Use call-to-actions to encourage newsletter signup – This is one ‘call to action’ you probably don’t want to neglect, especially if your aim is to increase traffic to your blog in the long run, and to get more people reading your content in the future.
There are several call-to-actions you can use for directing visitors to signup.
- The first method is to place an opt-in form at the end of your posts with your request like most blogs have.
- The second method is to create a paragraph at the end of your post and use something like, “Enjoyed reading this post, signup for future updates” as the title, followed by a unique request to signup, with a link to your signup page. If you have an eBook to giveaway as an incentive for signing up, then don’t forget to add a link to it in your call-to-action. Keep it clean and simple, here’s an example:
Are you ready to take your blog to the next level? Download my free eBook, the ultimate guide to Smarter Blogging!
If you especially enjoy creating epic long blog posts, consider adding a call to action half-way through your post content, use quotes to add something simple like:
Love what you’ve read so far? Subscribe for future updates from this blog here.
#4. Use call to actions to promote social sharing – First of all, ensure that you’re using social sharing buttons that make social sharing quick and easy, I can’t stress this enough! To promote social sharing on your blog, you need to make it REALLY easy for your readers to share your posts.
I think I’ve said that enough times now…
In addition, and if you use WordPress of course, consider installing the Click To Tweet plugin to create click-to-tweet boxes anywhere in your posts.
Don’t forget to add ‘call to actions’ at the end of your posts as well, if you don’t ask for people to share your post on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, chances are they may forget to!
Take a look at the simple ‘call to action box’ that I have placed at the bottom of my posts titled, “Take The Conversation Further”.
This is an idea that I picked up from the CopyBlogger blog. See image below.
These are just some examples and ideas of how to use effective call to actions in your blog posts, of course there are many other ways to use them, depending on what type of response you’re looking for from your audience.
Experiment with a few on your blog, harness the power of ‘asking’ people to take action when they’re reading, or finished reading your blog posts, keep them on your site for longer, ask them to share a post or comment on one, ask them to signup and join your email list.
Have Something To Say?
Do you have something to add to this post? Want to share your own tips and ideas for using effective call to actions? Leave me a comment below as always.
Flickr Creative image courtesy of Flicker user: Floeschi