Do you have a blogging strategy? Whether you are blogging on your own website or on other online publications like Medium or LinkedIn, the thing that will make your content successful is a strategic CTA - a call to action. No matter where you write, your post should always end with some form of call to action that gets the reader to do something and not forget about you. In this post, we're going to look at 9 great CTAs you should start using in your blog posts right now.
On-Site CTAs for Your Blog Posts
First, we're going to focus on calls to action you can place on your own blog and website.
1. Get readers to read more of your content.
The longer someone stays on your website, the more they'll get to know you and your business. Hence, the first call to action you can add to your blog posts is one that gets readers to click through to your other posts. This can actually be done throughout your blog posts simply by linking related topics to related keywords. For example, if I mentioned the word podcasts in this post, I would link it like I just did - to a previous post on this blog about podcasts.
By doing this, you do a couple of things. For starters, if the reader gets into your article and then realizes they aren't that into it (which happens no matter how great of a writer you are), it may get them to a topic they are interested in. Second, it shows them that there is a lot of great content on your website to explore. If they don't have the time to do that now, they'll might bookmark your website to reference it for later or subscribe to your blog.
In addition to linking to relevant content throughout your posts, you can also add links to related content at the end of your posts manually or using tools like Outbrain, as shown in the example above.
2. Get readers to share your posts on social media.
There are lots of places you can place social sharing buttons. But the most important place to put them is at the end of your post, because anyone who has completed your post has likely enjoyed it enough to share it. You can easily use them in conjunction with other calls to action (such as getting readers to leave a comment, which we will talk about next).
The key to success with social sharing buttons is to not go overboard with them. Some plugins and extensions will allow you to have social sharing buttons to every social network possible added to each of your blog posts. But in all reality, the most social referral traffic is going to come from sharing options for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email. So make sure that those are the options you give people at the end of each of your blog posts when possible.
3. Get readers to leave a comment.
Do you know what turns a blog into a community? The comments section. It's a tough thing to maintain for some businesses, but if your business has the time to separate the real discussion from the drivel, then definitely allow comments on your blog and encourage people to leave a comment with a call to action. Just be sure to end your blog post with a question that sparks a conversation.
There are lots of ways to spark a conversation at the end of a blog post. You can ask readers if they have any questions. You can ask them what their experience with the subject of the post is. You can ask them how they plan to take action on some tips you suggested. You can ask readers if they thought you left anything out.
Ideally, you want to have a new question at the end of each post so your readers don't become "blind" to it. This is true for most calls to action, for that matter. The more they see it, the less likely they are to follow it.
The example at the start of this section is from the Copyblogger blog. It is particularly powerful because they were one of the major blogs that turned off blog comments for a while, then decided to turn them back on again. It just goes to show that while comments can be hard to manage, they are an important part of any blog community.
4. Get readers to subscribe to your email list.
What's better than a social share or a comment? How about an email subscriber? There are a variety of routes you can go when creating a call to action to turn a reader into an email subscriber. For example, if you have a newsletter where you send people your latest blog posts (with your latest listings too), you could say that if the reader liked this post, they should subscribe to your email list to get the next post delivered to their inbox in your newsletter.
An even better way to convince someone to subscribe to your email list at the end of a great blog post is to offer them an even better piece of content. For example, let's say that your blog focuses on people looking to buy a home in a specific area. At the end of your posts, you could offer a free ebook on what to look for when buying a home in that specific area. Anyone reading your posts would likely be interested in that download, and anyone who downloads it would likely be a potential lead for your business.
5. Get readers to contact you.
If your business relies on getting people to reach out to you via phone or via email about your listings or services, then end your post with a CTA that encourages readers who need your help to send you an email, give you a call, or schedule an appointment for a consultation. It's a little more direct, but if you can take your reader to that next level in your sales funnel then you will really ramp up the value of your blog content as a whole!
Want to see this CTA in action? Just check out the end of any of Curaytor co-founder Chris Smith's posts.
Off-Site CTAs for Your Blog Posts
Now, let's look at CTAs you can use when you write for other websites, which is a great way to build your personal brand, gain exposure for your business, and drive traffic back to your website.
6. Get readers to visit your website.
As mentioned above, writing blog posts for other online websites can be a great way to drive traffic back to your website. The key is to make good use of your author bio. The author bio is the box you typically to promote yourself in at the end of blog posts that you contribute to other websites. And since self-promotion is sometimes tough, you might misuse that box and write an author bio that doesn't lead people to click through to your website.
Ideally, the first thing you will want to do (before you write a blog post for another website) is look at how the website allows authors to promote themselves in the author box. At bare minimum, they should at least allow you to have a photo, one to two sentences about yourself, and a link to your website at the end of your article. If they do not allow that, you will likely get minimal traffic from that website. If they allow more than that, take note - and advantage.
There are several ways you can make sure that once people read your blog posts on other websites, they continue to click through to your website. The first is to say who you are, what you do, and why they should visit your website. For example, let the reader know that if they liked the post they just read, they can find more about the topic on your website's blog. Alternatively…
7. Get readers to visit your website and subscribe to your email list.
Better yet, don't just send them to read more blog posts. Send them to subscribe to your email list. As mentioned in the earlier tip about getting readers to subscribe to your email list by offering a free ebook on something that would interest your potential clients, you could take that same ebook, create a page dedicated to just that ebook, and direct your blog readers from the other site to that page.
In your author bio, you would say who you are, what you do, and that if they liked the post they just read, they should head over to your website to download your free ebook on what to look for when buying a home. When they get to that page, it promotes just that ebook, along with a form that captures their name and email address. Once they've subscribed, you can send them to a thank you page where you can point them to your other blog posts, Facebook page, latest listings, etc.
8. Get readers to follow you on social media.
In addition to getting a link back to your website, you can usually include a link or two to your social media profiles or pages. Depending on the website you are contributing the blog post to, this may be a link to your Facebook page, Twitter profile, and/or LinkedIn profile. If you did your research prior to writing for the website, you should know how many links you get in your author box based on other author bios, and you should know whether you can get away with a link to your website and a link to your Facebook page or more.
When you can only link to one social profile, try cheating and just include your Twitter handle without a link by including your @username and then link to your Facebook page. Ideally, the reader who is not ready to click through to your website but wants to follow you to consume more of your blog posts will like you on Facebook. That will give you the ability to target them with Facebook ads down the road, assuming they are your ideal customer base.
9. Get readers to buy your product or services.
This one might go without saying, but let's include it just in case. If the content you've created is compelling and your value is clear, your CTA could be as simple as telling your reader to purchase your goods or services. Send them to a checkout page or a request form to get their information so you can reach out quickly.
As you can see, there are many ways to get your readers to do more than consume your blog post content and run. You want your readers to take an action that helps them start building a relationship with you, gets them on your email list, or gets them in a place where you can reach them with ads. So start using these CTAs and start getting more out of your blog content!
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