Are you leaving your blog readers hanging or do you tell them how to take the next step with you?
The purpose of your blog is to attract new followers or new customers. Are you letting your readers know how to become followers or customers? It may sound like common sense, but many blogs don’t invite the reader to engage with them. To increase conversions on your blog you have to point your readers in the direction you want them to go.
Every blog post should be written with a goal in mind. By answering your readers’ questions, engaging with them on a relatable level, and positioning yourself as a trusted authority, you attract your ideal buyers. Once you attract them, you have to lead them to the next step in the buyer’s journey.
For those that are new to blogging and content marketing, the message that invites them to further engage with you is called a call to action, or CTA.
In a webinar I recently watched on blogging for business, Jennifer Grayeb of Productive and Pretty said, “Don’t write a blog post without a call to action or next step.” Each reader should finish reading your article and want to connect further with you. Are you letting them know how to do that? Jennifer highlighted three actions your blog readers should want to take after reading your article.
Your readers should want to take one, or more, of the following actions to connect with you:
It’s up to you to direct them to take that next step with a compelling call to action within and after each article. Let’s take a look at each of these in detail and how you can incorporate them into your blog posts.
By including a variety of CTAs in your blog posts and website pages, your readers will know exactly how to connect with you, how to find more of your content and how to work with you or buy your products or services.
Let people know how they can join your tribe, either by subscribing to your blog, following you on social media, or joining your membership site or Facebook group. Inviting them to follow you is how you build your list of potential buyers. Let them into your inner circle first, build a relationship with them, and when the time comes to make a purchase, they will think of you first.
People like to feel they belong to an exclusive group of like-minded individuals. Give them that opportunity by presenting clear CTAs within your blog posts.
Effective ways to do this are with pop-up forms, opt-in forms in the sidebar or header of your blog, and opt-ins within your blog posts. The email marketing and automation platform you use will have instructions for adding opt-in forms to your website. We also like to use Sumo for pop-up forms to capture email subscribers.
Your followers will want to learn from you as you build authority and gain their trust. Give them the opportunity to download or purchase premium content from you that teaches them the secrets that you’ve learned through experience. Blog posts that give a taste of what the premium content contains are a great way to lead them to take action to purchase your content or course.
Effective ways to invite your readers to download your content include adding CTAs within and at the end of relevant blog posts that lead to sign up pages, exit pop-ups that capture them before they leave a page, and banners in your blog sidebar.
Your CTA could be something as simple as putting a compelling phrase in your brand color within the blog post so it stands out. For example, “Read the guide now and tell me what you think” will lead your readers to your free opt-in content which then leads to your paid content. Or, it could be an image with a preview of the document they’ll be downloading and text that explains how it will benefit them. (See the CTA at the bottom of this article for an example.)
The ultimate goal is that your readers want to work with you or purchase your products. Don’t leave them guessing. Make it easy for them to reach out to you. The longer and harder they have to work to contact you, the longer they have to talk themselves out of it and second guess their initial urge to connect.
Use your page navigation as well as your website’s footer and sidebar for CTAs that essentially tell your readers, “Click Here to Work With Me.”
End-of-post CTAs are common, and we use them too. Keep in mind, though, that the bottom of a post typically presents many actions which divide the reader's attention. You’re asking the reader to click on a CTA, leave a comment and subscribe to your blog. It can be distracting and confusing (and a confused mind says no.) Be sure to include a CTA near the top or middle of your posts, as well.
Are you using calls to action effectively on your website and blog? By letting readers know how to get more from you, learn from you, and work with you, you’ll increase conversions on your blog. That means more followers and customers, and a greater likelihood of long-term success.
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