Are your blog posts getting the results you’re aiming for? Rich Gordon is my guest today, and he’s going to explain how to achieve those results, whether the purpose of your post is to engage your readers in conversation, encourage them to share your post on social media, or invite them to book a consultation.
Business is, in many ways, not so dissimilar from the rest of life. In your professional life, there are times when you need things to get done—and in most cases, it’s not going to happen unless you ask someone to do it. Think about it in terms of your family life: If you want your husband to mow the lawn, or your kids to wash the dishes, sitting and wishing is unlikely to make it happen. You’ve got to speak up, and you’ve got to ask. You’ve got to issue a call to action.
It’s the same way in business. Want clients to “like” your page on Facebook, or even to buy your products and services? If so, then you’re wise to extend to them a call to action—a sentence or two explaining what it is you want folks to do, and why they should do it right away.
That, in a nutshell, is what a call to action is. It’s the part of your online content where you lay out what you want your readers to do, list the practical benefits they receive from doing it, and ultimately seek to persuade them into doing whatever it is you want them to do. The websites of successful businesses pretty much always have calls to action, across the board.
It’s important for bloggers, too—at least, bloggers hoping to make money off their website, or use it to generate traffic for certain links. Whether you want people to click an affiliate ad banner or visit a backlinked website, you’ve got to extend that call to action.
Writing a truly compelling call to action is not something that comes naturally to everyone, of course—but these battle-tested tips should point you in the right direction:
- It’s important to begin with the words themselves. Studies have shown that strong action verbs are what get people to click links, share your content on Twitter and Facebook, buy products, and so on. Having strong action verbs in your call to action—as opposed to helping or linking verbs, that is—can go a long way toward making your content more effective and direct.
- At the same time, it’s best to remove unnecessary words—like adverbs, in particular—and keep the call to action as concise as possible. Your readers don’t want to have to read several paragraphs of text to know what you want from them. Get to the point!
- Make your call to action skimmer-friendly, by positioning your subject and action verb on the left side of the page (i.e., at the start of the sentence).
- Focus on the practical, not the technical. Make it clear that there is value to be had by doing whatever you’re asking people to do. Let them know they’ll be better off for buying your product, clicking your link, etc.
Ultimately, a call to action is how bloggers can get things done—and mastering the art of the persuasive call to action is well worth the time and energy of any blogging pro!