Write a Post That Contains a Call to Action [Day 23 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog from Problogger]

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

Here’s my notes on Darren Rowse’s Problogger Free Podcast on 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. You can listen to Darren Rowse’s free podcast here Day 23 Write a Post That Contains a Call to action. The complete list of challenges can be read here on Day 0 – Welcome and Introduction

Become A Problogger with Darren Rowse

As I’ve mentioned before, to get the full benefit of this series I’m going to go at a slower pace by posting this series on Tuesdays each week. I hope with this challenge we are all able to improve our blogs and websites.

So lets do this together! Day 23 here we go! Subscribe and check back often! #31DBBB

Day 23: Today the challenge is to write a post that contains a call to action.

Calls to action are a really big part of blogging. Today you are going to be challenged to practice this by doing two things.

First, write a post with a call to action.

Second, leave a comment below with your link sharing your call to action. Or if you’ve published a post with a call to action recently leave your post link below too!

At some point in the life of most blogs the blogger behind it wants or needs to ask their readers to do something. While this may not be something you ask your readers to do on a regular basis it can be very useful to learn to do. The goal is to snap readers out of passivity and to engage your blog.

Darren estimates that a fraction of one percent of readers leave comments on his blog posts. I imagine that is the case for many blogs. How do you change that? One way is to engage your audience with calls to action.

11 Ideas for Calls to Action:

  • Implement an idea. Something you have taught or challenged them to do in the past. I did this with 31 days of The No Spend Challenge which is in full force this January 2016.
  • Subscribe to your blog or newsletter. Give them a reason to do so.
  • Follow you on social media. Perhaps it is to follow you on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or Pinterest. Maybe you might ask them to like your Facebook page. Don’t have some of these? Consider expanding your social media and re-evaluating your social media accounts. Read more here.
  • Buy something through an affiliate. This could certainly help you in monetizing your blog.
  • Buy one of your own products. This could be your latest eBook, PDF file, blog improvement kit, etc.
  • Vote in this poll. Simple yet very effective if you ask good questions.
  • Take this survey. Feedback from readers can be key in the direction your blog needs to take. Is your blog reaching the target audience you have in mind? Do you need to narrow your topic or topics to reach your niche?
  • Make a donation to this charity. This can be a great way to raise money for a good cause you believe in.
  • Ask readers to hire you to buy some service you offer. Do you provide services? Great opportunity to highlight those services.
  • Attend a meeting, meetup, or event you’re running. This might be very beneficial in getting to know your readers and build community.
  • Read this other piece of content you wrote or a fellow blogger wrote. A great way to pay special attention to one of your readers or another blogger in your niche. Could create some good will and even possibly the idea of cross promotion.

Only you know what suits your readers and your blogging goals. Make it challenging enough to stretch your readers.

If you’ve never done a call to action before perhaps asking your readers to take part in a poll, vote, or comment might be in order. If you have already done this and you have an interactive audience try something a little bigger. See this post I wrote last week with a post with my first giveaway of a $50 Amazon gift card and two books by John C. Maxwell on leadership. This post may very well double my subscriber list.

A call to action can be a really great teaching tool. This can be really beneficial with a “How To”, “DIY”, etc. blog for example. Most of the time our readers are quite passive. However, they may just need to be asked.

Call-to-action-with-words

7 Tips on Calls to Action:

1. Know what action you want your readers to take. What is the purpose of your post? What do you want readers to do as a result of reading the post? Answer these two questions before writing your call to action. Call it writing with a purpose or end-goal in mind.

2. Make it as simple and clear as possible. One or two calls to action per post. I really do like the RaffleCopter which I used for my first giveaway. However, simplifying the call to action is something I will be doing myself on my next giveaway for example. If your call to action isn’t a simple thing consider outlining what it is you want your readers to do in steps or points.

3. Make it a win-win. Do something that will further your blog goals but also benefit your readers. You don’t just want to take from your readers.

4. Make the action simple and achievable. Probably a bad idea to ask a reader to write a 400 word comment, link to their own blog, and subscribe to the blog. First not everyone who reads your blog is likely a blogger. Second, if you make it too complicated people will shy away from participating. Perhaps asking your reader to tweet your most popular post is a good idea to the social media account of their choice.

5. Make the call to action in your post. It’s significantly better if you have your call to action in your post rather than on your sidebar or making the reader open a new window. The logical place for your call to action is the bottom of your post. However, you might want to add it toward the beginning of the post and then list it again at the bottom of the post. This could work to your advantage as first you are sowing the seed of the action in the readers mind early and second not everyone will finish reading your post.

6. Give an incentive. An extra incentive such as a free printablepdf file, or eBook can really add a bonus to your readers and encourage them to take the action. Instead of just writing please subscribe to my blog tell them the benefit of subscribing. Why is your blog beneficial to the reader? What benefit would there be in subscribing to your blog?

7Mix up Calls to Action from post to post. Readers tend to become blind or numb to calls to action that are always the same. “Leave a comment” is probably the one I see the most of in blog posts. Mix things up from post to post by including a call to action to answer a question, follow you on social media, or respond. Also don’t feel you need to have a call to action in every single post.

If you want people to comment invite them to do it. If you want people to subscribe to your blog ask them to do it. Give them a reason to want to comment or subscribe. If you want people to buy something give them a way to do it and show them the value of the product. Might seem rather obvious but without calls to action many times readers forget to do this on their own. I’ve seen great blogs in the last year and a half with few followers on social media for example.

squeaky_wheel

Ever heard the phrase “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”? There’s a reason for that.

It’s time for you to squeak!

Remember that people respond to invitations. Action grows reader engagement in your blog. Action brings loyalty to your blog. Finally, action breeds action. John C. Maxwell in Law #16 The Law of the Big Mo talks about momentum. Momentum makes barriers small and people believe they can overcome. People rise or fall to expectations. A blog that has comments and engagement will continue to breed action in building that momentum.

Expect your readers to simply read your blog and that will be the extent of their engagement.

Remember, knowledge only goes so far. Action is the key to lasting change. If you are trying to lead your readers on a path or goal, a call to action can be a very powerful tool.

Be a bold today. Ask your readers to do something.

Nora Roberts Quote

Further reading:

Previous Challenges in this series:

*   *   *

What has been your most effective call to actionWhat call to action do you plan on proposing to your readers next? Feel free to link your calls to action below!   

{Click to go back to day 22 here} {Click to go forward to day 24 here} *Coming Soon*

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

83 Comments

  1. I find it natural to add a Call To Action in my blog posts. I have found that its important to actually promote that CTA offer as you share your blog online as well. Because it is the carrot that will get people interested in your post all most times! Its important to spend time creating an Offer that your audience needs , WANTS or make them Desire it! Because there are lots of FREE offers out there making readers, a lot more immune to offers and CTAs. I ensure I create a CTA that is simple, directly related to the post and easily implementable and it works a treat!
    Julie Syl Kalungi recently posted…By: Jelena OstrovskaMy Profile

    • Julie yes promoting your call to action as you share your blog online is a big deal as well. I agree that having an off for that your audience needs, wants, or as they read realize they want it. Simple calls to action are probably the best. Thank you for reading and for such a thoughtful comment! Best wishes to you in 2016! Keep up the great work on your blog.

    • OurFamilyWorld the other suggestions really can make a difference. Glad you found this helpful. I think the default call to action is to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

    • Liz having a clear call to action is key. Mixing things up keeps people interested and engaged. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Best wishes to you in 2016! Love your amazing blog!

  2. I don’t think I’ve done this before in my entire career of blogging. But it does make sense and I’m interested to try it now. I really appreciate the tips, that’s going to be helpful!

  3. I try to do this in a variety of ways, but sometimes I wonder if it ever makes a difference! My surveys and giveaways get little response. I don’t have a very big following and I think that may be part of it. I’m trying to attract genuine readers this year.

    • Angie, you can do it! Hang in there one day at a time. Attracting and retaining readers is an art form. Have you joined any blogging reciprocation groups? Are you promoting on social media? What do your readers want? All things to consider. Thanks for reading!

  4. This is why I’m so bad at affiiates and don’t do them. I hate asking people to do things (at home and on the blog). I really could stand to learn there a bit!

  5. Some great tips for almost any blogger on writing a post that could have more visitors coming up & I agree that as we expect simply to read the blog it will some day surely lead to a lot of engagement with the blog in future.

  6. Hmmm, I may need to put some work into my CTA’s, I usually stick to “please comment below ……” or share this post. Certainly not challenging!

    Thanks so much for linking up at the Bloggers Spotlight party! I pinned this to our group board. Don’t forget to come link up again on Thursday and see the featured posts!
    Hil recently posted…Pinspiration Link Party – Guest HostMy Profile

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