I have around 5 mentoring calls a week with people looking to get more business from their Social Media Marketing and Blogging efforts (you can book your free initial call here!) and time and time again I get the same comments:
- No-one visits my blog
- People read but don’t comment
- No-one signs up for my blog
- I get nothing from my blog
Invariably, when I look at the blog(s) in question, the same thing crops up – no call to action.
What’s a call to action?
Put simply, a call to action is something at the end of a blog post that tells the person reading it what you want them to do.
See, we all have short attention spans in this day and age, and often once we’ve read a blog we think “That was nice, what next?” and click a link, or press the back button and disappear off somewhere else, never to return.
A call to action gives us something to think about at the end of reading a post, and without it, sometimes we can’t figure out what we should be doing.
OK, but WHAT IS a call to action?
Well, it could be a number of things. Think about it, what do you want someone to do when they’ve read your post?
Do you want them to:
- subscribe to your newsletter?
- pick up the phone?
- subscribe to your blog?
- comment on the post?
- send you an email?
- download a document or file?
- read another blog?
- Like or Tweet your blog?
- Follow you on social media?
- Click a link to buy something?
- Register for your webinar?
Oh, I have calls to actions all over my blog
You probably do: your phone number in the header or footer, a newsletter signup top right, other posts linked to top left, email address somewhere in the template or on the contact page. Probably a Twitter and Facebook button at the top somewhere? And that’s great.
But when I’ve finished reading your blog post, I’m not top left or right, I’m at the bottom, probably not quite at the footer. And that’s where I need to see the call to action.
Are you sure?
When I started putting ‘Please subscribe to this blog’ with a subscribe box at the bottom of the odd blog post here and there instead of hoping people would look top right, I more than doubled my subscribers in 2 blog posts.
If I put ‘drop me an email for more info’ at the end of a post I get more emails than if I don’t.
I wrote a post about a ‘Free Social Media Marketing Checklist‘ way back in 2009, and in the first week the link to the download was at the top of the blog not the bottom. In one week I received over 50 emails saying ‘so where’s the checklist then?’. Eventually I got fed up and added a link to the checklist at the end too, and I’ve not had one email since, despite the list being downloaded 50+ times a week.
I looked at my stats a couple of years ago and noticed that people were reading one blog, but then leaving my site. So I added a ‘related posts’ plugin that give other posts you may be interested in at the end of each blog, and my page views went through the roof, as did my enquiries.
And I get far more comments on a blog post if I say ‘I’d love to hear your thoughts / comments in the comments below’ than if I don’t.
I’m not the only one seeing these results – the people on my mentoring calls report the same.
So what’s the call to action on this blog post then Nikki?
That’s simple – I want you to make a list of the calls to action you could use, and use a different one in each of your blog posts over then next few weeks, then report back on the results, either in the comments on this blog, or to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org