You’ve written the perfect blog post with stellar images, lots of inbound and outbound links, SEO optimized to the moon and back, and yet, folks are not commenting. A clear, creative, and concise call to action can make or break blog content and social media posts. Using the tips in this blog post, your calls to action can go from drab to fab. Here’s how:
Defining a Call to Action (CTA)
It sounds like something technical, but a call to action is simply a button, link, or other incentive that drives your reader to act on something. Examples include:
- A question at the end of a blog post
- A free download on your blog that entices the reader to fill out a form
- A printable in exchange for an email
- A social media post that encourages readers to comment
Knowing what a call to action is does not necessarily mean the CTA will be effective. Here are some ideas, do’s and don’ts, and clever ways to engage your blog followers with a call to action.
Act Now: Blog Post CTAs
At the end of a blog post, a CTA should be in place to encourage readers to act. You can be straightforward and ask for readers to comment or for their thoughts…or you can be creative. I’ve ended my dog blog posts with CTAs like:
- The third point in this list really resonates with me. Which one is your favorite?
- Has your dog ever engaged in a behavior like this?
- Would you ever use the above products and which ones?
Once your readers comment, be sure to engage with them.
Bonus: I get a ton of ideas for future blog posts based on comments and questions from my readers in both blog comments and on social media. #winwin
Click to Tweet
The click to tweet feature on a blog is one of the easiest ways for your fans and followers to promote your content/blog post on Twitter. You simply write the message you want others to share on Twitter. When the “click to tweet” message is clicked on in your blog post, that message is then tweeted by the user! Easy peasy. Here’s an example of a Click to Tweet message in one of my blog posts:
Build a Newsletter Database
If you want to increase your blog newsletter database, the call to sign up for your newsletter needs to be clear, easy to do, and purposeful. Don’t make users fill out a super long form. Basic information such as an email is really all you need.
Here are some clever ways to increase your email database.
In-Text Call to Action
A call to action need not only come at the end of a blog post. A call to action can be a link or series of words in a blog post that lead the reader somewhere else, i.e. taking an action.
Case in point:
Here’s a post I did about 20 Ways to Show Your Dog Love. Instead of simply listing the ways, I created a call to action to other posts I wrote on the topic within each of my list items.
Call to Action Do’s and Don’ts
Do consider the sidebar of your blog for CTAs that don’t necessarily fit into your blog post.
Don’t annoy people with a ton of pop up CTAs. You have approximately three seconds to grab and keep someone’s attention these days; use it wisely.
Do have social media sharing buttons on your blog. If a reader likes your blog content, make it easy for them to share it on social.
Don’t make it difficult for readers or potential advertisers to find your contact info. If you want folks to contact you, your information should stand out.
Do work in a CTA now and then that encourages readers to buy a product or service with which you are affiliated. That product or service can be one of your affiliate marketing lists or pages, something you sell personally, or even an Etsy page if you have one. This CTA should send readers to a checkout page and not on a wild goose chase to find more information.
If you enjoyed this post and picked up a few helpful tips, be sure to register for the BlogPaws 2017 Conference, which takes place for 3 days in May in beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
What is one of your favorite CTA techniques?
Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®
Images: Kinga/Shutterstock.com and Creative Lab /Shutterstock.com