Blogging

11 Effective Calls To Action For The End of Your Blog Posts

11 effective calls to action for the end of your blog posts

Do you ever write a blog post and think… what next? Or, how do you get someone to actually comment or share it?

The answer is simple, but it is often overlooked:

Use a call to action.

What is a call to action?

It’s not just some fluffy marketing speak. It’s actually a really useful psychological tool to get the most value from your content.

Calls to action are usually a direct request for your reader to do something. In copywriting terms, it’s the desired outcome or intention of your writing.

Why do they work?

Because studies show that when we’re told to do something, we do it. And with so much content out there and the transient nature of social media and the web, we can forget to acknowledge our gratitude for a useful post.

So there’s nothing wrong in reminding your reader of what they can do next. In fact, if you’ve more good stuff to share with them, more value to give, you’ve a duty to tell them about it!

To help make this call to action business a little easier, I’ve compiled some suggestions for you to try.

Here are 11 effective calls to action for the end of your blog posts:

1. Sign up for freebie

If you have a lead magnet/opt-in incentive/ freebie, the end of your blog post is a great place to encourage people to sign up for it. If they’ve got to the end of your post, and received value from it, it’s a logical next step to give them more! As your freebie should be some of your best stuff, this should be a no-brainer.

2. Click to tweet

You’ll see up above ^^^^^ that I’ve added the option for you to tweet some of the text from this post. If your target audience use Twitter too, then you might want to install the click to tweet plugin and start dropping it into your blog posts to encourage shares on Twitter.

3. Follow on social media

If you’ve an active presence on social media (which if you’re here I’m assuming you do to some degree) you could put your follow buttons at the end of your blog or ask people to follow you on Facebook, Instagram or wherever you spend most of your time.

4. Leave a comment

Want more comments on your blog posts? Ask people to leave comments and make sure it’s easy for them to do so. I use Disqus as I think it’s the most user-friendly comment system out there (and its free).

5. Answer this question

A great way to prompt more comments is to ask a direct question related to your post at the end of the blog. We psychologically don’t like leaving questions unanswered, especially when we know the answer or have an opinion on the topic. This call to action is also really good for creating conversation and an opportunity to really engage with your readers beyond a “nice post! thanks!”

6. Ask them to share their own examples

I like this one, because when you ask someone to share their link, or an example of them putting into action what you’ve suggested in your blog, you give your readers a platform to share their work (everyone loves that) and you get insight into them and their business – again another awesome way to bridge connection.

Sometimes I challenge my blog readers to go away and implement a tip, and come back and share evidence for accountability. I find people like to get involved and feel they’ve achieved it and not just shelved it as another good idea to forget.

7. Subscribe to future blog posts

Got an RSS feed or email newsletter? Ask them to sign up for future posts if they enjoyed this one, so they don’t have to remember to come back each week.

8. Register for a webinar or free online event

If you do live video or webinars, why not write a blog post on that topic and use the call to action at the bottom to take the learning further and join the webinar? This is a great way to boost your attendance and give a tonne of value to your reader.

9. Read other posts you might like

At the bottom of my blogs, you’ll see related posts. This is sometimes called ‘other posts you might like’ and is a great way to keep people on your website devouring your content and getting to know, like and trust you. Use it as a call to action, especially if you’ve a really juicy related post.

10. Purchase a product

If someone enjoys your content and wants to learn more, and you’ve a product (ebook, course etc) that is really aligned to the topic, your call to action could be to tell them about it and ask them to buy it. This tends to work better with low ticket price items, but not exclusively. Start with an ebook or mini course for example, and see.

11. Vote in this poll

Similar to asking a question, why not poll your readers? You could ask what topic they want to hear about next? Use it as a market research opportunity or just get their opinion on what you’ve discussed in the post. The insights and results could be a great kick off point for another post…


Over to You

I challenge you to use a call to action at the end of your blog post, and come back here and paste a link to it in the comments so we can go and check it out! Tell me, which CTA did you use and why? And, what results you got!

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How To Write A Great Blog Post Fast

  • Do you put off writing your blog post every week?
  • Do you find it just takes forever to get it done?
  • Do you wish you could get it written and published in an hour, and not 3?
  • Have you fallen off the blogging wagon and don’t want to re-commit because you’re worried you’ll find it too hard and fall off again?
  • Do you wish you knew how to write a great blog post fast?

Write A Great Blog Post Fast


Taking too long to write a blog for your business is a common symptom of fear and confusion:

Fear because:

You’re scared it won’t be good enough. You don’t think you’re a great writer. You don’t know how people will react. You are scared of putting it ‘out there’.

Confusion because:

You’re not clear on what you should be blogging about. You’re unclear about why blogging is so great for your business. You’ve not planned your topic in advance.


Your confidence is knocked, and I don’t blame you for running away from doing it!

But, I’m here to show you how to write a great blog post fast, so you can get back on the wagon, stay on it, and start seeing the results. If you follow this guide, you’ll write, format and publish your post in 60 minutes.

1. Know Your Topic In Advance

Planning your blog topics in advance stops you sitting at your desk wondering what to write about that week. You are already prepared for the task, and don’t waste precious time figuring out the best thing to talk about.

You’ll spend some time doing it upfront, but it’s so worth it. When I sit down to create my blog post, I head to my content calendar, grab the topic and paste it in as the headline for my post.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.35.42

The members of my free #ContentClarity Challenge (which is running this week) are already benefiting from having ideas mapped out up front, and it’s giving them way more confidence to get out there and blog. There’s still time to join and catch up, I’ll be running it again very soon. 


2. Get clear on what you want your audience to learn / feel / do

(2 mins)

At the top of your blog post – write out what you want your audience to get from the post. It might be learning something useful, feeling inspired (or some other emotion). Or it might be that you want them to take some type of action after reading it.

You can delete this later but it helps ensure your content is on the money and keeps you focused whilst writing it.


3. Break down your key points into bullets

(5 mins)

I then jot down the key points. If it’s a list post, this is usually pretty easy and I’ll number them. Even if it’s not a list, it ensures I cover all the key things I want to. Often, it also highlights the headings I want to use throughout my blog post.


4. Start with a story or short intro paragraph that sets the scene

(10 mins)

I then start writing my intro. I aim for 1-2 paragraphs and if I can, set the scene for why I’m discussing this topic or a story that led me to writing about it. Give your readers context, and tell them why it’s relevant to them.

Go back to what you wrote for step two and try and feed that in if you’re struggling.


5. Write the rest to a timer

(15 mins)

I then give myself 20 minutes to write the rest of the post. I don’t spellcheck or sense check too much, I just get a draft down. I know i can edit this later so I just type for 20 minutes until the buzzer on my phone goes off.


6. Write to one person

If you find yourself stuck on point 5, imagine you’re writing an email to your favourite client or audience member to explain or share this topic.


7. Add a call to action at the end

(3 mins)

Once the intro and main body of your post is written, you want to wrap it up. I recommend adding some form of call to action, such as:

  • Leave a comment
  • Visit a specific web page
  • Share their experience on social media

For this post, I’m going to challenge you to write a post in an hour and come back and share it in the comments with how long it took you!


8. Read back through and format

(5 mins)

Once the draft is written, I go back through and format it with bold, headings, line breaks and bullet points. I’ll also add in any external links or links to other relevant blog posts or pages on my website.


9. Create a graphic in Canva & upload

(10 mins)

Canva Blog Image

I’ll then open up my account on Canva.com and create a blank design at the right size for my blog (I choose the Twitter size). I find a stock photo on pexels.com and upload it to Canva. That forms the background of my image and I overlay with the blog post title over the top.

(Need help with Canva? Access my free Canva course here)

I upload the image to the top of my post, and add in any other images or photos at this point too. If I’m doing it for speed and the post doesn’t need visual explanation, I keep images to a minimum.


10. Set categories, tags and SEO info

(5 mins)

My final task is to choose the blog post category from the right hand menu and add 3-5 tags to help people searching my site to find the post.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.38.49

I then scroll to the bottom of my post, and fill in the Yoast plugin information. This is where I optimise it for SEO – so set the keyword (e.g Write A Great Blog Post Fast), meta description and Facebook picture.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.42.42


13. Publish

Once I’m happy, I hit publish!


Are you ready for the 60 min challenge?

If you’ve been putting off your blog post this week, I challenge you to find 60 minutes and write your next post following these steps. When you’re done, come back and share your post in the comments (a great way to get more eyeballs on your post!) and tell me how you got on time-wise!

Want more free social media tips?

Subscribe to get our latest blog posts, tips, guides & exclusive checklists by email. No spam, I promise! Jen x

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How To Name Your Blog Photos (and why you should)

How To Name Your Blog Photos Image With Picture Of Woman Holding Mobile Phone

Learning how to name your blog photos and images on your website is important for improving your SEO (how often people find and visit your website on Google).

If you optimise an image correctly (which takes 30 seconds at most, so you’ve no excuse), your image is more likely to show in a Google Image Search. Google can’t tell what photo you’ve used unless you tell it explicitly. So quickly updating a couple of things before you publish your blog post will make all the difference.

Plus, this brings new readers to you:

  • Browsing internet a user searches for ‘how to name your blog photos’ on Google
  • They look at the Google Image Search results and see my image & click on it
  • They land on my blog post and (hopefully!) read it
  • They enjoy the post and get something useful from it, so they check out my other blogs
  • They then start to see I know my stuff about social media & blogging and check out my other pages
  • They might sign up to get more tips or access one of my freebies, and join my email list
  • Thus a relationship begins and I can continue to communicate with them, and if they want to work with me, they can because they now know, like and trust me

So, how do you do name your photos? In 2 very simple steps*

(*please note, this guide is for WordPress users, as it is the most common blog system. If you are using another website or blog system, step one is still very much relevant, however I recommend searching the web for a specific guide for the type of site you’re using)

Step One: Name The Image File Before Uploading

Before you upload your photo from your computer, change the file name to include the title of your blog post, with dashes between each word.

E.g how-to-name-your-blog-photos.jpg

The reason you want to use the title is that it should already contain the focus keyword, or keyword phrase you want your post to be found for in search engines.

How To Name Your Blog Photos ScreenShot of Renaming file on a Mac

You do not want to bunch words up, or use underscores. Always use dashes.

Step Two: Edit The Alt Text

Once you’ve uploaded the photo to you blog, you want to edit the alt text.

Alt text stands for ‘alternative text’ and its main purpose is to help visually impaired or blind internet browsers understand what images and photos are across the web.

It should be descriptive for visually impaired or blind visitors first and foremost as it makes your site more accessible (which Google sees as a plus!). But also, if you include your focus keyword, you’ll support your SEO more generally.

  • When you upload your photo to WordPress, you’ll see the box to fill in whilst uploading
  • Or, you can hover over any uploaded image and click the pen symbol to edit this information:

screenshot showing How To Edit Your Alt Text In WordPress

You do not need to include any dashes between the alt text and be sure to be descriptive.

Some Final Advice: Be Really Descriptive

In Google’s guide to good image optimisation, they discuss the importance of being really descriptive with your alt text.

Here’s their example:

Not so good:

<img src="puppy.jpg" alt=""/>

Better:

<img src="puppy.jpg" alt="puppy"/>

Best:

<img src="puppy.jpg" alt="Dalmatian puppy playing fetch">

As you can see img src is the filename of the image, and the alt text is the description. The more descriptive and unique your file name is, the more likely you’ll capture relevant browsers.


 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Now it’s your turn. Go back to your last blog post and update the alt text and add these quick steps to your blog pre-publish checklist.

Come back and let me know if you’ve done it, and if you’ve any questions at all, please ask in the comments below.

Want more free social media tips?

Subscribe to get our latest blog posts, tips, guides & exclusive checklists by email. No spam, I promise! Jen x

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7 Reasons To Blog For Your Business

One of the comments I received on last week’s post, 4 Reasons I Didn’t Read Your Business Blog, was:

“The reason you didn’t read my blog was because I didn’t blog! Maybe I should?”

It made me smile, but also got me thinking that it’s a great question to be asking yourself as a business owner. So, I’ve parked the post I had planned this week to answer this once and for all.

Should you be blogging for your business?

My short answer is, yes.

My long answer is below, with the 7 reasons to blog for your business. But before I dive into them, I just want to give one caveat.

I don’t believe in ‘shoulds’ for your business.

Too often we get caught up doing what we think we should be doing, and not what’s best for us, or our business. We see someone else do it, and think that means we should too.

I’d like to encourage you to really decide what feels right for you.

So I promise no ‘shoulds‘ in here – just honest reasons why blogging has been amazing for my business, and many of my clients and why it could be awesome for you.

Let’s dive in….

7 Reasons To Blog For Your Business Pinterest

1. Blogging is one of the more fun ways to market your business

Of all the ways I promote my business, blogging is up there on the most fun. Think about all the ways you promote yourself and market your business right now. I bet most of them aren’t all that enjoyable, are they? Come on, you can be honest with me.

With blogging, you get to choose how you do it, and do it in a way that is as fun as possible:

  • It’s fun creating short videos, blog graphics and photos for my blog
  • It’s fun writing lists and sharing stories and experiences
  • It’s fun to receive a “great post – thank you” comment or message after publishing
  • It’s fun to think of new ideas to write about, or be hit with a brilliant idea for a post
  • It’s fun to go and sit in a coffee shop and write my blog post on my laptop and feel smug that I get to call this work (This can’t be just me, right..?)
  • It’s fun to share my personality, experience, skills and brain with people who resonate with, and appreciate, what I have to say
  • It’s fun to have someone tell me they’ve read my blog for ages, got loads from it and would now like to work with me
  • It’s fun for other people to share my blog because they thought it was useful

 

2. It’s free

If you have a website already, blogging is 100% free way of marketing your business. All it takes is your time. Which if you get into a routine and are smart about it, can be a couple of hours a week at most. That is pretty damn amazing considering how many people you can reach with your blog posts that would cost you lots of £££ if you spent it on flyers, radio ads or Facebook advertising.


 

3. Blogging builds the know, like & trust factor really fast

The know, like and trust factor is what helps turn browsers and strangers into fans, subscribers and customers.

  • They need to know about you – and your blog posts can help them find you
  • They need to like you – enjoying and getting value from your blog posts & videos is gonna help them think you’re the bee’s knees.
  • They need to trust you – if your blog helps them solve a problem, or demonstrates you know what you’re doing in your field, they’ll start to trust you know what you’re talking about

 

4. Blogging helps your SEO (getting found on Google)

This one is two fold.

Firstly, Google favours websites that are regularly updated with fresh, relevant content. Blogging is the quickest and easiest way to do this on a consistent basis. This means Google will be much more likely to show you up in a search other and above your competitors who aren’t updating their websites with new content.

Secondly, if you get your SEO optimisation right on your blog posts, your content will more likely be shown to people Googling specific problems or questions and they’ll come read your post. Hopefully, if they like what you have to say, they’ll stick around a while and check out your other posts & pages. Heck, maybe even subscribe to hear more.

I tripled my website traffic in 6 months through well-optimised blog posts that were getting found via Google.


 

5. You’re in control of your blog

The problem with all those social networks is this:

You’re at their mercy.

If they change something, you have to adapt. You’re never fully in control of the space you think you own on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. When it comes to your blog, you are in control. Completely. Don’t build your castle on borrowed ground…


 

6. It’s an opportunity to be creative

Many businesses I’ve worked with feel quite restricted by their marketing or even just their website. But writing or videoing blogs is a great opportunity to use the creative side of your brain – coming up with ideas, writing, designing or filming a video and then formatting it to look good and be easy to read or watch.

It’s also the place in your business where you can completely share your voice…


 

7. It gives you content to share & repurpose elsewhere

Your blog post is a starting point for a whole host of social media content. You can:

  • use it as a reason to keep in touch with your email list
  • share it across your social networks
  • publish directly to LinkedIn or other sites
  • repurpose into videos, infographics, slideshares, podcasts etc
  • share when someone asks a question your post answers online

I’ve also turned quite a few of my popular blog posts into talks and workshop topics.


Did this post give you the nudge to consider blogging for your business? Did it bring any fears, doubts or questions to mind?

Or, if you’re already blogging – what reasons did I miss?

Want more free social media tips?

Subscribe to get our latest blog posts, tips, guides & exclusive checklists by email. No spam, I promise! Jen x

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