Do you want more readers? Do you want new visitors to follow you? How about enter your contests? Comment on your posts? Like your posts? Share your content?
Wow. That's a lot of stuff! We talked about what YOU want from your readers. Many of the com mentors expressed that they just want their readers to enjoy their content, which I believe is a given…”No I want my readers to HATE my posts!” Kidding! So, after your readers like your content, what do you want next? To build a business blogging, you'll need an engaged audience. You'll need your readers to DO something. Whether it's click on an affiliate link, view multiple pages to drive up page views, to make a purchase or to enter a contest, without engagement, your blog will not be able to generate income.
So how do you increase your engagement? Simple. You ask for it.
In the marketing world, asking for engagement is called a “Call to Action” or CTA. You've seen them around, “Click here!” “Download this!” “Subscribe now!” all of these little snippets of work by letting people know how to get to the product. It's not a new tactic, it's been around for ages… and it works. So why not use it for your blog?
Use these tips to create awesome calls to action on your blog:
What do you want your readers to do? Do THEY know they're supposed to be doing anything? For example, if you host an event, how will your readers know that they can come to your event unless you ask them to come? Don't assume that your readers will do anything just because you talk about it, be clear you want them to take an action.
Keep it simple
How many times have you seen a contest that was too complicated?
“Like this post. Tweet about this brand. Then fill out this form and complete this survey. And give us your first born child.”
Or the instructions were so long, your eyes just glazed over?
Keep your calls to action simple. Use as few words as humanly possible. Like, three words at the most.
Make it fun
I have literally chosen a bank because their ATMs had friendly, fun language. Unfortunately that bank died the first week the economy tanked. So much for my logic! Anyway… the point. Fun can go a looooooong way! People generally like having fun… so, juice things up by making your language fun and exciting.
Have you ever gone to a page wanting to register, buy or do whatever and couldn't find where to make it happen on the page? Yeah, me too. That's where positioning comes in. You can make your call to action stand out so even if your readers don't read the small print (ie your post) they still know that there is a call to action. Prominent places on your blog include:
- Your Post Title
- After your first paragraph
- Anywhere above the fold (the top 1000 pixels on your blog)
- At the end of your post (if your readers read your whole post)
Use “Action” Words
It's called “Call to ACTION” for a reason. You want your readers to DO something so use verbs. You can have a link that says, “Blue Shoes” but will your readers know that you want them to buy those shoes? “SHOP This Post.” with a link to the blue shoes is better.
Create a sense of urgency
One of the ways to get people to act NOW instead of later (in which they may forget to act) is by creating a sense of urgency. How do you create that sense of urgency?
- Offering for a limited time
- Offering a limited amount
- Making it exclusive
At the end of the day, most people do what's best for THEM. It's human nature. Use that to your advantage by highlighting the benefits of completing your call to action. You may want your readers to buy from your affiliate links to make YOU money, but don't use that as a reason for your readers to buy off your blog. Use benefits like: special discounts, exclusive deals, products you can't find anywhere else (another form of exclusivity). You can also incentivize by giving prizes or special offers to your readers for completing your calls to action. Either way, make your calls to action about your readers, and if it benefits you, well all the better (wink).
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