What is a Call to Action, and Does My Blog Post Need One?

BlogPress: How to Start A Blog

At some point in a fictional story, the hero receives a “call to action.” He or she feels motivated to right a wrong, save a victim, or track down a perpetrator. While your blog post might not seem to have anything in common with your favorite detective novel, it, too, needs a call to action.

What Is A Call To Action?

Call to action
A call to action is just that – a request for the reader to do something.

Like the fictional characters who inhabit fantasy worlds on the page, your blog readers need you to provide them with direction. Do you want them to rescue the princess from her towering prison, delve into other blog posts on your site, purchase a product, or engage in conversation?

A call to action tells your readers what to do. It invites them to take a specific action, whether it relates to a purchase or something else entirely.

Where Does A Call To Action Appear?

Calls to action generally appear at the end of a blog post. Your readers have reached the end of the journey on which you embarked with them, but now they don’t know how to proceed. Like the exhausted and embittered heroine who has reached the end of her emotional rope in a love story, your readers await a sign to tell them what to do next.

You can sprinkle calls to action throughout your blog posts if you don’t want to tack them onto the end. The only danger in this scenario is that your reader might never make it to the final sentence of your post if you send him or her off in another direction too early.

After all, where would we be if Snow White had decided to embark upon a career in mining with the dwarfs instead of biting into the legendary poisoned apple?

What Does A Call To Action Look Like?

Call to action
You’re the director of your blog – tell your audience what you want them to do.

A call to action should address the audience directly and provide a clear, logical “next step” recommendation for readers to follow. In most cases, calls to action are restricted to one sentence, though they might stand out because of bold or italic formatting, use of a different font or color, or other distinguishing characteristics.

The “If/Then” format works well for calls to action. For example, let’s say you’ve written a blog post about choosing the best camping gear for a winter holiday. Your website sells camping equipment so your call to action might read something like this:

“If you’re headed into the woods this winter, check out our cold-weather camping selection to keep you warm on cold winter nights.”

You can also write an “If/Then” call to action if you don’t want to sell your readers anything. Maybe you write a travel blog and you want readers to delve deeper into your posts. Your call to action might look like this:

“If you’re thinking about making your own trek to Thailand, check out my series on budget Thai cuisine.”

How Do You Make A Call To Action Memorable?

Use creative language to set apart your call to action from the rest of your blog post. Inject some personality into your wording so it sounds like your voice, but demonstrates a clear path for the reader.

Do not, however, get bogged down in the wording of your call to action. Experiment with different wording styles and formats until you find one that works for you.

Are you ready to implement these call-to-action tips on your own blog? Sign up for a risk-free trial with BlogPress to get the ball rolling.

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