I have lost count of the times when teaching a blogging seminar that one of the audiences tells me you are not allowed to sell in a blog post, and you must never use a call to action as that's definitely selling… Another gripe I hear is how no one shares their content. My response is, “Did you ask the reader to share?”. Then they wonder loudly why their blog doesn’t generate leads. In this blogging FAQ we're going to cover what a call to action is, and why you need one in your blog posts.
Did you ask the reader to do something or did you just sign your name and wander off?
An effective call to action is the key – it’s the start of a relationship, and to the ideal reader it is not “selling”. Although a good call to action can be used to sell from a blog post and it would not offend the reader if done with a certain Je ne sais quoi. You know your audience best and you can train them with your calls to action.
There are blog posts that are thinly veiled adverts from the company writing them, and there are business blogs that aim to educate the customer. We must remember an educated customer is a customer that will buy on value rather than price. That potential customer needs some guidance on what to do.
Your reader is looking for the call to action. Trust me they are.
Your reader can be all fired up, all educated and they need to be steered to the action to take next. It needs to be an unconscious thought, a natural “next step” after reading the post. Your call to action needs to speak loud and clear to your ideal reader. So how do we create an effective call to action on our blog?
- We create urgency
- Use a number
- Indicate the specific action
- Use images
- Make the call to action clickable – people love to click!
- Use colour and contrasts to make the call to action stand out
- Position – pay attention to where the call to action is. It does not have to be in the post itself, it can be in the sidebar, in the header or in the caption under an image.
Then test, test, test, test until you have it perfected your call to action for your target market
How do calls to action work on OnlineVisibilityAcademy.com?
By adding some additional words to the subscription box we can create the urgency part – Subscribe so you don’t miss a thing or Have us delivered directly to your inbox so you don’t miss out encourages the fear of missing out, and that helps create the urgency that encourages more people to click through and subscribe.
Depending on your blog’s settings you can have your call to action in multiple places but you will need to be consistent in your message. Be gentle -If you offer multiple calls to action your reader could be overwhelmed and do nothing. If you have never used a call to action in your blog posts, start going through your archives and adding them in. Start with your best-performing posts and work backward.
Test which calls to action work
You know what posts are highly traffic’d, if they are converting for you, great. If they are not, tweak the call to action until it works. You might change a popular post from social shares to leave a comment. If you have a post with lots of comments ask for something else that will enable you to connect better with your audience.
Let me reassure you a call to action isn't selling, it's exactly what your reader is looking for. What are the best calls to action that you have seen? Share them in the comments and let us know how they worked for you.
This lets me know that they didn’t learn the right way and probably read one of my posts halfway without reading the rest when it comes to spamming… as you can spam your own readers to death.
There is a way to be graceful and sell in a blog post, and a way to just be in your face like the ShamWow guy (his loud and fast talking) selling you something you may not even be interested.
I don’t blame anyone if they are afraid to sell, but in learning the right way to approach your readers without blasting them all the time, you get people happy to subscribe, share, and buy.
Great points… agree with you Sarah.