Image by Anirudh Koul
As we come to towards to the end of this series on how to create compelling blog content I want to examine a topic that is fairly and squarely inspired by readers of ProBlogger.
When I first brainstormed topics for this series I came up with the previous 7 topics (I’ll listed below). I was pretty pleased with the result but wanted to get reader feedback before launching into the series and so asked readers to share their ideas on what makes content compelling.
Many ideas were shared by readers but one theme that emerged that I’d not considered myself was that of ACTION. Let me share one of the comments that stood out to me the most. It’s from Brad (no link left – I’ve also changed the formatting slightly).
“Compelling content also moves me to DO something. It’s the kind of content that I get to the end of and feel inspired to do something with.
That response might be to comment on the post (respond) but often it’s much more than that. It might be
- to change the way I live
- to try something new
- to share the link to the content with a friend
- to experiment with a new technique
- to have a conversation
- to read more about the topic
The action I take as a result of the content will differ depending upon what it is but compelling content by definition compels me to DO something as a result of reading it.”
I think Brad’s summed up the sentiment of many others who left comments about compelling content being actionable (there are more comments below).
As he mentions – the actions you ask readers take could be any number of things and it will vary a lot from blog post to blog post.
An Example: The Power of ‘Homework’
I personally have seen the power of creating Actionable Content lately. Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve put a lot more effort lately into creating ‘homework’ for readers. Instead of just writing a theoretical post about how to do something I’ve been adding ‘Homework’ sections into my posts that give readers a ‘task’ or a ‘challenge’ for them to go away and implement.
This is best illustrated in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog which gives readers some theory and an action item for each day of a month.
The feedback on this technique has been fantastic. Instead of people coming to my blog to ‘learn’ and increase their knowledge (something that can be quite passive) they’re now leaving my blog to go away and try something for themselves.
Any teacher will tell you that teaching becomes much more effective when you teach someone to do something and then get that person to do it for themselves. I’m hearing from readers taking the ‘homework’ that I’m setting that this is the case.
Your Homework Today
Today your homework is twofold:
1. Read 12 Tips to SNAP Readers out of Passivity – this post is all about calling readers to Action. It shares WHY Calls to Action are important on a blog but also gives 12 tips on HOW to do it.
2. Call Your Readers to DO something – the action that you’re calling people to DO will vary a lot from blog to blog.
- it could be to call them to answer a question and leave a comment
- it could be that you want to give your readers a little homework to do (as I’m doing here in this post)
- it could be calling them to buy something from you (or an affiliate product)
- it could be to vote in a poll
- it could be to go away and have a conversation about the topic you’ve written about
- it could be to subscribe to your blog
- it could be to make a donation to a cause you’re supporting
Really it could be anything – big or small but write something that attempts to pull your readers out of a passive state into something more active.
What Others Said About Compelling Content and ACTION
- “Compelling content, to me, is something that drives me to action. During the whole article/video I am actively thinking about what the implications are for the information that I am given.” – Wallpapers
- “Content is compelling if it makes me change my lifestyle. If I read a blog and don’t learn something that will change how I behave after I leave the blog, then I never go back.” – Shaun
- “To me compelling content is actionable content or rare insight.” – Manshu
- “Compelling content rouses that most precious human resource – action.” – Scott Gould
- “I am compelled by content that informs me, changes my mind, reminds me, motivates me, inspires me, and/or gives me practical action steps to apply immediately.” – Donna
- “asks me/ compels me to solve a problem of some kind, or to take some kind of an action.” – Krissy
Read the Full Series on Creating Compelling Content on a Blog
- How to Create Compelling Content through Reader Interaction
- How to Find Your Blogging Mojo – Experiment with Different Voices
- SURPRISE! – Create Compelling Content by Being Playful
- How to Build Compelling Content by Leaving Your Readers wanting MORE
- The Power of Taking Extra Time to Create Content
- Inject Yourself into Your Content