Yesterday’s posts here at ProBlogger (Better Buttons Part 1 and Part 2) looked at the question of driving readers to take action on our blogs. Whether we blog for profit or pleasure, for most, reader action is an extremely important part of blogging. We need readers to action if we hope to:
- build a communtiy
- create loyalty
- use organic techniques to find readers
- and more.
On the most basic level, we want that first-time visitor to our blog to click to another page on our blog, rather than hit the browser’s Back button. And everything else flows from there.
The strongest call to action is…
I’ve found time and again as I’ve built blogs that the strongest “call to action” is … content. Not in the content, but the content itself.
The most loyal followers my blogs have are those who have been helped somehow, as individuals, by the content of those blogs. They’re people who read a post, and felt compelled either to act on it immediately, there and then, or to bookmark it so they could implement the advice later.
That kind of content is its own call to action. As bloggers, our role is to educate and/or inspire—at least some of the time. Content that is itself a call to action so strong that readers can’t resist is ideal. Because when your content is so strong that people will stop what they’re doing to implement it, you have a huge opportunity to engage readers.
What makes CTA content?
Call-to-action content has a few common characteristics:
- It’s extremely practical (so it lends itself to action).
- It makes the benefits of taking action clear.
- It meets a real need in the audience.
- It’s clear enough that anyone in your target readership can see how to implement it just by reading the post.
To give your content an even stronger call to action, you could:
- Do it yourself first: Be the guinea pig, and report what you experience, and your readers will be much more likely to give your advice a try.
- Add accountability: The show-and-tell-style post is a great way to build accountability into your content. If you make readers accountable, they’re more likely to heed the call to action.
- Make it a process: By breaking up your call to action into a process, you can hook readers into responding to a series of calls to action over a period of time—something that can build familiarity and loyalty, as well as satisfaction.
- Recognise those who respond: Making a point of recognising those readers who publicly respond to your call to action can help you to foster a culture of response around your blog, within your community. Tie this into the accountability idea above, and double your impact.
These are just a few ideas—I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments. But the point is that if you want to create an active community around your blog, you may need to consider your blog as a call to action.
People who find the content on my blogs so useful that they can’t walk away without trying it are definitely the blogs’ biggest fans. Do you find the same is true for your blog?