What if someone told you that bloggers need to be told what to do?
Would you agree or be offended?
A blogging friend of mine recently made that observation.
Perhaps everyone needs to be told what to do.
We are living in a day of information overload. People are so used to getting information that when they aren’t given information, ideas just don’t occur to them.
All too often bloggers ask, “Why don’t my readers become subscribers?” and “Why don’t my subscribers become commenters?”
Perhaps they would if someone suggested it. Maybe that someone should be you.
Including a Call to Action in your communication with potential readers, subscribers, and commenters accomplishes that goal.
By following the advice in this post, your comments, social shares, and subscriber count will increase. The best part– following these tips costs absolutely nothing but a few seconds of your time.
What is a Call to Action?
According to Hubspot, a call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.”
Why a Call to Action is Valuable
Including a Call to Action or CTA when you communicate with your readers, not only gives them an idea they may not already have but creates a sense of urgency that they must do what you are asking of them quickly, according to SEOSmarty.
How to Word the Call to Action
Try to think what people are motivated by. Words and phrases like last chance, hurry, urgent, alert, and do it now, all compel people to do things they may have postponed or might never have done at all.
Where to Put the Call to Action
- The most obvious place to put a Call to Action is at the end of a blog post. If you want your readers to comment, simply ask them to. Ask them a question you’d like them to respond to in the comment section. When I first started blogging, I would suggest my readers answer a question I posed. Then, I started noticing bloggers not only telling their visitors that they should comment, but they also told their readers where they should comment. Now, I add “… in the comment section” to my Call to Action at the end of my post.
- Near the end of your blog post, ask your readers to share your post. I assume you have your social share buttons standing by. I generally include a reason they should share such as so other bloggers can learn these tips or something like that.
- At the beginning of your post ask your reader to do something. It doesn’t matter what. “Imagine that…” Your call to action will serve as a hook that immediately engages your reader. CoSchedule suggests putting a Call to Action in your first 100 words.
- In the middle of your post ask your readers to do something as well. The rationale is the same as in #3. If your readers were starting to lose interest in your article, the call to action will pull them back in and keep them engaged. Your bounce rate will improve because they stayed on your post longer.
- Put a Call to Action in a Pinterest pin description. Tell the reader to do something in your pin description. I offer blogging tips. My call to action : Click to find out what they are… This is valuable since Pinterest connects to Facebook and Twitter. Users can see your pins and calls to action at those other social media sites.
- Put a call to action in an Email. Notice in this screenshot from one of my Emails, I offer two Calls to Action.
Notice in Brian Dean‘s Email, he also offers two Calls to Action. He also tells people where to put the Call to Action response.
- In a Twitter Direct Message People use Twitter’s direct message to thank new subscribers and suggest they check out their blog or Facebook page. Some suggest you enlist their services.
- In a Tweet According to Neil Patel, asking Twitter users to “please retweet” goes a long way in getting social shares.
- In a Click to Tweet Notice the Click to Tweet below gives the user instructions. “Click to Tweet” is a Call to Action.
- In a link shared on Google+ Initially, users of Google+ would comment without reading my post. Now, I tell them to “Click to join the discussion.” If you don’t, you’ll get comments at Google+ and not on your blog.
- People put calls to action under YouTube videos all the time. They tell people to comment and follow their YouTube channel.
- In an opt-in box or widget Write “Subscribe to my blog” or something comparable.
- On your blog’s Facebook page Facebook gives you the option of having a “Sign Up” button which will link directly to your blog.
In conclusion, it is a famous expression that there is no such thing as a stupid question. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” is also a famous expression. If you don’t suggest the Call to Action, readers may not think to take the action themselves, and you won’t get your comments, shares, or subscriptions.
If you follow the advice in this post, your comments, social shares, and subscriber count will increase.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers learn strategic places to put Calls to Action.
Are you already using them? Where are you placing them? Do you find they increase your page stats? I look forward to your views in the comment section.
UPDATE: Readers asked for a follow-up post explaining how to get people to click your links and comment on your posts. My follow-up article This Is How to Write the Best Call to Action That Will Boost Comments and Subscribers explains that.