Did you publish a blog post today?
According to statistics, almost four million posts have been written today.
That is quite a great deal of competition for readership.
This is a follow-up to my post 13 Ways a Call to Action Will Make You See Enormous Blog Stats. The article explained 13 strategic places to put a Call to Action (CTA) so that visitors would subscribe and subscribers would comment.
Bloggers wrote in response to the article, many with the same question seemingly asked in unison, “Now that you have told us where to put a Call to Action, can you please tell us how to get visitors and subscribers to respond to our Call to Action?”
Consider these comments from readers:
Jill wrote, I have tried to put a CTA in my posts before. Usually at the end. I’ve asked for comments and suggestions. It’s rare I get any, but occasionally I have a post where a few of my regular people will comment and we get a good discussion going.
Jen shared, The CTA I find the hardest is in my newsletters, I have tried everything to get them to “hit reply”, finally I added a 5 question survey-ya! Worked like a charm.
Where my main struggle is now is to get subscribers to open the newsletter. Later I am going to hunt around and see if you have a post on that one.
No longer is there a need to search for the article. This post will explain how to get readers to subscribe and how to get subscribers to comment.
How to Get Visitors to Take Your Call to Action to Subscribe
- Change your message. If your Call to Action always looks the same, people will tune it out and ignore it.
For example, people have different opt-in boxes for different posts just so the message on each page is different. The Call to Action will get people’s attention if it doesn’t always look the same.
Osama Gohar explained he uses a “Follow” widget and finds that works for him in converting visitors to subscribers. He changes the color to give them a different appearance. This will result in getting visitors to notice them.
I am happy to report new visitors to my Inspire Me Monday Linky Party subscribe to my blog– during the weeks I change the wording of my Call to Action.
Some weeks I write, “For arranging this networking opportunity, it is considered polite to follow your hostess.”
Other weeks I write, “Although it is not required, it is considered polite to follow your hostess. That’s me!” Do you want people to heed your message? Change the wording.
This applies to the end of your blog post. Don’t write “Share this post” each time. For example, at the end of my “Sticky Blogging” post, I wrote, “Readers, please share, so other bloggers can discover the importance of centering your posts around a problem.” I have never used this wording of a Call to Action before or since.
- Pique readers’ curiosity.
Two places you can successfully get readers begging for more is on your own blog and at Medium.com.
The most logical place is on your blog, especially if you don’t have a Medium account.
On your blog: The Sticky Blogging Technique recommends starting with a problem. Introduce a problem in your introduction, a problem so painful that it actually has a name. It is called “a pain point”.
Introduce the problem in detail. Pour it on thick. Let readers know you understand their pain. Then, insert a “Read More” tag. By doing this, your page views on the post will double since readers will have to click twice to read it.
Readers are also more likely to take your Call to Action to share the post since they will want others to know the solution to the problem.
Medium: Make an account at Medium.com if you don’t already have one.
Copy and paste your introduction. Instead of typing “Read More,” like you would on your blog, type Click to continue reading. Link back to your post at a suspenseful part.
This is my introduction to my Sticky Blogging article, How to Be Memorable in a Sea of Bloggers:
According to a CoSchedule blog survey, bloggers report their biggest challenges are planning content and creating really good content.
Which concern can you relate to? Can you relate to both?
Sticky Blogging is the newest trend in blogging that addresses those concerns. You can put those concerns behind you. This post will solve them for you.
If people want to know how to plan content and create strong content, two of the biggest problems I wrote bloggers have, they have to take my Call to Action and click on my link.
- Offer free incentives. According to Sue Anne Dunlevie and Tim Paige, people love to possess things. 7 Ways to Take Charge of Your Readership Problem [Incentives] offers a whole slew of ideas for free incentives that you can offer your readers in exchange for subscribing to your blog.
- Offer Social Proof If you want your visitors to take your Call to Action and become subscribers, you need to offer proof that their time on your blog will be well spent. The Bandwagon Effect in psychology explains that people like to be with the crowd. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If everyone is reading your blog, it must be a good blog to read, people reason.
You can offer social proof by putting a testimonial in your sidebar from a satisfied reader. I have testimonials on my About page. I offer social proof in a different way in my sidebar. Notice I mention that I was featured on a big blog, Basic Blog Tips.
How to Get Subscribers to Take Your Call to Action to Comment
- Get subscribers to open your Email. You have to make subject lines as clickable as headlines. If readers don’t open your Email, they certainly won’t comment on your article.
CoSchedule‘s Headline Analyzer is a great way of checking the strength of Email subject lines. Readers love “How to…” posts. Start your Email subject lines with “How to…”
Another way of getting readers to open your Emails is by wording the subject lines in a way that will get their attention. Using words and phrases from the following list can be effective: Alert; Great News; First, let me start with an apology…
When I started my subject line with First, let me start with an apology… three times the people opened my link that normally open it! I apologized for not writing about where to put a Call to Action sooner in my post 13 Ways a Call to Action Will Make You See Enormous Blog Stats.
Use power words in your subject lines just like you would do in your headlines. If you tell readers they will get something immediately, or something that is free, they will be more compelled to open your Email.
- Personalize the Subscribe button. Many bloggers change the wording so the button compels the reader to subscribe instead of just tells them to. Instead of Subscribe, the button reads, Yes, I want to increase my traffic, or No, I don’t want to increase my traffic. Of course, these are buttons for people who offer blogging tips. I’m sure you could think of ways to personalize the buttons for your niche.
- Conduct A/B Testing to learn your subscribers’ preferences. My readers consistently responded to How to… until I overused it. When I had Meet and Greets and Linky Parties, I would give them an “Alert” in the Email subject line, but that got old after a while. Vary your wording like with the Call to Action at the end of the blog post. Variety really is “the spice of life” like the expression goes. Change is effective. Change gets noticed.
- Send your posts at times based on research. 10:00 am Eastern is best for sending Emails.
- Send your Emails on days based on research. The day you send matters. Do not send your subscribers your posts on Monday or Friday. Monday people are busy reading their work Emails that came in over the weekend. Friday people are busy cleaning up from the work week. Tuesday is best.
In conclusion, sometimes people need friendly reminders. We are all on information overload. They might appreciate you making the suggestion to comment or subscribe. This post suggested ways to increase the probability your readers will take your Call to Action and comment on your articles and subscribe to your blog.
Readers, please share so other bloggers know how to get readers to comment and visitors to subscribe to their blogs.
Do you have any other methods to get readers to take your Call to Action? What methods do you find effective to get readers to comment or visitors to subscribe? I look forward to your views in the comments section.
How to Get Loyal Visitors to Repeatedly Return to Your Blog