If you use your blog purely to keep in touch with friends and family or to share personal anecdotes for your own pleasure, then you don’t need to worry about making your blog “effective.” It can be whatever you want it to be. However, blogs are also a brilliant method for creating an authoritative online presence to generate leads for your business.
If you’re hoping to use your blog to drive business, you’ll want to fine-tune your style and content to make your blog as effective as possible.
1) What separates an effective blog from the crowd?
The key is to provide elements that encourage your visitors to take action. Depending on your goals, that action might be to fill out a contact form, sign up for a newsletter, or provide you with more leads. Whatever your marketing strategy, you definitely don’t want your visitors to passively read your blog without responding or acting in some way. The secret to an effective blog is to provide alluring calls to action that are directly linked to your business goals.
2) What is a call to action?
You’ve probably seen hundreds of them on blogs you’ve visited. Some examples are:
- Make a Comment
- Subscribe to RSS Feed
- Receive Email Updates of Recent Blog Posts
- Follow Us on (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc)
- Sign up for Newsletter
- Share This Post With a Friend
These kinds of calls to action involve your readers in your blog, encourage them to return, and invite referrals. You can use them within the main layout of your blog and also include them within your individual blog posts. For example, you could incorporate a graphical element in your navigation bar that reads “Subscribe to RSS Feed” and then write a post which closes with the sentence, “Interested in learning more about this topic? Sign up for our RSS feed so that you don’t miss Part 2.” For best results, strive for redundancy: sprinkle your blog liberally with calls to action, both inside your blog posts and outside of them.
To take your calls to action to the next level, offer your readers an extra incentive. For example, you could write: “Be one of the first 5 readers to post a comment, and receive a free copy of our e-book!” Or you could say, “Sign up for our newsletter now and we’ll send you a 10-day free email mini-training course.” Use active voice and lead with a verb. Avoid saying things like, “If you sign up…” or “People who sign up…” Boring and bland, right? Instead, say “Sign up…” and use bold formatting to highlight the call to action, which should be a hyperlink.
For every new blog post you write, make it a habit to ask yourself the question, “What do I want this post to achieve?” If you want to increase readership, add a call to action that encourages readers to share the post with a friend or link to it from their own blogs. If you want to build your contact list, add a call to action that gives your readers a compelling reason to hand over their names and emails. Every blog post should include at lease one call to action.
This simple strategy will take your blog to the next level. Your blog will become an interactive and dynamic web presence with repeat visitors, lively discussion and consistent results. If you already have a blog, edit your last few posts to include calls to action, and watch your results improve. If you are starting a blog now, incorporate this strategy from the beginning. Use calls to action to make your blog an effective and powerful marketing tool.
I would love to read your thoughts, advice and opinions. Please enter them into the comments section below. Thank you.