This guest post is by Ali Luke of Aliventures.
You know your title has to hook readers.
You know your first line needs to keep them reading.
The start of your blog post matters. But so does the end.
In fact, without a powerful end to your post, all the work that you put into the title and paragraph one is wasted. Because the end of your post is what keeps your readers coming back for more.
Here are seven powerful ways to end your post.
1. Sum up your key message
Sometimes, you need to hammer a point home. The final few lines of your post are a great opportunity to make sure that your key message gets across.
If you can, bring out a new point—or sum up in an engaging way. If you just rehash what you’ve already said, readers will wander off, bored.
To write 100 books (75,000 words per book) over the next 30 years, you need to be writing 1,000 words per day (writing five days a week, 50 weeks per year). At a brisk but comfortable pace, that’s an hour a day.
If you want to write 100 books in the next ten years, that’s 3,000 words a day.
Being prolific is closer to possible than you might have believed.
—David Masters, Writing Secrets of Prolific Authors, Write to Done
2. Encourage the reader to take action
Many blog posts are full of excellent advice, but how often does that advice actually get put into practice?
Readers love posts that are practical, and if you can persuade them to do something (and see the benefits) then they’ll be much more likely to return to your blog.
But in the meantime, here’s a tip you can use right away. You’ll have vastly better copy on your website in 20 minutes by following these two simple steps:
Go look at your web copy right now.
Take out every word that doesn’t contribute something new.
Come back here and tell us about the before-and-after. I bet you’ll have something to say!
—James Chartrand, Do You Have Useless Website Content?, Men with Pens
3. Ask the reader to share your post
If you want more tweets or Facebook shares, ask for them. Readers won’t always think of sharing your post, and they may not notice that you’ve got a “retweet” button waiting—unless you tell them.
You might also want to encourage readers to forward a post to friends: unless you’re writing for a predominantly techy audience, there’s a good chance that a lot of your subscribers are getting your feed by email.
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!
—Ali Luke, How to Have Confidence in Your Writing – and Yourself, Aliventures
4. Link to another useful resource
When readers finish one post, they’ll often be ready to read another on a similar topic. If you’ve written an inspirational piece, for instance, it’s a great idea to link to a practical guide that helps readers turn that inspiration into action.
You don’t need to link to blog posts, either. Pointing readers towards newspaper articles or books in your field isn’t just useful—it also helps demonstrate that you’re on top of what’s happening in your niche.
If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these posts inspired by art:
- Writing as an emerging sculpture: Inspiration from Michelangelo’s slaves
- 15 ways modern art galleries can inspire writers
—Joanna Penn, 7 Lessons For Writers From Leonardo Da Vinci, The Creative Penn
5. Ask a question to encourage comments
Questions work well in titles and first lines—and they’re also a good way to end a post. Asking a question for readers to respond to (e.g. “do you any tips to add?”) is likely to increase the number of comments you get.
Don’t go over the top with questions, though: one or two are usually enough. You don’t want your readers to feel bombarded with a whole string of questions.
Did you find some great strategies of your own in the videos? What are the exciting ideas informing your own marketing—and how are you implementing them?
Let us know in the comments.
—Sonia Simone, 3 Content Marketing Ideas You Should Steal from Coca Cola, Copyblogger
6. Tell readers what’s coming next
If you want people to subscribe to your blog, or to keep visiting the site for updates, you need to let them know that you’ve got good stuff coming up.
At the end of your post, let readers know what’s coming tomorrow (or next week). You might simply drop a hint like “I’ve got something big to announce next week…” or you might tell them to stay tuned for a more advanced post on a similar topic to the one they’ve just read.
Next week I’ll post about moving larger WordPress sites. Those might not work with this method because your export XML file will be too large, and you might not be able to upload it via the WordPress import feature.
—Daniel Scocco, How to Move A Small WordPress Site Via the Import/Export Tool, DailyBlogTips
7. Promote your product or service
Even though you might have information about your book/ebook/ecourse/etc. in your sidebar, some readers won’t see that—they’ll either be reading in an RSS reader or they simply won’t notice.
The final line of your post is a great place to let readers know about your product (or to remind them that it exists). This works especially well if your post has been on a similar topic—for instance, if you’ve written about procrastination and you’ve got an ecourse on getting things done, there’s an obvious link between the two!
Also, check out our Blogging for Beginners Series for more blog tips and ProBlogger the Book for a comprehensive guide to improving your blog and deriving an income from it.
—Darren Rowse, 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog, ProBlogger
Which of these tips would work well on your next post? Leave a comment below to tell us what you’ll be trying out…
Ali Luke is a writer and writing coach, and blogs for a number of large sites. If you’re struggling to keep up the motivation to write for your blog, check out her post on Six Common Writing Excuses (And How to Overcome Them).
I’m always unsure how to end blog posts. I always ask and challenge people to comment on the post in the comments section, but I often feel like that’s my only option – this article proves otherwise and has given me something to think about.
Thanks for info!
Glad to help! :-)
This is a great list, Ali. I think I could definitely do a better job of encouraging my readers to share my writings at the end. Now you have given me a sorta template for doing that. Thanks.
I have not thought about the way I finish a post just how I start one and the title so this list is a good way to show me how, I needed to find a way to get my readers to share my blog and to gain comments and to encourage them to return so thanks for sharing this.
I am going to make sure in my future posts I will be implementing some steps from your list.
Have a great day
Great advice. I’ve aways asked questions to encourage comments, but I’m definitely going to experiment with some of your other suggestions. Which do you find has worked best for you?
I find that asking for comments works really well, as does pointing people to another post on my blog. The success of the different methods will depend a bit on your audience — e.g. if not many of your readers are on Twitter, asking them to tweet your post may not have much effect…
These are some great endings. I use the comment ending one the most, however I have started using the end of my posts to promote what is coming next in my design tutorial series. Its interesting to watch how many people connect with you and subscribe to your RSS when you do that.
Thanks for some more endings Ali!
Based on your advice, 3 things I could act on for my next blog post:
1. A definite action step – my readers would definitely find that more useful than just a general post
2. Some links to other relevant posts on my blog – isn’t there a plug in that can suggest other posts based on tags?
3. Ask readers to share the post
Thanks for the tips
I prefer not to use a plugin for (2) because I like to hand-pick the posts — but there are definitely a few different plugins out there that’ll create a list of related posts for you.
encouraging your readers to take action is very important. You have to force them to do something important
Can you please tell me that which plugin you used to to emphasize examples on each points?
It’s not a plugin, it’s just the blockquote style on ProBlogger.
Good Post, I’m also agree with you people not going to share your post until you won’t tell them about post. Tell the readers to leave comments and feedback in your new blog posts is important.
Good tips I have not considered at all. So far, my blog posts have no closure at all so I’m going to start using some of the ideas at my next post.
Thanls for the info :).
Ali I see that you used BOTH #5 and #7 on this guest post – very sneaky!
I’ve used 3, 4, 5, and 7 myself, all with success. Your post was a great outline of the techniques – I’ll have to try the others soon :)
Well spotted! ;-)
I wouldn’t normally recommend having two different calls to action, but guest posts are actually an interesting case — you almost always get a bio (that’s the italic bit at the very end of my post) and the best use of that is to link to a blog post/product/service/newsletter opt-in…
I really like all these ways to end a blog post, although number 3, ask readers to share it, feels a bit needy and I always try to stay away from that one. The one that as a reader leaves me more satisfied is #1. Sum up your key message. So that’s the one I normally go for!
Great information and thanks for sharing, i will try to apply some of these tips in my next post.
Sometimes you don’t need them to take action. In my latest post on make money online schemes, I talked about how I want people to take less action that doesn’t truly benefit them directly.
Here’s the post, pay attention to the ending for another great way to end posts:
Ali, I actually do a lot of the suggested ideas without really noticing it sometimes.
It could be my ” line of thinking” or something. I am not too sure.
On other occasions, I do set out with a plan to structure the post in a particular way, usually after re-reading the post and realizing it does not “Flow” smoothly.
You’ve clearly got great blogging instincts! :-)
I don’t know why I’ve not done this yet, but encouraging readers to forward a post to their friends is a great idea toward getting a bit of traffic to one’s site. I’m planning to try this in the near future.
I think one has to choose to encourage readers to be empowered to be able to make a decision on their own. Otherwise they might not do anything for you and might just leave without doing what you want them to do.
I really like the idea of the call to action, if your blog actually causes someone to make a change that is positive they are SOO much more likely to come back. I also love the idea of linking to something similar that you have, by the time someone gets to the bottom of a blog post they are interested and are quite likely to click through.
This is something I’ve struggled with and this post helps!
I love the idea to sum up our message; I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this; we’re taught this in school.
I recently promoted an affiliate link at the end of a post and made a few sales; again, can’t believe that I didn’t think of that sooner.
Including other links will improve my bounce rate.
I want to spruce up my posts in this area. The closer is the knock out punch. It wakes people up or causes them to take another course of action.
Really, you want readers to take 1 clear call to action. You want readers to be emotionally moved after reading your work. You want the conclusion to make readers do 1 thing, most of the time.
I like the idea of a neat summation. Key points, hit on them, wrap them up in a neat little present and deliver. Readers feel the power of your post and the thoroughness of your work, and decide to do more. Share it, subscribe to your list or tell their friends of a really smart, helpful blogger ;) Or, buy your product or service which is not a bad deal.
Thanks for sharing your insight Ali!
I never thought to ask people to re-tweet my posts or to share them with friends and yes the buttons are right below the post which makes it so easy to do but I guess people don’t even think about it. I thought it might sound a bit desperate to ask but if you do it politely it might be good, I will definitely give it a try.
And asking questions to start a conversation and get people posting seems like a no brainer but I never even thoguht to do it. Something else for me to try.
It looks like I have a bit of homework to do!
What’s coming next? That is a great one, I am not quite sure why I haven’t used it yet, since I am typically planing ahead…I will give it a try!
I always ask questions at the bottom of my blog posts to continue the conversation but haven’t had a lot of response to doing so. The other blog-ending tips though may work. I’m going to give them a try right away. Thanks!
All creative ways to get your reader to take some form of action.
A good call to action for me is often a conscious effort, however with writing as much as I do, it’s becoming more and more of an automatic thing. Thank goodness!
The good old standby is generally #5, ask questions to encourage comments. I find I use that one a lot.
Either 2,3,5 or 7 are the best in my opnion, make them do something, whatever you want, but ask them to do it. Either buy a product/service, share the post, leave a comment, sign up for a list, etc…
These are excellent ways to end a blog post. Asking readers to share the post proves to be really helpful sometimes.
Nice valuable information Ali.
A nice funny ending will rock the boat . You can also ask for point of views of your readers . whatever you do , you need to be careful. Do not force them to like or comment on your post and do not overdo things just to get more comments or feedback.You may loose some potential readers if you are always taking the same way to get feedback. Diversity is the formula .
Great tips Ali, I already use #5 the question call to action to generate comments. I find by getting your readers involved and asking for opinions builds great engagement.
I also have a social media custom box on my blog which basically asks for a tweet. Just put this on so have no real test figures yet.
I haven’t tried #6 the coming next technique, so will add that to my list. Thanks for that Ali, much appreciated.
I can never figure out how to end my blog posts, either. They end so abruptly, but I’m always stuck on how to conclude all that writing! Bookmarking this for my next post. I like #2, 3, and 5. Thanks so much for the suggestions, Ali!
Number 5 has worked very well on my blog. Asking a question has promoted healthy discussions and involvement from my readers.
Now I need to take action on the other ways to end my blog posts. Over the next couple of weeks I will be trying some of the other was suggested in the post.
great tips, one of that point i have been used
seemingly i have to try another powerful ways that you give.thanks! :)
great post, When I write I tend to lead more toward inspiring action. Communicating the benefits of taking the action to me as one of the best ways to end the post.
Great post :-)
I have read your post and have a question to ask you…
How to encourage the readers to take the action and share our post?
Please tell me that …
Nice post and explanation…
Excellent tips, Ali, all of them are prime examples.
It’s true, a lot of the advice doesn’t get put into practice, so if ending on a good call-to-action is exercised, then most likely the readers will follow through.
These tips are very useful for a new blogger like me.. surely i will apply all these ideas in my coming posts. Thanks
This is a great article – I started a blog a couple of months ago but I still have some way to go with the writing – finding my own voice and being more concise. I’ll look for more helpful tips from you!
Great post; I will be trying the ask readers to share. I always tell them to contact me with questions or comments, but I’ve never tried encouraging people to share my posts. thanks, max
Sometimes, “not” ending the post is effective, too. Ask a question “near the end.” The reader’s mind works on the answer … and the “problem fix” comes in the form of a link to your sales message. Just a thought.
I like tip 4 – link to another blog or related post. Thank you for the tips!
Some really great advice here. But the one thing I wondered about is the idea of asking readers to share posts on Facebook and Twitter. Is there a risk that it might come across as a bit needy?
Some great ideas here. I always find the body easiest to write, and the opening and closing the most difficult. Great to have some tips here to at least make some of that easier! I’m keeping this handy for my next post!
Love the tips given in this post. I like one to ask whoever reads to share to others.
Thank you for the information.