How to Write a Post That Contains a Call to Action

Today’s episode is about how to ask your readers to go beyond just reading your blog and to DO something. Readers are often ready and willing, if only you asked.

‘If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.’ ― Nora Roberts

PB023: Write a Post That Contains a Call to Action [Day 23 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog]

In this Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). Today we talk about:

  • Why extending a call to action to your readers is so powerful
  • Examples of calls to action
  • How to choose the best call to action to start with if you’ve never asked your readers to do anything

Further Resources on How to Write a Post That Contains a Call to Action

How did you go with today’s challenge?

What did you ask your readers to do?

I’d love to see your post that calls your reader to some kind of action. Share a link to your post in the comments below.

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Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Welcome to ProBlogger Podcast episode 23 and day 23 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog where today, I’m issuing you a writing challenge. I want to see you write a post today and the post needs to call your readers to some kind of action. Calls to action are a really important part of blogging. Today, you’re going to practice that.

I actually want to call you to two actions today. First, I want you to write a post with a call to action and also to leave a comment sharing that post with us. You can do that at where today’s show notes are and there are (as always) opportunities to leave a comment.

Hi, it’s Darren from ProBlogger here. Welcome to Day 23 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Today is another writing challenge. It’s one that I know is going to stretch some of you. It’s to write a post that calls your reader to some kind of action. At some point in the life of most blogs, the blogger behind it needs or wants to ask their readers to go beyond reading and to do something. While this might not be on a daily basis, it’s something that’s useful to learn how to do. And so, we’re going to practice that today.

The action you want your readers to take could be anything. It need not be a big ask either. Your challenge is to craft a post that asks your readers to do something. The goal here is to snap your readers out of passivity. Incidentally, I think the vast majority of blog readers are probably in a very, very passive state. My estimates on my own blogs are that less than 1% or even a fraction of 1% ever leave a comment or do anything. The vast majority of people are purely reading, if that. Only you really know what suits your readers to do. It could be a whole heap of things. Here are a few that you might want to try.

It could be getting them to implement some ideas that you’ve written about or to do something that you’re taught them to do. It could be subscribing to your RSS feed or your email newsletter. It could be getting them to follow you on social media. It could be related to them buying something like an affiliate product that you’re promoting or one of your own products. It could be something simple like could you leave a comment, vote in this poll, or take this survey. 

Maybe it’s something a little bit more altruistic. Make a donation to this charity. Maybe you want them to hire you, to buy some service that you offer, to take part in a challenge or a project that you’re running, to attend a meeting, a meet-up, or an event that you’re running. Maybe it’s just something, like read this other piece of content that I’ve written, whether it’s on your own site or somewhere else. Lastly, it might be to visit your business site.

There’s a whole heap of things, and like I said, only you really know what suits your readers and your goals as well. Make it something that furthers your blogging goals in some way, but also make it something that extends your readers in some way. So, something that’s a bit of a challenge for you.

For example, if you’ve never asked your readers to do anything before, a call to action, like vote in this poll, might be a good one because you’ve never made an ask before, so you want to warm them up. If they’re an interactive audience and you’ve asked them to vote before, leave comments, and they’ve taken those actions, ask for something a little bit bigger. See what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose, really.

The challenge today is to write a post that has a call to action. I know for some of you, you’re used to this. You possibly do it in every post that you write by asking for a comment. That’s just normal for many bloggers. But for others of us, making an ask of our readers feels a bit awkward, and it’s something that we’ve really done. I know for the first few years of my own blogging, I rarely asked my readers to do anything. I just wrote. The result of that is that our readers are probably quite passive and they might be willing and ready to do something if only we asked. So, choose something you’d like your readers to do today. It may not be big, but craft a blog post to make that ask.

I’m going to link today in the show notes to a post I wrote a while ago called 12 Tips to Snap Your Readers out of Passivity With Calls to Action. That post has 12 tips on making your ask and making a call to action. I’m not going to go through them all now, but here’s a few from that post and one from something else that I’ve done.

The first thing is to be really clear from the start of the post as you sit down to write what you want people to do. If you ask something that’s just tacked on the end, it’s probably not going to work because you haven’t crafted the posts to lead them to that action.

The second tip is just to make one ask per post. I see a lot of bloggers saying, “Come in on this, subscribe here, and buy this,” all in one post. They may take some of those actions but they’re much more likely to do something if you just ask for one thing and then you clearly outline how they should do that.

The third tip is to make it a win-win. You want to ask them to do something that’s going to benefit you or to further your goals, but also something that’s going to benefit them. You don’t want to just take from your readers. You want to communicate the ask in a way that communicates this benefit. Instead of writing “subscribe to my blog,” you might want to also include a reason why they should subscribe. What benefit will they get from doing that? They’re much more likely to take the action and enter into it with the right expectations.

The last thing that I do quite regularly on my blogs is to give my readers homework. This might sound a little juvenile like they go into school or something but actually giving your readers homework can be a really effective teaching tool. This is really relevant if you have a how-to blog, a teaching, or an empowerment type of blog. Show them how to do something and then make your ask that they implement, experiment, or try what you’ve just taught them, and then to report back on what they did.

Not everyone’s going to do it, but those who do are much more likely to have learned what you’ve taught them than those who simply read it. Knowledge can only go so far. Action is the key to trying to bring about change in someone’s life, so getting them to do some homework or do a project in some way is going to bring about lasting change.

“Be a little bold today. Make an ask of your readers.” I found this quote from Nora Roberts, who turns out as a romance novelist, but it’s a good quote. She says, “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place,” so be a little bold today and make an ask.

I’d love to hear about the ask that you make your readers today. Once you’ve written your post, please go to where you can leave a link to the post that you’ve written and talk about how you found today’s challenge. While you’re there, check out some of the other links of other participants in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog have left. Surf around, get to know some of the other bloggers doing this challenge, leave a comment or two, and if you feel their post resonates, I’d love it if you’d share it on social media so that we can share a little traffic around and get to know each other as bloggers. I look forward to tomorrow’s challenge, day 24 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

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