The term ‘Call to Action’ has somewhat negative connotations to many bloggers. A ‘Call to Action’ is often seen as being ‘salesy’ or ‘self-promotional’, and as such, many bloggers see it as something to avoid.
I think we should instead look at a Call to Action as a way to add VALUE to a post.
That’s right, I’m saying to stop looking at Calls to Action as being ‘salesy’ but instead as a value-add. As something that your readers WANT to see.
But you create that desire for a call to action by first creating VALUABLE content for the reader. Give them a reason to want to take some next action. It can be a comment, subscribing to your blog, or contacting you about a product or service.
Here’s a couple of examples:
1 – I am on Twitter and someone links to a new study that shows the social media adoption rate for small businesses in different industries. It’s a study conducted BY this site, which I had never heard of previously. The information is valuable, so I would WANT to see a link for subscribing at the END of the post.
2 – I am Googling looking for a local business that offers satellite internet services and what type of installation fees I should expect to pay. I land on a local installer that clearly explains what the fees involved are. If this installer was CURRENTLY offering a 20% discount on services, I would WANT to know about that, and would want them to give me a way to contact them about possibly purchasing their service.
The point is, don’t think of adding a Call to Action as being ‘salesy’. Think of it as a way to add VALUE to the post. Look at the post you have created, and think about which call to action would add value to that post.
A post where you are discussing a popular or hot-button topic, could use a call to action asking for a comment.
A post that is a detailed How-To could use a call to action asking for subscribers or adding a link where you can learn more about the individual or company behind the blog.
A post that details a great new way to use Twitter, could use a call to action asking the readers to follow that person on Twitter.
A phrase I use with my clients when I am training them on content creation is this: If you have created a post that is valuable to your readers, then you have earned the right to add a relevant call to action to that post.
What do you think?