Last week, I wrote about how to personalize your blog, and this week, I'm going to help you grow your readership. As writers, it's important that we connect with our readers, and a blog is the perfect way to do it. But how do we get them to come back? In particular, how do we give them what they want?
This weekend, I took some time tailoring my blog to my viewers. I replaced the "I's" with "You's" and even wrote a start here page, to give my new readers more of a direction. Then I hopped over the "Meet Jenny" page and added a bit of a more personal touch as well a call to action.
What exactly is a call to action? It's a challenge to your reader to make a specific move. Want them to sign up for your newsletter? Give them a reason. Want them to read another of your blog posts? Embed a link. Okay. Let's break down how to create a call to action:
Create a Call to Action for Your Blog Posts
There are three essential components to a good blog post. 1) It presents good content. 2) It links to other posts, from your blog and others. 3) It leaves the reader with something to go on. For me, I've been incorporating "Discussion Time" in each of my blog posts, to encourage comments.
Let's take this post on How to Set Goals and Keep Them, for example. After I shared my techniques, I left readers with the question, "How do you keep goals? What’s one writing goal you’d like to accomplish this year?" In order to engage with your audience at a post level, you have to loop them into the conversation.
Create a Call to Action for Your Blog Pages
Pages on your blog are touchstones for your readers.Imagine you're a first time reader on your blog. You read a post and you like it, so you want to learn more about the blog itself. Pages are your opportunity to tell your readers what you are all about, and keep them coming back for more.
On my "Start Here" page, I begin by telling readers how to use the blog, even breaking it down by category. I show my most popular posts, and then I encourage them to connect with me. I make sure to give three different ways for my readers to stay in touch. It's important to have options. So they can either join my team, follow me on social media or comment.
Create a Call to Action for Your Blog Home
Want the truth? It's hard to get readers coming back. Think of how many times a day you skim other bloggers' websites, and never go back to it. So how do we do this? There are a million ways, of course, and I'm still figuring them out myself. But so far for me, I keep readers coming back by being genuine, providing the best information that I can and putting in the time.
My biggest call to action on my blog home page is in the form of my social media plugs and my newsletter signup. Using the SumoMe plugin, I've added an "interrupting" newsletter suggestion. Then, I added an Instagram plugin, so that you can see my photos right there in the sidebar. The rest of my social media buttons can be found there too.
Discussion Time: Did you create a call to action for your blog? What strategies have you used to encourage readers to revisit your website?
Like what you see? Don't forget to sign up for #TeamTATM in the sidebar! (See what I did there? Call to action!)