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Getting Readers To Take Action

How to get your blog readers to do stuff.

In sales and marketing the watch term is "conversions." Turning a visitor into a customer is the goal of every marketing campaign in existence. It's easy to think this doesn't apply to your blog, but in truth, you do want your readers to take action. Sharing your posts, commenting, clicking on an affiliate link... whatever it is, you want them to DO something. 
Here's how you get it done.
Determine What You Want Them To Do
What is a conversion for your blog? Before you can optimize your site for conversions you need to know what it is you want your readers to do. Here are some possibilities.
  • Comment
  • Share
  • Click Affiliate Links
  • Download Worksheets/Templates/Printables
  • Sign Up For Newsletter
  • Register For An Event
  • Purchasing an eBook
Create Your Calls To Action
Once you know what action you want your readers to take you can begin to craft the appropriate calls to action (CTA). Here's another list of suggested CTAs.
  • Ask Questions to Spur Commenting at End of Posts
  • Have Prominent, Clear Social Sharing Buttons
  • Use Buttons for Downloads/Registrations/Subscribers
Optimize Your Calls To Action
It's not enough to just ask for action. You need to make it easy and obvious too. Remember to place buttons above the fold (in first part of your homepage before scrolling) when you can, but don't be obnoxious. Use pop-ups but do them after someone scrolls on your site, and be smart about what you use a pop-up CTA for. Use "Click To Tweet" plugin for quotable parts of you content that make sharing relevant and easy.
Don't Forget Social Media Calls To Action
Every time you share a link to your content you create a call to action. But fighting content saturation and grabbing people's attention in a busy field takes creativity and flexibility. I love using twitter to test headlines because you can tweet the same link repeatedly without being a social media douchebag (within reason, of course). If you find something gets the most clicks, think about changing the CTAs in your other social promotion as well.
And please, don't use the same copy for every platform. Change it up. You'll get more conversions, I promise.
As you can see, the key point here is to know WHAT you want your readers to do before you begin to try to make it easier for them to take that action. This is yet another way you can work to set goals for growing your readership and, for lack of a better word, "sales."
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