A survey found that 86% of B2C marketers were using content marketing in 2016.
That’s a pretty high number.
And odds are pretty good that many of those marketers and companies are using blogging as part of their content efforts.
But blogging is not easy.
If you look around the web at company blogs you’ll find that many were started only to slowly fade in frequency.
What I see is that many underestimate the time and effort it takes to build a successful business blog.
It’s also easy to underestimate the time it will take to see results. That’s especially true if you’re learning about blogging as you go.
With anything in life it takes quantity to learn the nuances.
In this post we’ll look at one of the nuances to blogging that matters a great deal: The Conclusion.
Here are some tips for closing out your blog posts.
How To Write A Conclusion
Let’s start with the conclusion first.
Sometimes I call it a conclusion. Other times I call it “Final Thought” or something like that.
But in almost every case I like to include a conclusion. And I like to announce it with a heading.
Have you ever been in a movie where it ends abruptly. And you’re sitting there thinking…that’s it?
That drives me nuts.
I like when a story ends with a slow cut to the conclusion. You know it’s the end of the movie. Things are wrapping up nicely. You can leave the theater feeling satisfied.
That’s how you want to end blog posts.
Let readers know this is the end by using a heading.
Recap a couple of the most important things for them to remember.
Answer any potentially unanswered questions. That might require a re-read of the post to see if you left any unanswered questions.
And you could even take another cue from movies and TV shows by leaving a little cliffhanger.
More on that later…
Tip #1. Link To Previous Posts
Now let’s get into a couple things you can do to give readers an action.
Readers will take an action no matter what when they finish your post.
It’s only a matter of whether you have a little say in their action or if they are left to decide entirely on their own.
Let’s say someone reads your entire post. Chances are good that they really liked it. They might be looking for a little more on the topic.
You can get more pageviews and earn more trust by linking to more good posts that you’ve already written on the topic.
Some sites automate this and that’s good. I kind of like doing it manually, though. At least sometimes.
Tip #2. Link To A Regular Website Page
I generally wouldn’t recommend linking to your contact page. That always feels to me like jumping ahead too many steps.
When someone is reading a blog post they’re at the very early stages of the sales process.
They may not even realize that they’re on a business website.
After they finish the post they may be asking themselves who the author is or who the company is behind this content.
I like linking to the homepage or even to the about page. Kind of introducing yourself and what you’re all about and what you offer your customers.
Tip #3. Ask For Shares, Follows
This is one I kind of like. It seems to make sense.
I like asking for people to share the article on social media after they have read the post.
Some prefer to do it before. And that’s probably fine.
I just think that once a person is done reading a post they are more likely to be in the sharing mood.
I think it’s also a great time to ask someone to follow you on social media. Kind of like asking them that if they liked this content that they can get more if they follow you on their preferred social network.
Tip #4. Offer Something For Free (In Exchange For Email)
I think it’s good to ask someone to subscribe to your email list after a blog post.
It’s like following you on social media.
It’s a way for them to get more content in the future.
But something I think takes it to another level is offering something they can get instantly if they provide their email.
This way they get future content and something immediately.
I’m thinking of a PDF. A guide. A checklist. A tip sheet. A whitepaper. A point of view your company has on an industry event.
Tip #5. Cliffhanger
Do cliffhangers drive you a little crazy?
But those TV shows are really good at using them.
I think it’s gotta be at least part of the reason for Netflix binging.
Anyway, you can use these in blog posts too.
You can promise something in a future post. You can close out the post with something like:
Stay tuned next week for my final thoughts on this topic…
The catch is that you have to deliver on your promise.
I find that patience is key.
Let’s say you have a great idea for a post. Instead of posting it all in one post, break it into two or three posts.
This way you can create cliffhangers.
TV shows do this. They create overarching stories for the season or even the series and it allows them to create cliffhangers.
Although I’m sure sometimes they’re winging it. Kind of forcing themselves to keep creating.
Tip #6. Don’t Do Too Much
A final tip on this point is not to try too much.
So many blogs have 2, 3 or even all 5 of the tips above. All at once.
If you give people too many options they’ll likely do nothing. They’ll just leave your site and do their own thing.
Leaving them with just one…maybe two…options doesn’t overwhelm them and makes them likely to take you up on your ending offer.
The title of a blog is important. That brings people in.
The blog post itself is important. That provides value to the reader.
The conclusion is often overlooked, but it also important. Don’t leave your readers hanging.
The tips above are some great ways to keep the conversation going with your readers.
And to close things out I’ll follow one of my own tips and link to some related posts I think you’ll like: