Call-to-Actions for Your Blog that Work

When I consult with contractors on their social media efforts, one item that I always suggest they include is a call-to-action.

At first, most contractors are turned-off by this idea because they see calls-to-action in a traditional marketing sense. They immediately think of those “info-mercials” from TV: “But wait! There’s more! If you call within the next 10 minutes, we’ll double your order …”

Let me be clear: This is not what I mean by including a call-to-action in your blog.

There is a way to develop a tasteful call-to-action for your blog –without sounding pushy – and to help build stronger connections with your readers.

Let’s first look at the three most common goals contractors have for blogging:

  1. Create awareness for your products and services
  2. Engage your audience (to build stronger connections)
  3. Grow your audience

All three of these goals move consumers further along the sales funnel – and making more sales is the ultimate goal.

Creating a good call-to-action may seem a bit tricky, but it is actually a whole lot of fun! Let me share some examples.

Goal #1: Create awareness for your products and services.

If you’ve just written a wonderful post on the benefits of cleaning and maintaining your deck (and you offer this service), you may want to mention this service at the end of that particular post – something like “If your deck needs washed and treated and you simply don’t have the time, call us at … We’d be happy to get that taken care of for you.”

By keeping the call-to-action casual, there is no reason to worry about being perceived as too sales-y.

Another approach I like I found from Rich Brooks, of Flyte Media. He signs all of his blog posts – which he changes depending on what he was writing about. In this first example, the blog post was on redesigning the Northern New England Poison Center so he signed it Rich Brooks, Maine Web Design – with links back to that page on his website.

In this example, he signs his blog differently:

 

Brooks keeps it fun yet still gently reminds visitors to his blog of the variety of services his company provides.

Goal #2: Engage your audience.

Ask questions at the end of post to get your readers talking – with you and with each other. This conversation will help them get to know you better and see you as a real person (and we all know that when all else is equal, we choose to do business with those we know, like and trust).

This question at the end of this post by Marcus Sheridan was meant to ignite conversation among readers (and it did … 44 comments as of this writing):

 Goal #3: Grow your audience.

Although blogging shouldn’t always be about the numbers, the truth is that the more people who are reading your blog, the greater the potential of new business coming your way – either directly or through a referral.

Growing your audience can come in many forms such as increasing the subscribers to your RSS feed or your email list. A simple call to action:  “If you found this information helpful, I invite you to subscribe to my e-newsletter by filling out your first name and email address in the box on the right.”

It can also be as simple as having those handy buttons to “share” at the bottom of the blog post and actually asking your readers to hit one of the buttons to share.

Finally, you never want to assume that your audience knows how to interact with you. Ask them (nicely) what you’d like from them, and in exchange, as they get to know you better, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Your Turn: What do you think about the methods I shared? Can you do this? What ways are you using calls-to-action in your blog? Please share with your comments below.

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About Tess Wittler

Tess is a copywriter and consultant for the construction Industry; proud military wife; ice hockey NUT (er, fan).

10 Responses to “Call-to-Actions for Your Blog that Work”

  1. Chris Spoerl May 2, 2012 8:30 am #

    Blogging takes time, effort without immediate results. However, if you continue to do it, “they will come”. Great article Tess, keep up the good work !!!

  2. Chris Haught May 4, 2012 7:58 am #

    Nice post and very good points! Building a community can be difficult, even more so if you make it hard to comment on and share on posts. Tess, your site is a good example of setting that up right!
    Chris Haught would like to share a recent blog post..Promar 200 ZERO VOC – The right paint for your homeMy Profile

  3. Alan Iles May 4, 2012 8:11 am #

    Excellent advice there. Was aware of the call to action idea, but have never been 100% sure if I had it right. The good news for me is I think my blog is ok :-)
    Alan Iles would like to share a recent blog post..Smartphones & Todays Painter & Decorator (& any other tradesperson)My Profile

    • Tess Wittler May 4, 2012 8:36 am #

      I popped over to your blog, Alan, and the calls-to-action that I saw were great!

      Bloggers simply need to remember to keep the conversation light and friendly and do those gentle nudges to encourage others to participate and share their ideas and experiences.

      Thanks for chiming in, Alan.
      Tess Wittler would like to share a recent blog post..Make a Lasting Impression by Giving Away ContentMy Profile

    • Chris Haught May 4, 2012 5:49 pm #

      Alan, your blog is looking great! Here is another great example of what Tess is saying about growing your audience. Because you are using a gravatar that was filled out, she was able to find out more about you. Knowing Tess, she has probably found you on Twitter and Facebook as well! Tess is a great resource for contractors and if you were not out commenting and communicating, your paths may have never crossed!
      Chris Haught would like to share a recent blog post..Promar 200 ZERO VOC – The right paint for your homeMy Profile

    • Alan Iles May 5, 2012 2:08 am #

      Wow, thanks for the feedback! Really appreciate it. Its great to get such positive comments from more experienced bloggers. Loving all this communicating and networking.

      Yes Chris, Tess has found me on Twitter and Google+ so far :-)
      Alan Iles would like to share a recent blog post..Smartphones & Todays Painter & Decorator (& any other tradesperson)My Profile

  4. Rich Brooks May 5, 2012 9:09 am #

    So funny! I was just writing an article about increasing your conversion rates and using call to action when my Google Alert on my name came in and alerted me to your article!

    Thanks for the props!
    Rich Brooks would like to share a recent blog post..How to Build a Powerful Company Page on LinkedInMy Profile

    • Tess Wittler May 5, 2012 9:45 am #

      Great to have you here, Rich. I’ve shared your signature example with a few of my clients (which I believe I learned on one of the Success Summit sessions you presented), and this non-threatening way of promoting other services really resonates with them. Thank you for the idea.
      Tess Wittler would like to share a recent blog post..Remodelers: Tips for Managing Social MediaMy Profile

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