Let me introduce you to the CTA and show you how it can transform your content
by Brittany Taylor
published January 9, 2016
updated July 6, 2018
¶ Your blog is beautiful. It’s well-written. It’s getting more and more pageviews as the months go by. Why, you ask, does anything need to change?
Before I answer that question, I want you to sit down and maybe grab a hunk of chocolate. Got it? OK. I know you like seeing that upward trend on your Google Analytics graph, but honey bun, pageviews don’t mean anything unless they number in the zillions.
If you have a big check coming in regularly for display advertising, that’s one thing. But for most of us, our businesses blog exists for a reason: to generate new customers and (whoop whoop!) revenue. If that’s why you’re hitting publish every week, a call-to-action is the element your blog posts need to capitalize on every single reader’s captivated attention.
A call-to-action, or CTA, is something—a phrase, a graphic, a question, an opt-in form, a “buy” button—that instructs readers on what to do after they finish reading a blog post. An effective call-to-action is:
CTAs aren’t just blog things. In fact, they aren’t just publication things, either. They’ve been around in advertising for a long time. Infomercials use them (“Call now for a special early bird rate!”). Grocery store circulators use them (“Buy a dozen oranges before January 31 and get another dozen free!”). Lots of people selling things use them.
Blogs are able to wield them particularly effectively not just to hawk products or get readers to sign up for newsletters, but also to build community. They do it through the comment section, which is a long-standing element for all blogs, big and small. Sure, you can turn yours off. But with your comments left on—and with the advent of social sharing buttons—you can encourage readers to interact with you. That way, your message doesn’t end when your blog post does. It continues and evolves through conversations held both on your blog and off.
Sounds good, right? I know! But 70 percent of small business websites still aren’t using them, per Small Business Trends! That’s just silly.
Don’t be silly, be smart. Calls-to-action can be used in endless ways. These are 21 of my favorite tactics for online business owners to try on their own blogs.
Boom. Twenty-one ideas, no excuses!
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My name is Brittany, but my friends and clients call me "Britt." Online small business owners hire me to create content strategies and write their blog posts, email newsletters, and social media updates. I work with bosses around the world from the marshes of Charleston, S.C.
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