So you’ve written an amazing post, you’ve got great content, you’ve checked everything off your pre-publish checklist, and you hit publish. Your reader finds your post online, gets intrigued by your headline, clicks through, reads the post, loves the content… and then what?
If they’re anything like the typical reader, they will look around for something to catch their attention, and if nothing does, they will leave. That’s why you see a lot of blogs that have a related or top posts section towards the end of each post so that the reader is lured in. But, before the reader leaves the post and moves on to your next brilliant article (like you want them to) wouldn’t it be nice if they commented first? There’s one simple way to double the chances of this happening and ensure that all your readers will consider leaving a reply.
To make this happen, it’s as simple as ending each post with a question, or in design terms, a call to action. In this case the action would be commenting or replying, and you are literally calling out to your readers to do so. It’s one thing to write a thought provoking post, but it’s another to directly ask your reader a question and let them know you want to hear their answer.
So, how do you think of a question that will sum up your post and ask a question your readers will want to answer? Think about your post and what you’ve discussed. Think about what some opposing views might be. Think about some things that you might have missed. Ask for opinions or suggestions or other ideas. Give your readers the power to add to the post – maybe they come up with points you didn’t think to include and you can update the post with the new information.
I never used to add questions to my post, but reading and browsing lately I’ve been noticing that when other bloggers end with a question I am more inclined to respond. Not only is it because I know they want me to respond, but because I don’t have think of something to say, I can just answer the question and my comment will still be relevant and interesting. So, I decided to put this strategy into action on my own posts. I even styled a separate heading format just for my CTA’s so that they stand out against the rest of the text.
Asking a question and creating a direct call to action can be a great way to end a post and engage readers. If you’re hesitant about the idea, try adding a question a few of your new posts and see how your comment numbers compare to posts without question. And don’t forget to let me know if you have a surge in comments with your new call to action. I’d love to hear about it!