Today, we’re (after a ridiculous delay, sorry about that!) getting back to our walkthrough of the 7 reasons your business blog isn’t making any money ebook. Today, it’s because your articles don’t have a clear CTA (call to action).
What does call to action mean?
Transcript: A CTA is what tells your readers what action to take next. It can take the form of a phrase, a call to action button, or a form. You might think that your readers already know what to do next, but they’re thinking along the lines of “get a coffee” or "watch that video my cousin sent me”, and not of a variety of things that might help your goals.
The result of this is that you must remind them by suggesting they do something helpful to your goals and giving them a very, very easy way to do it. Under no circumstances divert their attention with pictures of steaming lattes or kitten videos.
Calls to action - doing it wrong
I was prodded into action today by a conversation I had with someone who attended (and loved!) one of my in-person courses. He was relatively new to blogging for business but was jumping in at the deep end, with a technical blog whose only reason for existence was to funnel new business.
That intention, however, wasn’t really echoed by the last paragraph/CTA of the blog post in question. It took the form of a rambly 6 lines with a grand total of 4 links. To be honest, it didn’t even look like he knew what he wanted his readers to do - so how can we expect his readers to stand a chance?
Call to actions - the nitty gritty
In its most basic form, making a call to action is easy. You all have your blog goals, right? Now, pick one, pick something reasonable that would help achieve this goal, and ask your reader to do it, providing them with one clear way to do so.
This CTA doesn’t have to be the same every time - ask what makes the most sense to ask your reader to do once they’ve read to the bottom of your article (hopefully). You need to make it as natural, interesting and easy as possible to do, which is where the single link comes from. Until you really understand the art of the CTA, don’t confuse matters with assorted call to action links, buttons or forms.
Calls to action - priming your efforts
People in the know maintain that creating CTAs is a bit of an art form, that can certainly be primed for success, improved upon and mastered. To get started, just ask your readers to do ONE thing, ONE way. As you get used to that, try refining the process with some of the following advice.
Use inbound marketing software?
If you use a content management tool (Hubspot comes to mind, but also Infusionsoft, Marketo, etc.), CTA help - and often testing options - come as part of the package. Check them out and run some tests.
- A/B tests that can be applied to CTAs - Hubspot
- Calls to action for small business - InfusionSoft
- Marketo's CTA templates
Got some cash to invest?
If you don’t use a tool like Hubspot, but your budget stretches to it, use a tool specifically for A/B testing and try out new CTA options to see what works best.
If there’s no budget, try your own A/B testing, using any of these articles as guidance. They might not refer specifically to CTAs, but you can probably adapt them.
- Split testing in Google Analytics
- A beginner's guide to A/B testing
- Budget tools for A/B testing
- DIY A/B testing
- Call to action button A/B testing to try
Not ready for testing?
Simply read up and get better at creating CTAs. Read here: