Every day I hear from bloggers asking how then can get their readers to subscribe, or “click here” or how can they get them to share their content. Here’s the deal: If you readers aren’t doing what you want them to do, you need to ask yourself three questions:
Question #1: What do you want your readers to do?
I see bloggers all the time who say they’re blogging “as a creative outlet,” and then they turn around and whine because they’re not getting any subscribers or they’re not making any money, and I’ve talked about this before – If you want to make money with your blog, then you need to own it. Quit giving yourself permission to fail.
Admit that making money is your goal and treat your blog like a business. A chef doesn’t say, “Oh, I really don’t care if I have customers, I just love to cook.” He has a lot invested in that restaurant – it’s a business, not a hobby, and you can darn well bet he cares whether or not he has customers.
Now, maybe you’re treating your blog like a business but you haven’t clearly defined your business goals and mapped out a blogging strategy. If that’s the case, then you’re readers aren’t doing what you want them to do because they’re probably just as confused as you are.
Question #2: Have you told your readers what you want them to do?
Before you write every blog post, determine what it is you want the reader to do when he finishes reading that post and write your content with that goal in mind. And each post will be different. Or, it should be, anyway.
Most of your visitors won’t search your site for more information. However, they’ll be very happy to follow your links if you point them to relevant articles deeper in your blog. Use anchor text links in the body of your post and a related posts plug-in at the end.
Most of your visitors won’t immediately subscribe to your blog or your newsletter, either. Most won’t even notice your opt-in form. Thye will, however, if you point it out at the end of your post and tell them to subscribe. Better yet, craft a post every week or so that talks about something cool you had in your newsletter and tell them to subscribe.
Want your readers to share your content? Tell them to share it. Don’t say, “IF you liked this post, please share it.” Just tell them – Share This Post With Your Friends!
Question #3: Have you made is easy for them to do whatever it is you want them to do?
- Use bold, contrasting colors for text links
- Use linked images in your sidebars to draw attention to popular posts
- Make sure your sharing buttons are prominently displayed
- Use a related posts plug-in to send readers to your archives
- Create a page to tell readers about your newsletter, don’t just point them to a form
- Use persuasive language to lead readers to your call to action
The key to getting your readers to do what you want them to do is to first define your blogging goals. If your goals aren’t clear in your own mind then you won’t effectively convey your message to your audience. Once you’ve defined your goals, don’t assume your readers are going to see a link and jump on it. Take them by the hand (with your content) and lead them directly to the link or the form, and then tell them exactly what you want them to do.