Finding the best closing for a blog post is my biggest worry while writing. A good conclusion is said to be “the final piece to show the connections between all the points” of your blog post. But you can’t just repeat them or reword or paraphrase as it’ll then become too dull and boring. So how to write them? Is there a single solution for writing the perfect conclusion to your blog post?
There is. It could be summed up in a happy little word too – “CTA”. But before talking about CTAs, let’s answer a more basic question:
What is a Conclusion?
A conclusion is generally one or two paragraphs with three to four sentences in them that weaves your article together. You’ve created your blog post from a mere skeleton of an outline around the topic that you chose after careful consideration into the purpose of the post and some research. You’ve also managed to grab a good headline and a few opening sentences that’s able to attract some traffic and keep them hooked on your post.
You’ve then built your article on some strong foundation made up of headings and subheadings and also used some rich content to further increase the retention value of your post. Essentially the conclusion now helps to answer the question, “Now What?”
A good conclusion gives a concise summary of your entire post but also brings some new angle to look at it. It’s meant to provoke thought in your readers’ minds.
Much like with introduction, the conclusion can also be written using a lot of different techniques. But the things NOT TO DO while writing your conclusion includes:
- Merely repeating or rewording or paraphrasing the sentences from your introduction
- Introducing some new concepts while trying to give a new angle to look at the content already provided
- Fluffing (unnecessary lengthening) for the sake of making the conclusion look big
So how to write the ever elusive perfect closing for a blog post? There are indeed many ways to do that, depending on the type of blog post you’ve written.
Writing the Perfect Conclusion: Capture the Essence
The purpose of having a conclusion is to capture the essence of the blog post. It’s tempting to just use the same strategy everywhere but repeating the same thing again and again can be a big turn-off to the readers. So the best strategy here is to list the key takeaways from your content and showing how they connect together to give the most holistic view of your content.
This approach is suitable for most of the blog post types, barring maybe listicles and checklists because they tend to finish just fine with the last item of the list or checklist, requiring no extra effort from the writer.
Writing the Perfect Conclusion: Ask Something
Asking something at the end of your blog post can be a great tactic to initiate feedback. For example, if you’re writing about the top ten e-mail marketing tools in the post, asking “What tools are you using?” seems like a logical conclusion to it.
It’s easy to overdo this though and not all blog posts require you firing up questions at the end. Your readers may feel like they’re giving an exam, or worse, facing an interrogation.
Writing the Perfect Conclusion: Ask to Share or Subscribe
One way to get around asking your visitors questions is by, ahem ahem, asking them to share your post or subscribe to your newsletter. Be confident that your content is worth sharing and just ask for it. You’ll be surprised how many will share your post just because you asked for it.
Writing the Perfect Conclusion: End with a Quote
Quotes are inspiring, authoritative, credible and most of all memorable. A well-researched, relevant quote at the end of your blog post can show your readers that you’re giving a social proof from a famous person to validate your claims.
I remember creating fictitious quotes from a fictitious historian, Mr. Pal to use on the history essays during my school days. The times have changed now. Any information is literally within our fingertips now. So don’t do what I did. Get a real quote from a real person and make sure it is relevant to the message you want to deliver. Always mention who said so after the quote unless the quote is quite famous by itself, much like this Bob Ross quote I used at the end of my previous blog post.
Writing the Perfect Conclusion: Include Links
You can include links to both external and internal resources that seem relevant to your post. I’d say to focus more on internal links at the end of your post because it’ll take your readers to some other content in your page itself, increasing their retention and dwell-time on your site.
Writing the Perfect Conclusion: Give Sneak-peek to Future Content
People love getting teased with upcoming interesting content. You can simply close your blog post by sharing your future content plan with your readers.
Phrases like “Watch this space for more” or “Keep visiting my blog” can be used for providing such a glimpse into the future.
Writing The Perfect Conclusion: The One-stop Solution
The tactics described above are all good but with one problem. They are particular solutions, highly dependent on the type of the content itself. You’ll not always be prepared to give sneak-peeks to future relevant content or find relevant external or internal content to link to or find the perfect quote to finish every post with. Finding the right questions to ask is also difficult for every type of post there is. Asking for shares and subscribing can not be a viable approach every time as it soon becomes boring. You have to use a combination of these tactics separately, depending on the need of the hour. Or you can try a one-stop solution i.e. by including a CTA.
What is CTA?
CTA or Call-To-Action may these days be exclusively connected with advertising or marketing terminology but the idea behind it is simple enough. A CTA prompts someone to take some specific action you desire. In the marketing world, a CTA is meant to provide yet another opportunity to close a sale. A blog post on the other hand can have many different actions on offer by its CTA such as subscribing to the newsletter or buying some products or requesting more information or engaging in the comments section. It gives a CALL TO some specific ACTION, depending on the type of the post.
Closing with a CTA: WHY
You can certainly begin your blog post with a CTA, then have many different CTAs throughout the main body of the post but you must conclude with a CTA as your conclusion is the last thing your readers will see before leaving your page. Hence your conclusion is your final opportunity to urge them to take some action by leaving some final imprint on their minds.
Closing with a CTA: HOW
It certainly seems simpler when you think of closing your blog post with some sort of CTA. I mean you can:
- Ask for Feedback: This is probably the most common way a CTA is used to conclude a blog post. You have compiled all the information for your readers in your post. They might agree with you or not. How can you know their reaction if you don’t ask for feedback? While asking for a feedback, first restate the main points covered by your content and then say something along the lines of “What do you think about…”. Ask if they agree with your post or not. This can be a great way to boost engagement from your readers.
- Provide a Freebie: Giving away something at the end of your blog post can certainly help you in reader retention and extra value addition. In case of pillar articles, you can have the pdf version of your article for free download. Some other related e-books or research papers or a checklist can also be your gift options.
- Ask to Share or Subscribe: Yes, this is actually one approach that falls under the CTA category. You have to be careful with this approach as this may easily become boring if you end every post by requesting the same thing over and over.
So in this post I’ve tried to suggest some ways for writing a perfect conclusion to a blog post. I’ve tried to focus on CTA as a standalone solution for closing any type of blog post. I for myself have used or try to use a combination of the suggestions as I feel like that gives birth to a living, breathing content which makes both me and my readers happy. (Question: Are you happy with my content so far?)
You’ve probably also noticed that I use “Last Words” to declare the closing of my blog posts. Similar names can be used to describe this section, with “Conclusion” being the simplest option and “Verdict” being a very specific but almost necessary option (for review posts).
This post is part of the Write Them Right series which germinated from this little post. In the next and final part of the series, we’ll talk about proofreading and editing the content before hitting the “Publish” button. Keep visiting my blog and if you feel like this post adds value and needs sharing, please do so.