Engage Your Readers with a Call to Action

call to actonBlogging Basics for Aspiring Authors: Lesson 14

Every blog post should have a goal. You should want to accomplish something with that post—to get your readers to think, feel, experience, or consider. If you accomplish that goal, you also should be able to ask you readers to do something. You should be able to provide a “call to action” and receive a response.

With a blogged book, however, every post is tied to the goal, or purpose, of your book. When you wrote the pitch for your book, or when you considered your own purpose for writing the book, you should have gotten clear on the purpose of your book. This is your book’s goal.

The Goal of Your Book

Indeed, every book has a goal—something you as an author want it to accomplish. Maybe it is supposed to provide your readers with 10 steps to better eating habits, a shared experience of the10 years you spent living on a dude ranch in Texas or a thought-provoking story in which aliens teach humans how to rebuild the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer. More than likely your book’s goal is closely tied to your own purpose in writing the book.

That purpose should be clear in your book pitch. If it’s not, you may meander and get off track when writing your book. You may not provide your readers with what they want or need. That’s why I suggest creating a pitch before you write your book. It hones your idea and helps you get clear on your goals and on the goals of your book. Then every post you publish of your blogged book will carry out that goal.

Use a Call to Action

If your goal is clear in each post, you can ask your readers to do something. You can clearly call them to action. In some cases, in particular with a blogged book, your call to action might be as simple a “Subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed.” In other cases, it might be, “Leave a comment,” “Tell me how can I improve my blogged book,” or “Do you have similar experiences to share with me? If so, please leave me a comment.” Later, when your book is finished, your call to action will be, “Buy my book.”

More often than not, however, your readers must feel they receive some benefit by taking action. This is the What’s-In-It-For-Me (WIIFM) element. Why should they do what you say? The WordPress plugin CommentLuv was created for this purpose. If it is installed on a blog, each time a reader leaves a comment, the link to that person’s last blog post (assuming they have a blog) is included with their comment. Because bloggers want to share the links to their posts as often as possible so they might attract new readers, this serves as an enticement to leave a comment.

With every post, be sure you consider your blogged book’s goal. Ask yourself: Did I fulfill my book’s goal with this post? Then, ask yourself if there is a call to action you can include at the end of your post. Tell readers what you want them to do next—even if it is simply to share your post on Twitter of Facebook (and make it simple to do this).

Delete these calls to action in your final manuscript, of course. As you publish your blogged book posts online, though, they will help you engage your readers. And in some cases you can check to see if you are achieving your book’s goal—if anyone is, in fact, taking action.

I’ll be sharing a lot more information about blogging books, and ebooks in particular, when I speak at the first live Digital Publishing Online Intensive. I’d love it if you would register for the event! You can attend from the comfort of your home and learn from me and eleven other digital publishing experts will be speaking along with me, such as:

  • Kathleen Gage – Internet Marketing Mentor
  • Lynne Klippel – Expert Book Coach & Publisher
  • Laura West – The Creative Thought Leader
  • Daniel Hall – Serial Entrepreneur and Webinar Master
  • D’vorah Landsky – Book Marketing Expert
  • Lou Bortone – The Video Master
  • Marnie Pehrson – Founder of Ignite Point
  • Sue Painter, The Confident Marketer
  • Jim Kukral – Best-Selling Marketing Author & Professional Speaker
  • Bob Jenkins – Internet Marketing Business Teacher
  • Kristen Eckstein – Expert Publishing Consultant

Also, bestselling author Guy Kawasaki will be the keynote speaker, and he’ll be giving away copies of his newest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book. If you are interested, here’s a coupon code for $50 off the current registration price: NINA50. You can register using this link: bit.ly/DPOI-NA

How’s that for a call to action? Anyone moved to act?

 

Trackbacks

  1. […] You can place your RSS Feed or email opt-in forms in any number of places. Usually RSS feed is at the top of a blog. It is now included in most social sharing plugins as well. Email forms tend to be included on sidebars or in prominent areas on blogs. I often choose to run mine after a post as well (see image above left), and find I get the most subscribers that way (even though it can be a bit redundant). You might try different forms in different places, and remember to use a call to action. […]

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