Blogging regularly is an essential part of just about any content marketing strategy.
If it’s your job to write those blog posts, you’ve probably gotten stuck a time or two.
For whatever reason, it seems that intros and endings are the toughest spots.
How should we get into the topic, and how do we get out of it in a way that sounds natural? It’s way too easy to ramble on for too long or to drop off abruptly.
If you’re struggling with the perfect end to your blog posts, maybe you just need a bit of inspiration.
Check out these top methods for how to end a blog post!
Each one makes it easier to be purposeful and memorable. And, most importantly, these tips drive user actions or further engagement.
Ready to dive in? We’ll start with a classic: the CTA.
1. Use a CTA
It’s a classic by now, but for good reason: closing out your blog post with a call to action (or CTA) is a proven, effective strategy.
Especially if you’re selling a product or seeking to book appointments, sales demos or something similar, the call to action is hard to beat.
If you’re using search engine optimization (SEO) principles appropriately, the prospect got to your blog post because it solves a problem they have or provides information they need.
Think about it: how did you get to this blog post?
Maybe you’re just a massive Rock Content fan (if so: aww, shucks!).
But much more likely, you’re trying to figure out how to end your blog posts, right? And Google provided this post as an answer to your question.
Now, of course we’re happy to help! We want to provide real value to you in this post.
But, at the end of the day, we want to help you even more. We want to turn some of you into clients.
And that’s what the CTA can do: nudge a reader whose problem you solved into taking the next step toward becoming a paying customer.
Basic text CTAs
The most basic form of a CTA is purely text-based.
It might look something like this:
Now that you’ve read this post, you know exactly what a widget is and what widgets are used for. ABC Widgets has been a proud producer of top-quality widgets for 85 years.
Ready to learn more? Browse our prodigious collection of artisan widgets!
(That last part would then be a link to your awesome online widget store.)
You can use this kind of CTA for literally anything linkable:
- Sign up for a newsletter (email address harvesting).
- Schedule a demo of your software or service (lead gen).
- Sign up for your service (including paid services).
- Read more on a topic/download a white paper (again, email address harvesting).
- Schedule an appointment (medical, dental, home services, and so on).
- View a product or category page.
Whatever action you want the reader to take, if it’s linkable, you can make it into a CTA.
Button- or image-based CTAs
Even better than a basic text CTA is one enhanced with imagery.
No matter how great your wrap-up, your readers are going to get a sense of what you’re doing. Some of them will skip your final paragraph entirely.
An eye-catching visual CTA grabs their attention one more time, leading to better results.
Want to see what we mean? Here’s an example:
Putting a graphic-based CTA on every blog post can get resource-intensive, so some brands save them for high-profile pages.
2. Ask a Question
Ending your blog post with a question can be a way to generate interest and discussion — but there are some important caveats with this one.
Here’s how this method looks:
We hope you enjoyed our how-to post on buying widgets. But we’d love to hear from you: what works, what doesn’t? Did we leave anything out? Are there widget-buying strategies you’d like to see included here?
For situations where you truly want to engage with your readers, ending on a question is a great strategy to get them talking.
That said, the difficulties with this method are obvious even from our example.
First, most business blogs aren’t set up in a traditional blog format, where users can comment and discuss directly beneath the post.
If your site isn’t set up to receive comments, then asking readers to share their thoughts can seem hollow and disconnected if there’s no way for them to actually share their thoughts.
Second, ending on a question can sometimes subvert your authority.
You should have written the post so that it covered everything important. And if you did, why are you asking your readers to correct you?
Asking a question can be an effective way to end a blog post — but only in the right situations.
Most of the time, it’s a better strategy for wrapping up a social post.
3. Use a Cliffhanger
Want to know what a cliffhanger ending looks like in a business blog post?
Check back next week to find out!
(See what we did there?)
The cliffhanger strategy withholds some key bit of information or sense of conclusion.
It’s been a staple of serial TV dramas and has recently re-emerged in the world of scripted podcasts.
And sometimes it can work well to close out a blog post — but not always.
The cliffhanger can work well if you have a dedicated, stable audience. A good group of readers that specifically comes looking for your updates.
But cliffhangers can interfere with SEO strategy if you aren’t extremely careful with them.
Google wants to solve searcher intent.
If your post seems like it’s going to answer a user’s query but then doesn’t, your non-dedicated reader (and Google) isn’t going to appreciate it.
If you use the cliffhanger for SEO purposes, just make sure you answer the searcher’s intent. The cliffhanger needs to be about something else.
For example, suppose you want someone to find your blog post by asking Google, “best widget for my Thingamabob 3000”.
You’d better make sure that post explains which widget or widgets are best, and why exactly. You can’t use that as the cliffhanger.
Now, maybe the cliffhanger can be about your unreleased, even better, Widget Ultra 2.0. But the post itself must answer search intent.
4. Produce a Teaser
Cliffhangers can be fraught with problems in business blogging, but teasers are very similar and avoid most of these issues.
If your blog is on a content calendar, you know right now what you’ll be posting next week (and the week after, and so on).
If your next post relates well to this current one, you can generate interest in that future post by teasing what’s coming.
As long as your current post is quality and comprehensive, your readers won’t feel deprived like they might with the cliffhanger.
For blogs that aren’t themselves tied to hard sells or obvious CTAs, a teaser of what’s to come can keep your audience interested over the long haul.
Ultimately, you want to create a blog that isn’t just transactional (answering isolated questions). You want to create an environment that’s so valuable to readers that they keep coming back.
The teaser can help you here, showing readers that your blog is full of genuinely great content — not just one piece that happened to answer their current question.
5. Summarize your Post
If you want to remind readers what they’ve learned over the course of the post, a summary conclusion can be an effective strategy.
Restate the main points of the post, in fresh language and with actions associated where possible (like mini-CTAs).
This strategy can be especially effective for long, complex posts, where a reader may not remember all the early key takeaways.
Like some others, this one comes with warnings. This isn’t college, and your blog posts should never end like a first-year college essay.
Your readers are busy. They don’t want to rehash exactly what you already told them.
So when using the summary strategy, make sure it feels purposeful and provides some kind of additional value.
Wrap Up: Blog Post Conclusions Are Just One Part of a Broader Content Strategy
Constantly asking how to end a blog post can be a pain.
But getting unstuck is a huge win — both for your own productivity and for your brand’s content strategy.
We hope these strategies help!
Blog post conclusions — and blog posts themselves — can be vital weapons in your company’s marketing strategy, but they don’t accomplish much on their own.
For maximum effect, your blog posts (conclusions, too) need to be part of a winning broader content plan.
Want to learn more about how content is leading the marketing rebellion?
Join Mark Schaefer of B Squared Media and Rock Content’s own Audrey Ross for a Jam Session on the importance of content experiences!