Everybody focuses on the intro, and for a good reason. However, you risk losing visitors quicker than they came without knowing how to end your blog post. We’ve got a simple formula for writing conclusions plus a myriad of examples that’ll help you maintain engagement, keep them on your site longer, and crush writer’s block.
What’s the Best Way to End A Blog Post?
Your business goals should determine what goes at the end of a blog post. There’s no hard and fast rule. But we can unpack some approaches (and why they work) you can try the next time you sit down to write.
Let’s start with a simple three-part framework, and then we can build upon that.
- Desired outcome
- Recap main points (~3), which would probably be your first three h2s
- Call-to-action (CTA)
Restate the desired outcome: Whatever solution your intro promised, include it here. So, if you talk about how making more money leads to financial freedom, say that.
Recap primary h2s: Your main points will typically be your top three subheaders (or h2s). For example, your post could’ve mentioned where to look for high-paying jobs, gigs that don’t require a degree, and mistakes to avoid.
Close with a call-to-action (CTA): Tell your readers where to go when they finish your article. It’s one of the best ways you hold their attention, especially if they’re enjoying your blog content, reducing the friction and leading them to the next spot in your sales funnel.
Let’s put it into practice and align your ‘close’ with your marketing strategy.
1. Use A Call-to-Action (CTA)
It’s far more advantageous to suggest to your readers where to go next than to end your article without offering any recommendation.
We’re all lazy and like being told what to do. But, especially in the digital age, with so much information overwhelm, you’ll distinguish yourself because readers won’t have to hunt down content; you’ll simply lead them.
Your CTA could mean signing up for a newsletter, starting a free trial, or simply linking to another blog post.
For example, our blog has an opt-in box at the end of every post to help build our email list.
To run a blog like a business; this should be part of any blogger’s content marketing strategy.
TIP: Try to give them one call to action only so they’re not overwhelmed with choices. Too many, and you get what Barry Schwartz calls the Paradox of Choice. On the other hand, sometimes less is more, and singular CTAs tend to have higher conversion rates.
2. Ask Readers A Question
This is a simple thing you can do to create a dialogue with your audience. It can either be a specific question addressing one of your post’s main points or something general, such as asking if you missed something.
Everybody has an opinion, and most jump at the opportunity to share theirs. Asking your readers questions brings the benefit of discovering new topics they want.
Check out how Nick Churick at Ahrefs closes his final h2 with the question, “What did I miss?”
Then, he encourages a discussion by pinging him on Twitter.
Ask readers to reply in your social media platform of choice (or whatever the easiest way to connect with you is). Be specific with your ask.
For example, ask them what strategy they plan to implement if your post listed ways to accomplish a task. Alternatively, ask their biggest obstacle if your post details common problems people in your industry face.
You can also ask them to reply in your blog’s comments section. Brian Dean does with nearly every post he writes and gets lots of responses:
3. Create Curiosity Gaps
A curiosity gap (sometimes called an ‘open loop’ or ‘cliffhanger’) is what Copyhackers CEO Joanna Wiebe calls “the space between what we know and what we want or even need to know.”
You can use curiosity gaps in your headlines to get people to click, email subject lines to get them to open, and even with your conclusions to tease new information you’ll soon release in your next blog post.
It works like this:
Whenever you’re ending a blog post, give your readers a preview of the key takeaways in your next article without giving away anything specific.
For example, if you’re writing an article about bodyweight strength training and your upcoming post details how to do a proper pull-up, you could write something like this:
Thanks for reading part one of our four-part strength training series. Be sure to check out next week’s post when it drops, as we’ll detail proper pull-up form. A few things we’ll cover:
- How this one grip adjustment will 10x your strength (and why most people never do it)
- Pull-up vs. chin-up and how to use both for massive gains
- Why bicep curls are overrated and what you should do instead
Notice how I preview what they can expect to learn without giving specifics. You can create ‘open loops’ like this to generate excitement around your upcoming content.
Sidenote: You can also use this approach with YouTube videos and podcast episodes.
4. Summarize Your Post
Recap what you wrote in your conclusion. It’ll help solidify your article’s main points. People forget most of what they read unless they take notes (and most of us aren’t doing that when reading online).
I’ll demonstrate with a quick test: What was the second action item from this list? I’ll wait.
Do you remember? Props to you if you did. I know I didn’t – and I wrote it ; )
For example, if your post covered “what kind of affiliate marketing content converts best” and “how to optimize existing affiliate content,” including those in your conclusion ties a lovely bow around your article’s last words.
So, you might write:
In this post, you learned what kind of affiliate marketing content converts best, how to optimize existing affiliate content, and what mistakes to avoid. Starting a profitable site isn’t impossible, but it’ll take some hustle. So, by implementing the steps written here, you’ll be on your way.
6. Link to Another Blog Post
I’m a fan of linking to related posts in the closing text. But we also have a “Recommended Reading” section just beneath the article’s conclusion that links to relevant content.
It’s a catch-all for those who might skim past the text link in the closing. Plus, adding this reduces friction and improves the odds they’ll stick around.
You can also mix it up the way Clever Girl Finance does in her conclusion. Her final subheader asks a question, and then she uses text links that send readers to more content.
So, what are some relevant pieces of content you can connect readers to that’ll keep them on your site longer?
5. Issue A Challenge
Using a challenge can spark inspiration in your readers. Plus, it might just get them excited about what you wrote.
Whether it’s about wellness, money-saving tips, or fitness, issue a challenge to create more buzz. A few examples could be:
- Saving 10% of their paycheck for one year
- Cooking at home for 30 days
- Meditating for seven minutes per day for seven days
This one also tries to dispel common myths with the phrase “forget what you’ve heard about [topic].”
Tip: Use phrases like “forget about what you’ve heard about…” or “most people think that [topic] is [insert common misconception]. But it’s really about [true statement]. Phrases like these get more people curious about what you’re selling.
You can also try ending with a video to keep their attention, like this post about building website credibility.
He ends by giving you the end goal of getting them to believe and also issues a reminder. But then offers a bonus to watch him talk about the topic right there.
7. Promote Your Products or Services
If you’re selling something, your conclusion could be where you tell them to buy.
For example, on Slack’s blog, their h2 subheader includes the action item “Transform your digital HQ.”
They’re speaking to people who want this desired outcome. What benefit could your conclusion’s h2 include?
You can also try sending them to a features page.
For example, our WordPress plugin, Lasso, integrates nicely with Amazon’s Associate’s program. So, we promote that feature on all of our Amazon-related content.
We even use our high-converting product displays (like the screenshot below) to do it.
8. Add An Update to Fluid Topics
Particular industries change often. Tech is a prime example, as is SEO. You can demonstrate you’re staying up-to-date with trends by continuously including updates to your blogs’ endings.
For example, Orbit Media adds a blip about COVID to its blogging stats article since it’s a new, ever-changing phenomenon.
9. Ask for A Share
If social sharing is one of the KPIs you’re tracking, then you need to ask for it frequently – including your post conclusion.
Harry’s Marketing Examples contains so much helpful information for marketers.
And at the end of every post, he asks readers for some love, accompanied with social sharing icons just below his text:
Tip: Track the number of social shares using a tool like Ahrefs
Head to Content Explorer, type your article’s topic into the search field, filter by your domain, and then sort by Twitter or Pinterest shares.
Head to Content Explorer, then:
- Enter your topic in the search box
- Add your domain
- Sort by Twitter or Pinterest shares
10. Reward Them with A Content Upgrade
Give your readers a bonus when they get to the end. Steve Kamb’s blog, Nerd Fitness, concludes with a call to action in the form of an opt-in to get a strength training guide in their post about doing a proper pushup.
Then, he transitions into asking for comments. So, it’s beneficial to create engagement at every turn.
You can try this with your site. First, give something away in exchange for their email address. Then, make it eye-catching by using an opt-in box.
Then, ask to hear from them. Perhaps ask what they’re struggling with or what action step they plan to take next.
11. Use Data to Drive Your Argument Home
Conclude your post with a stat because people love data. Think about it, when you see a post citing some analytic figure, you’re more likely to believe it.
For example, if your post is about whether affiliate marketing is dead, your final subheading could be “71% of brands rely on affiliate marketing & so should you.”
This argues your main point of why it isn’t dead and builds credibility.
12. Look to the Future
Give readers a snapshot of how the state of your industry is doing like the below example. This can strike either an optimistic or pessimistic tone, depending on what you want to convey.
For example, this piece dives into Indian e-commerce then concludes with a bright future.
This also gets them to imagine their place in the industry and how they can play a part.
Sidenote: Future pacing is a tactic used many times in sales pages. Many times it’ll use words like “imagine,” “what if,” or “think about.”
Alternatively, you could issue a warning like Lasso founder Andrew did in this closing about using secondary CTA buttons.
13. Keep Your Subheading’s Keyword Phrase
Instead of using the subheading ‘Final Thoughts’ or ‘Conclusion,’ use your keyword phrase, make it actionable, and align it with your main argument. Be intentional with where you want them to go next.
For example, if your post targeted the keyword “content calendar,” and your angle focused on doing it with specific project management software, your last h2 could be:
Create your content calendar with Asana today
14. Leverage the 7 Deadly Sins
Remember that Sarah McLachlan commercial about animal cruelty? It featured Sarah’s ballad “Angel” playing in the background while tragic and tortured images of cats and dogs displayed on your screen.
They created that ad to stir emotions. Whether it was anger or sadness, the producers hoped it would get you to donate to the ASPCA.
And it worked. That ad generated over $30 million for the organization.
Your article can do something similar. Try using one of the seven deadly sins in your content:
Advertisers target specific emotions with nearly every campaign. It’s also a huge reason why certain content types go viral.
For example, an ad centered on a person’s ‘pride’ might make them feel like they’re the best for using the product, while ‘sloth’ targets folks looking for the easiest solution possible.
Or, it might make them say, “Aww, that’s so cute,” or, in the case of the McLachlan ad, “That’s horrible! How can I help!?”
Rolex sells status, not watches.
Supreme sells scarcity, not clothing.
Harley-Davidson sells a lifestyle, not bikes.
Apple sells simplicity and style, not electronics.
Great marketing teams sell feelings, not products.
— Charles Miller (@writingtoriches) August 25, 2021
15. Ask Them to Join Your Community
A good brand makes you feel like you’re part of a club. If you’re trying to build a community of like-minded individuals, ask them to sign up to your online community.
This might be a Facebook group, members-only Slack channel, or something else. You could make it look attractive by saying you’ll feature content inside that you won’t publish on your blog.
I joined a Slack community focused on content marketing because they offered it at the end of a blog post.
16. “Already + Still” Your Readers
This technique works because it mentions what you’ve done without getting results. We’ve all experienced that frustrating feeling of trying something, hoping it would solve your problem – and it didn’t.
It speaks to the “tried and failed” crowd. And it’s one of the quickest ways to get them nodding in agreement with you.
Here’s the framework:
[thing you’ve done hoping for a desired outcome], but you’re still
[negative result persists].
Here’s an example:
You’ve already added affiliate links to your blog posts, but you’re still not seeing the revenue gains as you’d hoped.
You could tweak that to fit your post’s conclusion by adding a sentence like:
No worries. Many people experience this – you’re not alone. However, if you do the steps outlined in this article, your site will see profit quicker than most.
Bonus: Use an FAQ section
I’ve used this on our sites and seen others practice at the end of their pieces. Typically, you’re trying to capture more keywords and answer more search queries to attract more traffic.
Many times, simply answering Google’s People Also Ask questions is a great way to do it.
Alternatively, you can answer common questions your readers have via niche forums and online communities – it’s not always about Google. It’s about where your readers are.
Any post type qualifies for this. Here’s an example from an article about the best cocktail syrups from Liquor.com
They conclude their post then present an FAQ section just below it.
How to End A Blog Post Like A Pro
You don’t want to lose visitors because your site is challenging to navigate. Give your content as much “screen time” as you can and extend its shelf life with easy navigation and thoughtful internal linking.
Now it’s only a matter of implementing these templates into your blog’s endings and sending your readers to the next logical progression in your funnel.
Curious to learn more writing tips? Read this.
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