call to action

How to Write A Good Blog Outline

Just like writing a great paper, writing a great blog post starts with a solid outline. Outlines are the vehicles that drive the writing process. It is essential to have a working outline before writing a blog post to avoid confusion and disorganization. Follow these 6 simple steps to write a good blog outline:

What’s the Big Idea?

The big idea of a blog post is similar to the thesis of a paper. It is the central point and unique angle to the post. You need to determine what it is that you are trying to do for your audience. Remember this when determining your big idea: you want to either motivate, educate or inform your audience. Deciding which of these you will do will guide your outlining and writing.

How did you come up with the idea for the blog post? Did you feel inspired on the topic or did you read an article online or in print? Whichever it is, make sure you back up your points with a solid understanding of the information you are presenting. Make yourself credible by adding in statistics, quotes, or other related information.

Title it.

Next you need to create a working title. The most important rule with creating a great title is to be as specific as possible. You can always come back and reword the title, but for now you need to have a good idea of what you will be writing about specifically. For more information on writing a blog title your viewers will love, click here.

Write it Out.

This is where you are creating a basic understanding for the body of the post. This can be done in sentences, bullets, or headings and subheadings. Try one of each until you figure out which is most comfortable for you. Either way, you need to create main points, and then sub points (and if necessary, points for sub points). Always check to make sure each point is supporting the big idea, and change accordingly.

You can also add in any specific details you want to address in your post when you’re completing this step. Make a not of where it will fit, and you can work it in when you’re officially writing your post.

Revise and Reorganize.

Now that you’ve written the main ideas down for your post, you need to step back and make sure it flows coherently. Rearrange as necessary, and check for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes as you go.

Links, Links, Links.Links, links, links

If you can, look for links that relate to other posts you’ve written. You can also link to other sources with similar topics that may help your audience gain a better understanding of the topic you are writing about.

Fill in the Blanks.

Now that you’ve created the body of your outline, it’s time to go fill in the blanks. This is where you will write your main ideas in one word for both the introduction and conclusion of your post. You can also think about ways to transition between main points, if necessary. Lastly, remember to include a call to action in your conclusion.

 

If you follow these 6 simple steps when writing a blog outline, you are sure to write a smooth and straightforward blog post. If you need help with social media management and blogging, Divvy can help! We provide personalized service and help in these areas, as well as other areas of digital and print marketing. Find more about Divvy here or fill out the contact form below.

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Cards on the Table – Business Card Mistakes to Avoid

Business cards are a great way to introduce your company, brand, and yourself – but with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure you are avoiding these common business card mistakes.

Poor or Cheap Design

Your business card is meant to leave an impression, don’t let it be the wrong one by passing out a card that isn’t top quality. Otherwise, people will get the impression that your business (and even you) aren’t top quality either. Invest in a unique design that identifies with your brand.

Too Much Pressure

Once you have your professionally designed business card, make sure to keep your tone and attitude professional as well. Avoid forcing people to take your card. Your card will create a first impression, but so will you, and you don’t want it to be that you were pushy or overbearing. Instead, give out your card upon request, or when exchanging numbers. Otherwise, it’ll more than likely end up in the trash.

No Engagement

Business cards are a tool to opening conversations, continuing conversations, or closing conversations. They are not meant to be used solely as a conversation. Be sure to take the time to get to know the people you are giving your card to. This might mean stepping out of your comfort zone. Too shy for marketing? Consider these alternatives.

Assuming People Will Call You

A business card gives people a chance to call you, but that doesn’t mean they will. If you feel like you and a potential client really have the same goals, be sure to ask for their information (or business card) in return.

Need Help?

If you’re struggling to design your ideal business card, or need help with your marketing approach, contact us. We’ll help you develop your business cards and strategies.

 

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Create a Powerful Call to Action in 4 Steps

No matter how creative we get about it, the thing we are asking for is one click.

What’s the biggest mistake people make with their calls to action?

Not including enough action.

A call to action is a link that tells your customer what you’d like them to do, and how to do it. It should excite and encourage the viewer so that they feel comfortable enough to fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter, etc.

In order for a viewer to follow a call to action, they need to know what you’d like them to do (the call) and how to do it (the action).

Make the Call Stand Out

You are drawing people to your website (blog, etc.) for a reason. Once the viewer finds their way there, make sure that reason is clear. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Like you on Facebook? Tell them.

Direct your reader’s attention to the call by making it stand out from the rest of your page. Use a button, a phrase, or contact form, etc.  Use colors that still match your brand, but set the call apart enough that readers don’t have to search to find it. They did the work of visiting your website. It’s your turn to work, and tell them why they came.

Keep the Action Phrasing Simple

The call to action phrase needs to be clear and concise. Don’t stop your viewer from clicking that link by slowing down the call to action with difficult words or long sentences that might intimidate viewers and scare them away. Try to keep your call to action below five words, such as “Request a free Quote” “Buy Now” “Get a Free Sample” etc.

Eliminate Distractions

Once you’ve got your viewer where you want them to be, make sure there are no other distractions. If you’ve guided them to a page that tells them how to purchase your product, don’t decorate it with ads that might have the viewer clicking away!

Also, be aware that your own content might be a distraction! Don’t pull attention away from your main call to action with smaller, less important calls to action.

Avoid Being Spammy

A call to action is great, but there’s a reason it’s called a “call” to action, not “an attack” to action. Avoid spamming viewers with overenthusiastic action calls that pop up the moment a viewer steps onto your blog. Chances are that, like swatting away an annoying fly, the potential customer will click away without even glancing at the call to action.

Keep in mind that the efficacy of your call to action also relies heavily on your web content. Share information that answers your visitor’s questions and establishes your company as a source for helpful news and products. Once you’ve established credibility with them, getting them to take action becomes like asking a friend for a favor. They’ll be happy to do it.

Still Need Help?

We’re proficient in helping businesses become better. We can help yours too. Contact us in the form below.

 

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Creating Calls to Action That Convert Customers

Here is a scary fact: If someone leaves your website without subscribing to your blog, liking a post, or sharing your content, then your business just lost money.

Consider how many times that can happen every day? Take a look at your web traffic report and compare the vast amount of visitors with your sales leads. If you aren’t moving at least one out of every hundredth visitor to your website down the sales funnel, then there could be a problem with your calls to action.

Nearly every business with an online presence struggles with this; you’re not the only one, and luckily we have some solutions that may work for you.

Follow some of these rules and watch your web traffic convert into customers.

Have a clear call to action button

It’s surprising how many businesses fail to realize that the only way their website visitors will take action is if they are asked. In order for them to take action, you need to know what you want them to do.

If you want them to like your Facebook page; contact a sales associate; proceed to your online store; then create a button for it in the top half your screen. Direct your reader’s attention to the button by making it stand out from the rest of the colors on your page.

Remember to keep it simple. Don’t ask them to do too many different things. Figure out what is most important to you and your customers and stick with that one call to action.

What’s in it for them?

Imagine what your potential customer is going through. When they’re on your website what do they see? A slew of self-promotion? Or are you showing them helpful information on how your business can improve their life?

The efficacy of your call to action relies heavily on your web content. Share information that answers your visitor’s questions and establishes your company as a source for helpful news and products.

Once you’ve established credibility with them, then getting them to take action becomes like asking a friend for a favor. They’ll be happy to do it.

Perform an A/B test

The best way to verify your call to action is to compare results. Create two call to action messages and rotate them for a month or so. Monitor your web traffic and sales leads, then compare your findings.

If one call to action is consistently collecting more website visitors, then you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what matters most to your potential customers and this will help you develop your web content and create an even more effective conversion strategy.

If you’d like to talk about good calls to action, we’d love to hear from you.

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