As bloggers, we often provide educational content with very few actionable triggers.
Sure, remaining somewhat subtle and not being very pushy is the best way to get results. However, you should also implement some of the following as a means to sell your main points.
Let’s look at various effective ways to create actionable content.
Speak of Results Early On
Remember, you have to catch readers’ attention quickly or risk losing them forever.
By speaking of results, you’re essentially giving them a sneak peak of what’s to come within your content.
For example, part of your introduction could say: “And before I knew it, my email list had grown by 1,759 members in just 30 days. But let’s start from the beginning and discuss what led to this monumental success…”
Now readers would be far more interested in sticking around thanks to that small, attractive tease.
Be Relatable (and Prove it)
To create actionable content, first you need to engage your audience and subsequently build trust.
People tend to listen more (and take action) when you genuinely relate to them and their issues.
So, don’t forget to mention how “you’ve been there” before and understand whatever problems a reader is looking to resolve
Talk about the specific pains and struggles you endured, the many trials and errors, and the way these challenges made you feel (as long as your words are genuine, of course).
In the above “list building” scenario, for instance, explain how only very few people were initially joining your newsletter and how this affected your professional (and even your personal) life, if applicable.
Also note that a good story always engages people, and this is exactly what you’re giving them as an added bonus.
Have you noticed how I have already given several examples so far in this article?
They can help engage readers because they provide more clarity.
In the case of newsletters, again, explain why you had failed before as well as some mistakes you notice other bloggers make (these serve as examples). Then correct said mistakes with the actionable steps you took.
If you don’t have that many personal examples, you can always rely on rhetorical scenarios and anecdotal evidence as long as you trust the source.
Don’t Forget Images
Entrepreneur Neil Patel regularly posts screenshots of his Google Analytics data. Countless bloggers never fear publishing similar images to help you track their progress…
I often read WikiHow articles and notice how they pride themselves in showcasing images in their tutorials. And although images should be a standard thing by now, they still make it clear by using titles like, “How to Change a Lightbulb (With Pictures).”
Whether your pictures show off hard data or are merely there to accompany your post, include as many as needed to create actionable content that readers won’t easily forget.
Don’t you love seeing actual stats in articles? In fact, Altimeter revealed that 99% of companies are now using data to produce marketing content (see what I did there?)
Statistics and hard facts are perhaps the most essential part of actionable content. This presents readers with information they can’t deny.
Plus, numbers tend to be strangely intriguing – whether you talk about money, list growth, or other subjects.
Use Other Engaging Visuals
I am subscribed to several newsletters and have noticed how more and more are relying on animated GIFs and memes. While this doesn’t directly lead to taking action, it engages people enough and keeps them hooked.
Also, remember that YouTube is a goldmine for blogging-related material, whether your content is about productivity or other related topics.
Create a table of contents: This is essentially a content map to put people at ease and making your information more predictable.
Summarize: Close your main body with all the highlights, lessons and takeaways you had previously discussed. This recap helps readers remain engaged and ultimately take action.
Ask away: How do people take action once they trust you? By following instructions. Ask for people to sign up to your newsletter after convincing them with your content. Ask them to buy. Ask them to share. Be direct!
How do you personally create actionable content these days? Do you have additional tips to share?
Author: Elvis Michael
Elvis Michael is an avid blogger and e-trepreneur, endlessly exploring new ideas and effective ways to inspire.