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1. A question. You’ve probably read this hint before, but it actually works. When you ask a question at the end of your posts, you encourage your readers to leave a comment. Does every post need to end with a question? Of course not. But if you’re looking for comments, it can certainly help. Sure, you may feel a bit foolish if you ask a question at the end of your post and no one answers. (This has happened to me a few dozen times.) But if you’re patient, the answers may come weeks later. Even if they don’t, keep trying.

2. A Twitter tweet button. Simply critical. Twitter is a mecca for content sharing. Make it easy for followers to tweet your content by placing a tweet button at the end of your post. You can install a plug-in like Tweetmeme (for WordPress, TypePad and Blogger) or the official Twitter button. I personally use blog post tweet buttons multiple times per day—I tend to share content more readily when the button is right there in front of me. Hint: Press the tweet button yourself to see what it does. You may need to adjust the controls if the tweet doesn’t include your blog title or doesn’t include your twitter handle. (I learned that one the hard way.)

3. A Facebook “Like” button. Depending on your audience, a “Like” button could be another way for your posts to get exposure. The Like button made a huge difference on my company blog, which is an informational blog for parents. Parents love information, and they love Facebook. Put the two together, and that’s a nice chunk of Likes for the post. You can grab the Like button code from Facebook or use a WordPress plug-in.

4. A list of related posts. This sounds labor intensive, but it’s actually simple to do with a plug-in. Try the Yet Another Related Posts plug-in for WordPress or the more visually pleasing Link Within plug-in (although I couldn’t get Link Within to work on this blog and never heard back from their support team). [UPDATE: As of fall 2011, I've been using the nRelate Related Content plug-in, which I highly recommend. See it in action below.] These plug-ins use algorithms to come up with related posts by matching titles, tags and categories. Once again, related post links is a feature I use on other blogs all the time. It encourages readers to explore your blog rather than navigate away after reading a single post (FYI–Google calls that your “bounce rate”).

(Okay, so here goes… I’m ending with a QUESTION. Hopefully you will post an ANSWER in the comments. Hint, hint.)

What “end of post” plug-ins, buttons or other finishing touches have you found to be successful?

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9 thoughts on “Four Smart Ways to End Your Blog Posts

  1. Hi thanks for that post! I think it’s good to end posts with a bang, something that folks will really think about and will bring them back to your blog over and over.

  2. It’s embarrassing to end with a question that goes unanswered. But I do it anyway, sometimes, because I think reaching out to readers that way makes me look less…um…narcissistic.

  3. I found your post searching for others’ opinions on blog posts that end in questions. I personally find the tactic hugely annoying and patronizing. If I want to comment on a blog post, I will; I assume that’s what the comment feature is there for, and if you have comments enabled, you want them. Usually the questions people ask are really obvious and already implied by the content of the post — something like “what do you think about what I just said?” That’s why it comes across as just a pathetic plea for reader interaction. Good bloggers should be able to inspire that without begging for it.

    1. I agree that “What do you think about what I just said?” can be redundant and a blogger should always aim to have content that invites conversation with or without a leading question. However, I think, depending on the topic, your target audience and how it’s phrased, a question can spark conversation that otherwise may not occur. When done well, end-of-blog questions can set a conversational tone and indicate to your readers that you’re interested in what they have to say.

  4. I used to do a have a favorite [blog topic]? Leave it in the comments below.

    That type of conclusion seems to work well for a YouTube video, but it felt cheesy on my blog. Now I just try to end it with a final, more powerful thought that summarizes everything.

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