For many people, the most difficult part of writing a blog post is the conclusion. Conclusions can be tricky, but treating them as an afterthought is a recipe for reader apathy. In order to write more memorable posts, you need to finish with a bang.
The Importance of a Strong Conclusion
Like great sporting moments or dramatic performances, it’s the strong finishes that people remember most – the touchdown in the final minute or the crescendo at the end of a symphony. Unfortunately, many blog writers rush the conclusion and the post just fizzles out.
If you want people to share your blog post, talk about it and take further action, you need to put more effort into the conclusion. A compelling conclusion will:
- Encourage readers to leave comments.
- Boost subscriptions to your blog.
- Convert more visitors into leads.
- Increase click-throughs to other blog posts.
- Boost shares via social media.
- Keep more users engaged with your brand.
A Strong Conclusion Includes a Call to Action
Again, your article has a purpose. Whether that purpose is saving the tuna or informing a reader about a local insurance agency, your conclusion should encourage your reader to carefully consider and act on the information you’ve just presented.
There’s no one right way to structure a concluding paragraph, but there are certain guidelines you can following when putting one together.
- Start with a transition from the previous paragraph. In a regular conversation, you rarely just stop what you’re saying and say goodbye. The same is true with your website articles. Craft a good sentence that will move from the paragraph before to the conclusion.
- Give a more forceful version of your thesis statement. This is the place to really hit the reader with your message. State your intent strongly and plainly.
- State your final thoughts. Here, you should explain why your message is important and end the article.
There’s no right way to build a concluding paragraph, but there are plenty of wrong ways. Remember to keep your message as the most important part of your article. A conclusion will adequately end your article while giving your reader something to think about or act upon. Don’t just walk away from your reader; make your ending important.
A concluding paragraph is a way to say goodbye to your reader and make sure that the message you wanted to convey is presented one more time. Abruptly ending your article is the same as simply walking away from someone mid-conversation, so don’t do it. Use a conclusion to neatly bookend your article.
7 Conclusion Writing Techniques
1. Answer the Question “So What?”
Your article probably has an important message to deliver; after all, you’ve set aside time to actually write about it! So take the opportunity to say why your message is important. For instance, if you are writing content about reducing tuna fishing in the North Atlantic, you might want to mention how the extinction of tuna would affect the environment. Make the message the centerpiece of your conclusion and make a statement of that message’s importance.
One way to approach this is by asking yourself, “so what?” What’s the significance of the information your just shared?
2. The Summary
If you do nothing else, a quick review of your post is a simple way to end any article. But instead of simply summing up your main ideas, try to show how all your ideas fit together. In other words, synthesize, don’t just summarize.
Like a lawyer’s closing argument, your conclusion should tie together everything you’ve covered and really pack a punch. To find out the core issue of your blog post, ask yourself: “So what?” Then use the answer to drive home your message.
3. The Full Circle Technique
Look back at the introduction of your blog post. Are there any metaphors, images or anecdotes you can return to? By letting your introduction inspire your ending — perhaps by repeating a word or phrase — you can make your post seem more complete and give your audience a sense of closure.
4. The Pan to the Horizon
Try to tie your topic to a larger issue, or make the reader think about similar issues that relate to the main theme. This gives people something more to think about after reading your post. This technique is really useful for blog posts that are a part of a series. It’s a simple way to call attention to other related posts, or persuade readers to come back to learn more about a subject in future content.
5. The Question Master
At the end of many blog posts, the writer will ask the reader a question. It gets people thinking. For example, you could question their behavior and attitudes, or ask for further ideas in response to your article. This is a great way to encourage more comments on your blog.
6. Be Yourself
People are more likely to take notice if you reveal more of your personality. Being more emotional, transparent or even controversial will help set you apart from every other blog writer. Try writing the same way you speak. Include your own quirks of language and style, but avoid clichés. It will all help to make your conclusion more memorable.
7. The Phantom Ending Exercise
If you’re struggling to come up with effective conclusions, here’s a simple exercise to get your brain in gear:
Copy someone else’s blog post but leave out the last paragraph or conclusion. Now read the post and try to write your own conclusion. When you’ve finished, look at the original conclusion and compare it to your own. How does your version differ from the original? Is there anything you can learn from the original to make your version better?
Over to You
Everyone always talks about the importance of first impressions, but last impressions can pack a powerful punch. Strong conclusions make your writing more engaging, your ideas more memorable and inspire readers to take action.
Do your posts finish with a bang? If you find endings tricky, these techniques are a great place to start. Try them out when you write your next post, and see how your audience reacts.
Are there any special techniques you use to make conclusions more memorable? We want to know! Share your tips in the comments section below.