ac·tion·a·ble (ˈak-sh(ə-)nə-bəl) adj. Relating to or being information that allows a decision to be made or action to be taken.
So, you’ve just written up that great post on the new development in your neighborhood – or whatever it is you talk about on your website. Good for you, that is what the Internet is all about. Now, before you publish that web page do me one little favor – give your readers something to do with the information you’re giving them.
See, it is good to give your readers a lot of meaningful and useful content – the more useful the information, the better. It is even better to tell them how to use that useful information.
I’m a big fan of actionable content. A blog post that tells me how to do something is immediately more helpful than a news story about local market conditions. Actionable content is good content and it makes you almost immediately more relevant.
Rather than being the blog post someone reads and forgets about, you become the blog post that gets bookmarked or printed out for some upcoming project. You become the “go to” blog to help with all of their future needs.
It also gives your readers the possibility of an immediate return-on-investment. The investment being the time and energy it took them to read your blog post, the return being the results they’re going to get from doing what you suggest they do.
But that’s the key. You have to suggest they do it. Hell, you can even demand that they do it. But you can’t assume they know what to do.
use-ful (ˈyüs-fəl) adj. 1) capable of being put to use; especially : serviceable for an end or purpose 2) of a valuable or productive kind
Looking at your content, what is the takeaway value someone should get from it? Should they just file it away as reference material? Or is there some useful application of the information that they can put into effect almost immediately?
For some real estate bloggers, looking at content through the prism of actionable content is also a good way to decide whether it is content worth publishing at all. If your readers can’t do anything with the content – meaning they can’t use it – then how useful is it?
Here Are Three Basic Things You Can Tell Your Readers To Do:
1. How to Do Something
Give them an action plan to do whatever it is you’re talking about. Go into as much detail as necessary, but allow them to apply your information fully.
2. Next Steps and/or Further Reading
This is for those things where a complete action plan isn’t practical but you want to give them a nudge on what to do after reading your content.
3. Call to Action
Here we want them to make a decision and to take action on that decision. We want our readers to do something (hopefully simple) that is in direct relation to our content. It could be that we want them to inquire about some materials, or simply subscribe to our website – the point being we want them to do something. Ideally, we want them to take an action that turns them into a lead (send us an email, fill out a form, ask for information on a property).
Lastly, while it isn’t as helpful to the readers, almost all writers can always give their readers at least one thing to do, regardless of the content:
Ask them to tell you what they thought about your post.
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