Last Updated on August 21, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
Not everyone puts thought into writing a conclusion for their blog posts or articles. However, it’s a vastly important element, especially if you’re trying to build an audience. In fact, the conclusion is almost as important as your introduction.
Now, it’s true that not all of your readers are going to make it through the end of a blog post or a piece of content you write. But, it’s those who do that you want to engage in the closing statements.
Today, I’ll show you how to write a conclusion that connects better with your online readers.
Keep in mind that I’m referring to online content, such as in blog posts or when writing content for clients on systems like Textbroker. Creative conclusions, essays, and other papers are going to need a different approach.
What is a Conclusion?
A conclusion is the final element of creating content. It comes after the main body and should wrap up the article while bringing a sense of completeness to the piece. It’s meant to highlight key takeaways and promote engagement for the reader.
You wouldn’t read a book if you knew the author never bothered to include the final chapter. You wouldn’t know how the story ends.
In a sense, that’s the same concept behind writing a conclusion.
It provides an end to your “story” with the potential of getting the reader to find more of your work.
How to Write a Conclusion to a Blog Post or Article
Setting up a conclusion isn’t all that difficult, once you have the outline of what you need. It’s not a very long piece of content, but you’ll still need to provide a sense of closure.
So, what goes into creating this outline, and what do you need to create something that sticks with your audience?
1. Set Up the Header
The first element of a winning conclusion is the header. This is the bold text that appears right before the final words of your article. It needs to display an obvious end to the piece you’re writing.
Normally, I use the same header tags for the conclusion as I do for the start of the article. So, if I use <h2> in the first statement of the content, I’ll use the same for the end.
This delivers a nice symmetry while showing up well when using a table of contents plugin or when trying to appear in Google’s Featured Snippets.
2. Briefly Explain the Importance of the Content
Reiterate the importance of the content. Ask yourself, “why would anyone need to read this piece?” And then, try to answer that question using the context in the body.
It helps to bring the conclusion back around to directly complement the introduction. You don’t want to go over the same information, but you do want to make sure the audience feels the connection between the beginning and the end of the piece.
You should be able to break down your article within a few sentences. It doesn’t need a lot of detail, because that’s what the body is for. However, the conclusion should still express how important the information is to the reader.
3. Summarize Key Elements when Writing a Conclusion
Part of writing a conclusion effectively is providing a summary of the key parts of the body. You can do this in a few sentences or take a more unorthodox approach.
For example, I’ve seen writers conclude articles using things like short bullet lists detailing the key parts of a post. Sometimes, they’ll even include internal anchor links to jump back up to those sections.
The point is that you want to include the vital segments of your post and what the reader should have learned by reading them.
4. Include a Call-to-Action
A call-to-action, or CTA, is a segment that prompts the user to do something. Adding one to the end of the piece may result in the visitor reading more content, buying a product, or following social media accounts.
This doesn’t have to be anything major. Something as simple as “for more information, check out my other blog posts” is often more effective than you might think.
Of course, the CTA is different depending on the article you’re writing. But the idea is the same: get the reader to perform an action.
5. Involve the Reader
Getting the reader involved adds a personal element and creates a more thought-provoking experience. This is why so many YouTubers will directly ask viewers questions while prompting them to leave a comment on the video.
This element provides a sense that someone’s opinion or thoughts are important to the creator. As such, it often leads to return visits as well as subscribing and following.
Seriously, how do you feel when a creator directly asks you a question and wants your input? Don’t you view that content differently than something that is more stagnant?
6. Don’t Make it Too Long
When writing a conclusion, it doesn’t need to be super long. If you’re writing a conclusion that is longer than the main body of work, you’re taking it too far.
As a rule of thumb, I make sure the conclusion is about the same length as the introduction. However, sometimes this isn’t possible given the actual context of the topic.
Most readers won’t get to the conclusion anyway. In reality, something like 20 to 30% of visitors may actually read to the end. Though, you can use heatmapping to determine how far your audience goes down the page.
So adding a large amount of information that is not readily available in the body is only going to waste an opportunity to engage the audience sooner.
In other words, don’t provide details in the conclusion about the topic that are not in the main body of work.
Ideas for Structure when Writing a Conclusion
It’s easy for beginner writers to miss the mark when coming up with an ending to an article. I’ve seen some create near-verbatim sentences to text in the article as well as abruptly stop in the middle of a thought.
Here are a few ideas for setting up your own you may want to consider. It may help you avoid making the same mistakes, especially if you’re unsure what to include.
You don’t need to add every single one of these points. However, using a few of them in the same article has great potential for engagement when writing a conclusion.
Avoid Stagnant and Plain Headers
Things such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” and “in closing” are some of the most overused ways to start a final segment. Using the same example above, would you read a book if the final chapter was labeled, “in conclusion?”
Know the Difference Between Academic and Article Conclusions
There’s quite a difference between academic and AP Style writing. In this article, I am focusing more on creating blog content and articles for clients. Essay and thesis writing is much different.
Use a Comparison
Comparing the topic with something relevant helps the reader understand the context of the piece. In fact, I’d done it a couple of times throughout this article. For instance, I’ve compared writing a conclusion to the final chapter of a book.
Provide Possible Results Regarding the Topic
Something else you can add is a possible result supporting the topic. If you’re writing a tutorial on a specific WordPress plugin, you can add the results of what the reader can get from following the article.
Ask the Readers a Question
As I mentioned above, asking the readers a direct question gets them involved. And the more involved the audience, the better. Just make sure you’re asking something relevant to the topic.
Remember the Call-to-Action
Now, not all articles will require a call-to-action. But even something as simple as a link to your YouTube channel can inspire readers to act. It’s always worth putting it out there if you want someone to do something more from the website.
Once you get a good flow for yourself, creating the final sentences of a post will seem natural. It’s all about repetitive use and practice.
The key is finding what works best with your audience and duplicating that success.
Writing a Conclusion Solidifies the Article
Have you ever watched a movie where the ending just really didn’t sit well with you? That’s similar to what happens when writing a conclusion that doesn’t have a proper flow.
In fact, a poor ending can impact how people feel about the article in general. It creates a disconnect with the content and may leave readers with more questions than answers.
From the wording of the header to your ending call-to-action, writing a conclusion should wrap up the article and complement the content. For the readers who make it to the end of the piece, you want to give a sense of closure.
Think of it as a dessert after a nice meal. You want it to be just as delicious as the appetizer.
And don’t forget, you can also check out WriterSanctuary’s YouTube channel for more information about writing or blogging.
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