You’ve crafted a stellar opening sentence — but how do you end your post? Here are some ideas to consider.
Many of you devote a lot of time and attention to your opening sentences — and rightfully so. Considering how important it is to hook your readers from the get-go, you want to get that part right.
In writing just as in music, though, our lingering impression of the piece we’ve just consumed depends just as much — if not more so — on the finale. Yet so often, by the time we reach the end of our post, we’re too tired, too unfocused, or too eager to hit the Publish button to care too much about how we bid farewell to our audience.
If that sounds like you, it might be time to rethink how you approach your post endings. Here are five ideas to make the tail end of your post just as engaging as its first note.
Throw a teaser
Why not use the very end of one post to pique your reader’s interest in your next one? Keep your visitors in the loop by letting them know, towards the end of your post, what upcoming attractions they can expect on your blog. This works especially well if you write multi-part stories or recurring features, though it can be useful for any type of post.
Ask a question
Note: You can use typography to set the question apart from the body of your post — here at The Daily Post, we often end pieces with a question in italics.
Thought-provoking posts often generate a lively discussion without too much prodding. Ending your post with a question, however, can be a particularly efficient way to jump-start the action in your comments section. A yes/no or either/or question will make it easy to engage your readers, while more open-ended ones might inspire longer, more thoughtful responses.
Share a quote
Many bloggers use quotes at the beginning of their posts to set the right mood for what follows, like epigraphs in a book. Sometimes, though, ending with a powerful quote can be just as effective — whether it’s a famous line from a play or a movie, a verse of poetry, or even a snippet of dialog by people mentioned earlier on in the same post. It’s a great method to convey emotion without explicitly stating how you feel.
Create a poll
Note: A poll doesn’t have to come at the expense of thoughtful comments — you could invite everyone to elaborate on their response in the comments.
A tried-and-tested way to get your visitors to reflect on what they’ve just read is to add a poll at the bottom of your post. If you wrote about a decision you’ve made, your poll could ask whether it was the right one. If you debated which course of action to follow, you can solicit direct feedback from your audience. You could even use a poll to determine whether readers enjoyed your post, and if they’d like to see similar ones in the future.
Repetition can be a powerful stylistic and narrative tool — why not use it at the very end of your post to give it a stronger sense of closure? You could highlight the journey you’ve covered in your post by showing how the same sentence reads differently in a different context. You’d also be giving your readers a mnemonic device — a memory aid — that might help distinguishing your piece from all the other blogs they’ll visit that day.
How do you tend to end your posts? Do you have any advice to share about which endings to try out — and which to avoid? We’d love to hear your insights!