Writing conclusions for blog posts should be simple enough. After all, you’ve already done the hard part—in the meat of the post, you’ve carefully, deliberately communicated the main information you want the reader to take away.

But there’s something about a truly fabulous conclusion that’s hard to put your finger on. It feels more like art than science. It ends on a resounding note of finality instead of trailing off into oblivion. If you’re a reader of that conclusion, you feel like you know your next steps, and it’s solid in your mind what the main takeaway was.

It just feels right, like someone smacked their hand on the table and said, “And that’s it!”

While some people are naturally talented at writing beautiful conclusions, talent isn’t a requirement. You need the formula. And since we’re not about secret sauce here at HS, I’m going to give you that formula today, with examples.

This formula will have your readers coming away with a solid sense of what they learned and what they can do next.

Now, the formula isn’t the only way to write a conclusion. You can add and remove elements or put your own spin on it as you develop. Many of our author examples in this post don’t follow this formula to the letter.

But especially if you’re a beginner, follow the steps closely, and you’ll have a no-brainer recipe for writing a great conclusion every time.

Step 1: Remind Them of the Post’s Main Point

If you’ve followed our advice on the basic elements of a blog post, then you will have made it a point to include some “this post is about” content in your introduction. (Check out the subhead entitled “Start by Solidifying What the Post Will Be About” in that post for more guidance.)

This previewed the information to come. Now it’s time to reiterate the main takeaway. It can be a sentence, a paragraph, or even a quick phrase.

Did you teach them to log in C++? How to shift security left? How to take a great screenshot? How to write a transition sentence? Whatever it is, share a reminder.

We’ll be writing the conclusion for this very blog post as we go, and here’s an example of what this might look like:

And there you have it! A simple formula for concluding a blog post.

—Me

Easy, right? It’s just a quick reminder of your main point, keeping it solid and succinct—and therefore powerful—in your readers’ minds.

Here are some examples from our authors of how to reiterate your main point in a conclusion:

I hope I’ve shown you how easy it is to log in AWS Lambda functions.

—Peter Morlion, “Types of Logging With AWS Cloud Watch” on the Scalyr blog

We’ve covered what a disaster recovery plan is and how to create one.

—Eric Goebelbecker, “Disaster Recovery Plan: A Complete Guide for the Savvy Leader” on the Plutora blog

Hopefully, it’s clear that in many cases the Elastic Stack does not give you the scalability, latency, and availability you need from a first-class monitoring system.

—Mark Henke, “Elastic Stack May Be Costing You More Than TCO” on the Scalyr blog

All right. Main point, check. Let’s move on to summarizing the supporting info of your post, too.

Step 2: Remind Them of What Information You Shared to Support Your Main Point

Now that you’ve reminded them of the main takeaway, remind them of how you proved it (or of the content that was involved in fleshing the information out).

In our case, that’s pretty simple. For this post, I’ll write

You simply start by (step one) reiterating the main takeaway and (step two) summarizing your support for that takeaway. And now that they know this information, they can apply it in real life to great benefit, right? So, for step three, let them know about that. Finally, implement step four: leave them knowing where to turn next with a call to action.

—Me

And now, let’s see some real-life summaries from our authors. Here’s one:

We started out by defining IaC (infrastructure as code), explaining that it means applying effective coding techniques to infrastructure. We’ve also explained the problems which IaC solves. After that, we’ve presented the definition of CD (continuous delivery.)

Then, we proceeded to cover considerations and best practices when it comes to IaC, covering concepts like version control, modularization, and code as documentation.

After that, we’ve turned our focus to security, covering patterns and considerations. At last, we’ve covered compliance, explaining why it’s important and sharing some tools recommendations.

—Carlos Schults, “Integrating Infrastructure as Code into a Continuous Delivery Pipeline” on the Sonatype blog

But it doesn’t have to be that long or thorough. You could also do a quick recap.

We’ve cleared up some misconceptions about BCPs; now you know what a BCP is, what its various parts are, and the steps for creating your own BCP.

—Michiel Mulders, “How to Create a Robust Business Continuity Plan” on the Plutora blog

Okay. With your backing points summarized, you can move on to step three.

Step 3: Include a “Now That You Know This, ________” Statement

Why does the information you shared matter to the reader? What’s the significance in their lives?

To really drive that home, you’ll want to add in a “Now that you know this, _________” statement.

You can fill in the blank with a positive result of any kind—better sales, better data, better work-life balance…anything at all that will help the reader go a step further and understand the true value of this new information.

Of course, you don’t have to follow the exact wording of “Now that you know this, _________.” You can take some liberties with the format. Just make sure the overall message conveyed by the template is clear.

Let’s put together one of these for our conclusion for this post:

Now that you have this formula, you’ll have no trouble popping off conclusions that pack a punch.

Here are some examples from our authors proving the real-life relevance of the information in their posts:

It’s critical to invest in proper asset management practices to avoid the unnecessary cost and risk of these assets. Otherwise, you’ll be in a tough spot when accounting and IT senior leadership comes calling.

—Daniel Longest, “Zombie (Ghost) Assets and How to Stop Them” on the Enov8 blog

Do you want to prevent your customers from becoming former customers? Keep track of the main metrics we’ve discussed, improve them, and the benefits will resonate throughout your whole application infrastructure, culminating in happier users.

—Carlos Schults, “Best Database Monitoring Tools in 2020” on Logicalread

Step 4: Add a Call to Action

You may have heard of a call to action. It’s just what it sounds like: a challenge or suggestion to take the next step, whatever that may be.

Calls to action take a lot of forms. Let’s jump into it with examples, starting with mine for this blog.

Want to learn more about writing from Hit Subscribe? We have a whole category called blogging advice that’s ripe for you to explore. You can learn about transitions, planning posts, readability tips, and how to organize an argument. But the single most important thing you can do is practice concluding a blog post using the formula here and developing your own style of conclusion.

This call to action suggested two things: read more writing advice and practice writing conclusions to develop a style.

Now let’s talk about what your call to action should look like in accordance with how mature your blog is.

Tailor a Call to Action to Your Blog’s Maturity: Early Stage

If you have an early-stage blog, it’s perfectly acceptable—nay, desirable!—to make your call to action a link to read more related articles on your site. In fact, this is a great idea no matter the stage your blog is at. It’s good for SEO, and it keeps people engaged with your material.

Next, you can implement as much automation and digitization in your business as possible.

—Matthew Zandstra, “Why Is LTL Freight Slow? Contributing Factors” on the Vector blog (note the link to another post on the same blog)

But overall, if you’re just beginning to blog regularly, you want to be sure not to get too sales-y with your call to action yet.

You can simply give them a good faith, “nothing in it for me” call to action, like this:

Just keep building on the fundamentals your team already brings to the table. Your cloud applications will be just as secure as every other application you support—if not more so!

—Eric Boersma, “A Practical Introductory Guide to Cloud Application Security” on the Scalyr blog (with bonus step three, significance of the post, included!)

Tailor a Call to Action to Your Blog’s Maturity: Mid–Late Stage

Now, let’s say your blog is more established. You’ve been blogging consistently for many months, and you’re starting to see an increase in traffic. At this point, you can start adding calls to action related to your products or offerings, encouraging them to use it to solve problems related to the post. (Don’t overdo it, though!)

Here’s an example of what that might look like:

To summarize, if you want to establish a robust security suite, consider using some of the above open-source security tools as part of your application security approach, alongside solutions that can protect your application in production, like Sqreen.

—Michiel Mulders, “Some Great Open-Source Security Tools You Should Know” on the Sqreen blog

Or do a two-fer and add both a link to more reading and your product:

You can manage your non-functional requirements using a documentation process with Plutora. And you can click here to learn more about IT governance and its principles.

—Daniel de Oliveira, “Non-Functional Requirements: A Guide With Concrete Examples” on the Plutora blog

Final Advice on Your Call to Action

No matter what, you don’t want to make your call to action too complicated, so don’t include more than two things the reader can do.

And note that calls to action usually demand imperative verb phrases, like “don’t,” “make sure to,” “keep on,” etc. You’ll want to temper the tone of your call to action if your imperatives are strong, lest you sound bossy. I especially like the phrasing in Michiel’s call to action above, where he offers the verb “consider.” Much more polite than barking orders, right?

Let’s Put It All Together

And there you have it! A simple formula for concluding a blog post. You simply start by (step one) reiterating the main takeaway and (step two) summarizing your support for that takeaway. And now that they know this information, they can apply it in real life to great benefit, right? So, for step three, let them know about that. Finally, implement step four: leave them knowing where to turn next with a call to action.

Now that you have this formula, you’ll have no trouble popping off conclusions that pack a punch.

Want to learn more about writing from Hit Subscribe? We have a whole category called blogging advice that’s ripe for you to explore. You can learn about transitions, planning posts, readability tips, and how to organize an argument. But the single most important thing you can do is practice concluding a blog post using the formula here and developing your own style of conclusion.