Why You Should Never Neglect Your Conclusions
I once worked with a bubbly and intelligent young woman named Jackie (all names have been changed so I don’t get beaten up). Jackie was a kind lady who would eagerly start a conversation with other workers. However, she had a terrible habit of walking away from the chat when she felt like it was time to get back to work. I mean she would straight up do an about-face and leave during a short pause in the discussion without wrapping it up or saying goodbye. That sounds incredibly awkward, huh? Well it was, and that’s exactly what it feels like when I read articles without a conclusion.
Lasting Impressions Matter
No matter how engaging your content is, if you fail to write an appealing conclusion (or don’t write one at all) it will weaken your article. Sure, I recognize that Jackie has some strong suits, but unequivocally the strongest memory I have of her is centered on her strange habit of leaving people hanging.
The final paragraph of your article is the last chance to summarize the content’s highpoints. It sends the reader off with a gentle push in the direction that you want them to go. For SEO content writers, this can be an invaluable tool to excite consumers about the products or services highlighted in the article.
Avoid Duplicating the Details
Some writers mistakenly think that the conclusion should contain a word-for-word repeat of their headers. I don’t know where this idea came from, but it seems to hearken back to high school days when we were supposed to summarize the subpoints of our research papers. Regardless, taking that approach is pure fluff and adds nothing to your content except beef up the word count. If padding your word count was your plan all along, then you are sadly missing out on an essential opportunity to connect with your reader.
Understanding the Do’s and Don’ts
While there are plenty of wrong ways to write a conclusion, there isn’t only one right way to create one. Keep in mind these do’s and don’ts (even print them to use as a simple guide), and you will leave readers with a positive impression of your content.
Don’t forget the conclusion!
Don’t present new information.
Don’t pose a question that will remain unanswered, unless it is a hypothetical.
Don’t repeat your main points.
Don’t combine your closing paragraph with the paragraph above.
Don’t use passé phrases like “In conclusion…” or “In summary…”
Do summarize why the information presented can be beneficial to the reader.
Do bring your article full circle by highlighting the introduction, without repeating it.
Do showcase how your examples and ideas support your overall content.
Do include a call to action, when appropriate.
Do leave the reader with an engaging last thought.
End on a High Note
Taking the necessary steps to write a strong conclusion can help you positively connect with your readers. Don’t follow Jackie’s lead and leave others hanging!
What steps do you take to ensure that you always create an engaging conclusion? Please comment below!