There you are, travelling along in your blog post – telling a story, making a point, putting your thoughts out there – and everything’s going smoothly enough, until you realize that you’re at 500 words and you don’t know how to put a cap on it all.
The worst thing to do is keep on writing until you’ve “found a natural ending”! That’s how you end up with 3,000-word long blog-ifestos that nobody, not even the people stalking you, will ever read.
But you don’t want to just stop. You won’t want to leave something hanging.
So, here are five ways to end a blog post, when you’ve gotten to the end of what you want to say. You’ve probably seen them before.
1. The Full Circle. Look back at your first sentence. Write it again as your past sentence. If what came between was any good, that first sentence has a new context behind it. It means something different, and can be read in a new light.
2. The Launch! Stop on an exclamation point! Build up the tension to a climax, and then, stop! Boom! Pow! Clap! Here we go! This is going to be the best ever! Go get ‘em!
3. The Call to Action. Unless you’re writing just to hear yourself think, you have a goal in mind for your reader. You want your reader to do something. Think for a second: what do you want them to do? Vote Libertarian? Refinance their house? Call you? Share a story? Go buy somebody a pizza? Whatever that is, end by exhorting your reader to do it. Telling them what needs to happen for them to achieve their goal. It’s tough, but it’s worth it.
3.5 The Deep Sigh. Of course, maybe you don’t want to end on a high note. If what you really want to do is project a resigned feeling of deep, hopeless cynicism about the world, then remind your reader that it is out of their hands, and they can only watch and wait for the barbarians to screw up civilization forever. If you write a lot of blogs like this, consider writing an epic poem instead. In Latin.
4. Now for something completely different. If you really don’t know how to end things, end with something that has nothing to do with what you were saying at all. For example, a video of a puppy. Admitting you’ve got nothing is slightly embarrassing, but if you aren’t willing to be embarrassed in public, why are you writing a blog?
5. Going Meta. If you can pull it off, show how your very act of writing – or your reader’s very act of reading – is an example of whatever you’ve been talking about all along. If you can pull it off.
Well, there you go! Five simple steps to end your blog post. Unfortunately, every minute you spent reading this brought you a minute closer to the collapse of Rome.
Just remember, the hardest part of writing is getting started.
So, go write something!
It will be awesome!
(Also, here is a Bulgarian puppy sneezing.)