You’re just about finished writing your content piece.
Maybe it’s just a short 300-word article. Maybe it’s a 40,000 ebook. Or maybe you’re wrapping up a podcast or a video. Whatever you’re working on, the last thing you need to do is create your conclusion.
This is where a lot of content-creators stumble.
At this point, they just want to finish the content and start distributing it. So, they just slap on a conclusion.
But the truth is, the conclusion is important.
This is where you need to encourage your readers to take action, remind them of what they learned and/or make them feel good. And because this conclusion is so important, some writers “choke” and get writer’s block.
If this has ever happened to you, your worries are over. That’s because you’re about to discover –
20 different types of conclusions you can use to
wrap up just about any content piece.
Take a look…
1. Summarize the Article
This is one of the more popular ways to conclude an article: simply summarize what the reader learned. In other words, you “tell ‘em what you just told ‘em.”
Tip: If you have more than two or three points to summarize, then you may want to put these points into a bulleted list. That way, skimmers can quickly and easily glance down the list to get the gist of what was talked about in the article.
See the next page for a template that you can implement immediately…
You just learned how to [insert one-sentence description of what the reader learned overall]. And that means you can now [insert description of what they can do with their newfound knowledge].
To that end, let’s quickly recap what you learned over the last [number] of [pages/chapters]:
- You learned how to [description of main point they learned].
- You found out how to [description of another thing they learned].
- Plus you ever discovered a slick way to [description of another thing they learned].
If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and complete the worksheets at the end of the chapter. Then give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re now all set to [get some specific result]!
2. Encourage Readers to Take Action
When you set out to write your content piece, you didn’t just want your readers to learn something – you also wanted them to take some sort of action.
This “action” could take the form of:
- Applying what they just learned.
- Clicking on a link.
- Buying a product.
- Completing a worksheet.
- Using a checklist.
- (And so on.)
And that’s why the encouraging your readers to take action is a good way to conclude your content.
Tip: While I’m showing this conclusion to you as a standalone method, keep in mind that you should almost always encourage your readers to take some kind of action. For example, you can combine method #1 (the summary close) with this method, which means you summarize and then encourage readers to take action on what they just learned.
Here’s an example…
You just discovered [quick recap of what the reader just learned].
However, a word of warning – just knowing how to [do some specific process] isn’t going to [give the reader some specific result].
That’s because the key is that you need to take action on what you just learned. And that’s I encourage you to return to chapter 1, review the steps, and then start implementing them right away. Because the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll [start enjoying some specific result]!
3. End With a Quote
Most if not all of the content preceding the conclusion was written in your words. For a refreshing change of pace, you can insert a quote from someone else.
Depending on what type of quote you insert, the quote can serve as confirmation or proof of what you said earlier in the content. Or it can serve as a means to motivate your readers or make them think.
Now, to wrap things up, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from [name of quoted person]:
“[Insert the quote here.]”
If this quote doesn’t [motivate you/make you think/perform some other action], then nothing will. And that’s why I encourage you to take what you’ve learned in this [report/article/etc] and use it to be like [name of quoted person]. Because no matter who you are, you too can [get some desired result]!
4. Touch on the Last Point
Sometimes you’ll hear this referred to as a “proximity close.” This is where you simply reiterate or reinforce the last point that you made in the content, and then perhaps encourage the reader to take action on it.
Tip: This type of conclusion works best if the content is relatively short, such as an article. Or you can also use this conclusion if the content really focuses on one main point. Do not, however, use this type of conclusion for something longer, like a report, as skimmers who skim down to the conclusion won’t get the gist of the rest of the report.
Here’s an example…
Let me reiterate this last point, simply because it’s so important:
[Recap the last point you made in the previous paragraph or page or so].
What’s more, [insert another description of what’s so important about this particular point].
Here’s what I suggest you do next:
[Here you can provide a call to action, such as telling them to take action on what they’ve just learned, review what they just learned, or maybe even check out an additional resource].
So go ahead and get started right now, because [reason why they should take that action now, such as they’ll be able to get the desired result sooner]!
5. Restate the Main Goal or Theme
When you first sat down to create this content, you had a main goal in mind. There was something specific that you wanted your readers to learn or something specific that you wanted them to do. Or, depending on what type of content you’re creating, you may have had a particular theme in mind, such as when you write an informational or thought-provoking article.
Chances are, you stated your main goal or the theme of your content piece right upfront in the introduction to your article, report or other piece.
Now in your conclusion you can restate that goal or theme, and perhaps show readers how your content met the goal or theme.
The whole point of this [article/report/ebook/video/other content piece] was to [insert your goal, like “make you think about your position on bow hunting”].
Indeed, you started out thinking [one thing about this position], I hope by now that you’ve come to realize [insert something about the other side of this issue].
I don’t necessarily expect you to [insert description of some drastic change that’s 180 degrees from where the reader is now]. Rather, it would be helpful if you [insert description of one or two “baby steps” that the reader can take towards the new position]. And you may also want to [insert another baby step].
Go ahead and try it – you may just [get some unexpected, desirable result]!
6. Wrap Up With a Motivational Message
The idea here is give your readers a little “pep talk” as a means of encouraging them to take action or perhaps to believe in themselves.
This type of conclusion is particularly appropriate if you’re writing a motivational article, report or other content. And it also works well if your readers are reluctant to take action, perhaps due to fear.
You just learned how to [get some desired result] by [insert brief overview of how they achieved this result]. And now there’s just one thing left for you to do: take action.
I know, you’ve been here before. Maybe you’ve even started [this particular process], but it just didn’t work out. But this time it’s going to be different. And that’s because this time [insert reason why the person is going to succeed this time].
Plus, this time [insert another reason why the person is going to succeed].
You can do this. You deserve this.
So go ahead and get started now, because [some desirable result] is waiting for you!
7. Leave a Parting Tip
When you use this method, you drop a useful tip that wasn’t mentioned elsewhere in the content. This could be an elaboration on another tip, a parting bit of wisdom or something else that the reader can immediately implement and benefit from. Best of all, this sort of conclusion encourages “skimmers” to go back in and read the rest of the content because they don’t want to miss any of your other golden nuggets.
Now you know how to [get some desired result or perform some specific action].
However, before I leave you to [start taking some specific action], let me share with you one more important tip:
[Insert important tip.] To get even better results, you’ll also want to [insert explanation of how reader can get better results].
Go ahead and [take action on this specific tip] – I think you’ll like your results!
8. Mention a Common Mistake
If you’re offering instructional content, then you’ll want to alert your readers to the common mistakes and pitfalls. Perhaps you already did this within the main body of your content. Whether you did or not, however, you can still wrap up your content by sharing with your readers how they can avoid one or two of the biggest or most common mistakes.
And there you have it – you just learned how to [perform a specific action]. And if you start applying what you learned immediately, it won’t be long before you [get a desirable result].
However, before you start [taking the first step], let me warn you: [don’t make some common mistake]. This is a fairly common mistake that quite a few beginner [types of people] make. Problem is, [explain what happens when people make this mistake].
Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid. All you have to do is be aware that [one specific action will create bad results]. And then [explain what action the readers need to take instead]. Plus, [offer any additional tips for avoiding this mistake].
So go ahead and get started by [taking some specific step], because you’re going to like [getting a desired result]!
9. Do a Play on Words
One of your goals is to make your conclusion memorable. There are multiple ways that you can accomplish this, including:
- Sharing a catchy slogan. This works particularly well if you’re writing a promotional piece, but you can also use it to help people better remember some bit of wisdom you’ve imparted.
Example: Wal-Mart Example: “Save money, live better”.
- Doing a play on words. This is where you cleverly arrange words or make puns.
Example: If your content is about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you might make a pun about the reader being “tired” of researching CFS.
- Using a language device like alliteration. This is where a series of words starts with the same letter.
Example: It’s all about acceptance.
- Being repetitive. Here’s where you repeat something within a paragraph, typically three times.
Example: You might start three consecutive sentences with the words, “You don’t need…” or “Today is the day you…”
Here’s a good template of this type…
You just learned how to [get a specific result]. And now the next thing you need to do is apply what you’ve learned so that you can start [getting some sort of desirable result].
But remember, you don’t need to [have some certain requirement].
You don’t need to [have some other requirement]. You don’t even need to [have still another requirement]. And that’s because you now have everything you need to [get a specific result].
So go ahead and get started right now, because [insert a reason why the reader should take action immediately]!
10. List the “Do’s and Don’ts”
People love learning tips. And some people especially enjoy learning about these tips via a list of “do’s and don’ts.”
For proof of this, just look at any major magazines, such as men’s magazines, women’s magazines, gardening magazines, hunting magazines or the like. Inevitably, almost every issue will include a list of do’s and don’ts – sometimes as a standalone article, but other times the list will simply appear within another article.
If you didn’t list any dos or don’ts elsewhere inside your instructional article, then you can certainly do it within the conclusion.
Now that you know how to [get some specific result] by [taking some specific steps], you’re probably eager to get started. If you’re like most [types of people], you’re going to want to [take the first step] right away.
That’s great. I’m glad you’re excited. And I’m glad you’re going to take action, which puts you quite a bit in front of so many other [types of people] who never quite [take the first step]. However, before you jump in, let me quickly share with you [number] [type of] dos and don’ts you need to know to [get a good result]:
- Don’t [insert advice, such as “don’t shop on a hungry stomach”].
- Don’t [insert advice]
- Do [insert advice, such as “do put your puppy on a consistent schedule”].
- Do [insert advice].
- [Continue inserting dos and don’ts, explaining them in more detail as necessary.]
Got it? Now get to it!
11. Give an Opposing View
Perhaps throughout your content you advocated a specific strategy or even a specific opinion or viewpoint. However, in order to fully inform your readers, you may want to offer information about the opposing strategies or viewpoints. And one place to do that is within the conclusion.
Example: If you’re writing an article about how to housetrain a puppy by taking him outside on a regular basis, you may want to mention in the conclusion that some people use “puppy pads” or paper training instead. Where applicable, you can even offer the pros and cons of the opposing strategy.
Here’s a template that you can copy.
Throughout this [article/report/ebook/video/etc], you’ve been learning about [topic]. Specifically, you’ve learned how [explanation of two or three important things that the reader has learned].
However, the one thing we haven’t covered is the topic of [opposing topic]. Usually, people who [advocate viewpoint in the article] do not [do this opposing thing]. And the reason for this is because [reason why people don’t do this].
That’s not to say that the [opposing viewpoint or strategy] is without merit. Indeed, some people prefer [to use opposing strategy] because [reason why some people use it].
Nonetheless, I suggest you [use main strategy discussed in article], for the simple reason that [main reason why people should use main strategy].
Try it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
12. Be Helpful
If you haven’t written a comprehensive manual on a particular topic, then it’s a safe bet that your readers still have more to learn. And you can be helpful in this regard by using your conclusion to point readers to additional resources – either free or paid – that will help them solve their problems.
While you certainly have learned a lot about [specific topic discussed in this content piece], we’ve only really just scratched the surface when it comes to [the larger, overall topic]. And that’s why I’d like to conclude by pointing out a few resources you can use to help you [get to the desired result]:
- If you want to learn more about [one of the topics], then you’ll want to read [specific resource plus link].
- If you’re primary interest is [another topic], then you can’t go wrong with [specific resource].
- Need to know more about [some other topic]? Here’s the best place to learn it: [link and title of specific resource].
Check them out – you’ll be glad you did!
13. Offer a Story
If you’re trying to motivate your readers or even build further rapport with them, then one way to accomplish these two goals is to offer a story.
Ideally, this story should do one or more of the following:
- Reinforce the main message or theme of your content.
- Show how someone with the same problems as the reader overcame these problems using the advice you shared in the content.
- Show the reader how not following the advice can lead to bad consequences.
Here’s a good one…
You now know everything you need to know about [performing some specific action to get some desirable result]. And if you follow all the steps outlined above, then you might just get results like my friend [name of your friend].
You see, [name of friend] used to be just like you. He [had some problem]. He really hated [side effects of this problem]. And he just wished that he could [get rid of this problem].
After [specific time period] of having to deal with [this problem], [name] finally decided to turn things around. That’s when he decided to [take some specific action]. He started by [following the exact steps you outlined above]. And soon he [got a very desirable result].
If [name] can do this, then you can too. I know it. So give it a try and see if you don’t [start getting a great result] as well!
14. Surprise or Shock the Reader
The point of this closer is to say something unexpected, controversial or otherwise shocking. Just think about the content you just finished – what could you say that would surprise your readers?
Example: If you just “preached” how to do some certain process a specific way, then it might shock your readers to find out that you personally don’t follow your own advice. However, if this is the case, then you need to give your readers a good reason why you don’t follow your advice. For example, if you tell your readers to eat whole grain bread, you might tell them you don’t follow this advice because you’re on a gluten-free diet.
Here’s an example of how to make this type of conclusion work for you…
You’ve been learning how to [achieve some specific goal]. And while this is the best method overall to [get a desired result], it’s not for everyone. Indeed, this method may be dangerous for certain types of people.
That’s because [certain types of people] simply cannot do this method because [reason why certain people shouldn’t use it]. If you fall into this category, then here’s what you should do instead: [insert description of alternative method].
Either way, you’re sure to get great results – try it for yourself and see!
15. Challenge the Reader
I’ve mentioned numerous times in the report that you should encourage your reader to take action. And indeed, you’ve seen examples of this in the sample conclusions.
However, another way to approach your conclusion is to go a step beyond calling readers to action. And you can do this by actually challenging the reader to take action or accomplish some goal.
This could be as simple as explicitly telling your readers to create a challenge for themselves. Or, if you have the ability to interact with your readers – such as on a blog or on a social media site – then you might challenge them to post their goals.
Whew – you just learned everything you need to know about [getting a desirable benefit]. But of course the magic elves aren’t going to take over from here. And that’s why you need to start [taking some specific action] as soon as possible.
Now, typically I’d merely encourage you to take action, wish you the best of luck and cross my fingers for you. But not today. Because today I’m going to challenge you to take that first step. And it all starts with you going to my [blog/Facebook page/forum/etc] at [link] and sharing with the world your goals.
That’s right, you’re going to be held accountable. Because this time you won’t fail. This time you’re going to finally [get the desired result]. And it all starts by you going to [share the link again].
Do you dare?
16. Arouse Curiosity
Here’s another way to conclude your content while focusing on getting your readers to take action. In particular, this works well if you’re looking to get your readers to perform an action such as clicking on a link. And that’s because this method is based on you arousing curiosity about what will happen if the reader performs the desired action.
You just received a great overview of how to [do some specific thing]. And while this will go a long way in [helping the reader achieve a specific result], people who’re serious about [this topic] will want to take it to the next level ASAP.
I have a feeling you’re one of those people. And that’s why I suggest you click here [insert link] right now, because on the other side of this link you’ll discover an entirely new way to [get some result].
You wouldn’t believe what’s on the other side of the link if I told you. You need to see it for yourself, because this is a [type of strategy] that no one is talking about.
So get a jump on everyone else and click here [insert link] right now – you’ll be surprised and delighted by what you find!
17. Fill in the Gaps
If you know a little something about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), then you’re probably familiar with “nested loops.” This is where you open a story, joke or crucial piece of information earlier in the content and then leave it unfinished – like a cliffhanger – so that your reader is curious and must keep reading in order to find out the rest of the story.
Point is, if you’ve created any cliffhangers, nested loops or other “unfinished business” in your content, the conclusion is a good time to wrap things up.
Congratulations, dear reader, you just discovered the secrets of [getting some result]. However, at this point you may be wondering what happened [to a person, thing, etc that you mentioned earlier in the content]. So let me share with you the surprising end to this story…
[Finish the story, tie up loose ends, close your “loops,” etc.]
And with that, let me just encourage you to get started right away, because you too can [get some specific result]!
18. Quiz Your Readers
The idea behind this conclusion is to quiz your readers as a means of showing them what they’ve learned. If they do well on the quiz, they’ll feel good. If they do poorly, it just tells them that they need to go back and read the content more carefully. Just don’t put in any trick questions, because you want your readers to get a true feel for how well they understand the material.
Wow, you just learned a whole lot about [topic]. So now it’s time to take a quick quiz to see how well you understand what you’ve just learned. Take a moment right now and answer these questions:
Question 1: Define [some term].
Question 2: What is the most important part of [something you mentioned in the content]?
Question 3: If you [get some result], what should you do?
[Insert other questions here.]
1. The answer is [insert answer]. See page [number] for more information.
2. If you answered [correct answer], you’re right. See page [number] for more information.
3. The answer is [correct answer], although technically [another answer] would be correct as well. See page [number] for more information.
[Insert other answers here.]
How did you do?
If you got at least [number] right, then go ahead and start applying what you learned. Otherwise, I encourage you to review the material once more by reading the chapter summaries. Good luck!
19. Make a Cultural Reference
The idea behind this type of conclusion is to reference something like a book, movie or celebrity – someone or something that your audience can relate to.
Do you remember the movie [insert movie title]? About halfway through the movie, [character’s name] did something pretty amazing – he [explain what the character did].
Truth is, you’re kind of in that same situation right now, because [explain how situations are similar]. But you have the advantage because [reason why reader has advantage, likely because of what they’ve learned in your content]. So get out there [and take some specific action], because you deserve [a desired result]!
20. Congratulate the Reader
Congratulating the reader may seem a bit silly if you just created a short content piece or an overview of a topic. However, if you provided an in-depth treatment of some topic – or the reader just finished reading a longer book – then you can certainly congratulate the reader. Naturally, however, you’ll want to also encourage them to take action.
Congratulations! You now know everything you need to know about [getting a great result]. Indeed, if universities handed out PhDs in the field of [topic], you’d have one by now!
Yes, just knowing all the [topic] tips, tricks and secrets is quite an accomplishment. But the truth is, packing away all this information in your noggin won’t do you any good if you don’t put it to use. And that’s why I suggest you take action – starting right now – by [taking a specific step]. Because the sooner you get started, the sooner you can turn this “PhD in [topic]” into real results!
If you tell me that you’re going to still struggle with writer’s block when it comes to writing your conclusions, I’m going to think one of two things:
- You’re lying!
- You haven’t been paying attention!
And that’s because you just learned 20 surefire and exciting ways to conclude just about any piece of content.
So whether you need a few words to wrap up an article or a couple pages to wind down a big book, you’re certain to find something in this report that will help you out.
Keep this report on your desktop right where it’s easy for you to find and reference. Then be sure to use it the very next time you write something, because you’re going to like the refreshing air these conclusions bring to your content!