You're tempted to write this at times because you have nothing left. Creativity escapes you at the moment.
You're there. At the end. Finally. You're tired. You're bleary-eyed and just want for this post or story to be over.
You've poured your all into the body of your blog post just as you've poured those 10 cups of coffee into your body.
And you're really tempted to just sign your name at the bottom and click "Publish." Or cop out and write, "The End" or "In conclusion..."
However, the ending is way too important for such a brush off. Save it and go take a nap, or pour yourself another cup of coffee.
Human beings love stories. They make them up. They read them. They tell them. They hear them. And they're very familiar with how a story is organized whether or not they consciously realize it. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you've set your reader up with a beginning and middle, they naturally will be looking for an end of some kind.
And you most definitely do not want to disappoint them. Disappointed readers tend not to come back for more disappointment. They can get that anywhere.
You have to wrap things up, reiterate your case, and make the reader happy all in one fell swoop so they'll come back again and again. And I would argue with a good beginning and end, they might forgive a not-so-good middle. [Maybe not all the time, but still...]
And you're probably thinking, "Oh no, Caroline, I hate - absolutely hate - writing endings. They always sound so awkward and contrived. I'm no good at writing endings."
My response? Yes, you are. If you can write a beginning, you can most certainly write an ending. The ending, or conclusion, is not a separate part of your blog post or story, but a well-integrated and very important aspect of it. It is the last thing your reader will read before leaving your site, or moving onto another site.
And you might be thinking that since I gave 12 suggestions on how to begin a blog post or story, that there must be at least 12 ways to end one, right?
Wrong. There's only one way to end a blog post, or story. That's right. One.
You end it as you began it.
If you started with a question, you reiterate the question and then you explicitly answer it in the conclusion with your "middle" part as your support. Start with a definition? Same thing.
Start with an analogy? You should revisit the same analogy.
And even if your story or blog post is not at its natural end, which is the case for many of us who are writing our family's stories especially in blog posts, you still have to make an attempt to refer back to your beginning and wrap things up.
The same goes for those blogging for genealogical societies, for professional genealogists, and for genealogy-related businesses.
Your goal in blogging is to get a potential cousin to contact you. Therefore, you end your blog post in the same way you began and issue your call to action (i.e., to contact you).
You have to end that blog post the same way you began it and you have to issue a call to action (i.e., become a member, renew their membership, buy copies of videotaped sessions, make them put your conference on their calendar for next year, for the readers who attended make a comment on your blog post about what an awesome time they had at the conference, etc.)
Professional Genealogists and Genealogy-Related Businesses
The endings to blog posts for you are very similar to genealogical societies. You must end it the same way you began it, and you must have a call to action like asking them to sign up for your email newsletter subscription or perhaps if you have a 2-part blog post invite them to read the next part.
The ending is a key part to your blog post. Your readers intrinsically expect it to be there, and you must deliver it. And you must deliver it in the same way you delivered the beginning. The beginning dictates...
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