If you’re running a blog and want to both involve your existing readers and get new ones, a blog post series would be a very effective way to do it.
There are several types of series you can consider: a weekly or monthly post centered around one theme (this can be a rundown of the news in your niche, for instance, or a profile of a notable person) or it could be a limited-time series with an in-depth look at something worth giving insight into. In any case, a blog post series is guaranteed to drum up attention.
Your regular readers will check back as you publish it and new readers will likely look through at least several of the post’s series. You can also interlink the blog posts, which will give you value with search engines combing through your blog. There is also value in segmenting a topic since you can target readers better by writing niche posts, not to mention the simple reasoning that more posts will mean more clicks. But how do you create a good blog post series? What would be a success, and what would be a failure?
Choosing a Topic For a Blog Post Series
First things first: deciding what kind of topic will work for a series. The best types of serial posts are posts that give something an in-depth look, with each post dedicated to a certain aspect of a topic – like an involved how-to. You should pick a topic that’s “evergreen”. Avoid anything that will look dated within a year, since you’re going to put a lot of work into these serialized posts than the same amount of non-serialized writing.
Exhaustive blog posts with multiple thousands of words won’t get read except for by a few (experienced bloggers already know that bite-size is the best size when and how valuable segmenting is). The rule of thumb here is that, if you’re writing a post that seems too long or one that looks at an issue from all sides, thereby creating confusion, consider writing it in several parts.
In summer this year we started a blog post series dedicated to the topic of Email marketing deliverability. It can be quite hard to pass through the spam filters and standards, that’s why we decided to explore the matter of achieving the best deliverability possible.
Pitfalls of Posting a Series
Now, the pitfalls to avoid with serialized posting is that, if you post too many of them, stretching something artificially into multiple articles, your readers might see it as a click-getting gimmick and be turned off if the information is spread too thin. New readers will get lost in the sea of content and won’t be able to make heads or tails of it.
Write Down a Plan
Now that you’ve decided to create serial posts, you should make a plan for it. Decide on a schedule, and create an outline for what you want to cover in this series, dedicating each post to an aspect of a topic. If you’re creating a how-to series, you should plan for successive posts that will make sense to a reader who is
- Completely new to the subject, or at least to the side of the issue you’re discussing
- Learning about it only from reading your blog.
It’s likely that curious readers will go off searching for more information about the topic on their own once they’ve read your take on the issue, but if you’re writing a series there’s no point in not being exhaustive. This will be on your blog for as long as you’re running it and someone curious about the topic who is just discovering your posts is likely to read through everything you’ve written in the series before going to a different source for more information. It is nice to add “In case you missed…” and “Related posts” sections right below the article to put the links to previous and future posts there.
An Outline for Each Post
Once you’ve chosen your topic and made an outline for the posts you’re planning to include in your series, write separate outlines for the posts themselves, at least very general ones. You might consider yourself a prolific author who doesn’t need to outline, and that’s great for you, but being inconsistent here will be a major turnoff. Remember, you’re trying to drum up new readership, so stepping up your game won’t hurt. Plan out your posts so that each new one picks up where the previous left off.
It’s a good idea to plan for a short, two-sentence “coming up next” at the end of each post, which will pique your reader’s interest and keep them coming back for more.
Before you start posting, consider this: can you keep up with the schedule you’ve set for yourself? The frequency with which you post will depend on how often you update your blog. If it’s normally three to four times a week, you’ll need to post daily. If you update your blog monthly, then you should post on a set day every week.
If you’re publishing a series, anything under one post every week won’t be any good – readers will just lose interest in your posts, it’s as simple as that. One blog post published every day is the optimal balance, since it’s not too often so that people won’t be able to keep up, and not too rare for them to forget about what you’ve talked about previously – blog series work best when they burn bright and fast. If you can’t turn out information as frequently as you’d like, pre-write some or all of the posts, and just post them at set times.
An Introduction to the Series
Now, before starting to publish the series, you should also create an introductory post that will serve as a central hub that links to all the posts once you make them (remember what we said about interlinking?). You can put this posts in the sidebar or whatever type of “best of” or “readers’ favorites” type of page you have so that new visitors to your blog can find all of this information with ease.
The introductory post should say what topic you’ll be covering, the general areas your posts will touch upon and when to come back for more. Publish it the day before you start posting the actual series for maximum impact.
As you can see, most of this advice has to do with planning ahead of time. Do the legwork, and you’re sure to get more fresh eyes on your blog, as well as engage current readership. When writing your series, remember that, ideally, all this information is supposed to be relevant a year from now, in the least.
So think of a topic and get down to writing! Share in the comments below what ideas you have for your series!
About the Author: Florence Mendoza is a content writer and marketing manager at Buy an Essay writing company. She provides online marketing help to aspiring bloggers.