Let’s Look at How I Write an Amazing Blog Series
I’ve previously discussed why a blogger should consider writing a series of blog posts. Today, I’d like to turn my attention to how I do it.
When I develop a series of posts on my blog, my workflow may vary between different projects. Let me outline how I usually do it.
Identify an Amazing Blog Series Topic That Will Engage Your Readers
Your topic is the key when it comes to developing a successful blog series. In most cases the series I’ve written have started in my mind as a single post.
One of my first ever blog series was one I wrote on How to Promote Your Blog in 5 Positive Steps. In my mind this series started as a medium sized post. After I started writing I soon realized that I could write more than would comfortably fit in one post and so the series began.
You want to make sure you choose a topic that is large enough to require multiple posts. You want to write a series that makes your topic manageable and does not overwhelm you. Some topics are so large that they could almost be their own blog.
The ideas from many of the series I have written frequently come from reader interactions. Questions they ask usually triggers my thinking and my brainstorming begins.
The Creative Process Always Begins with a Written List
As my regular readers know, I love making lists which frequently become blog post topics. Lists are central to my blogging style. Before I decide that a topic is big enough for a series I usually start with a brainstorming session and compile a list of the main points that I want to make.
These lists generally start out as a bullet point list of keywords and phrases written up in a Word document. Once I’ve got a list of keywords I’ll go back and add a few descriptive sentences under each point to flesh them out.
It’s amazing how frequently these ideas become part of my eventual posts. I find that a lot of my ideas just flow and I quickly have a list of 10 or so ideas. This is rarely my final list that I end up going with. However, my list does form the basis for my series with each point usually ending up as a post of it’s own.
My Next Step is to Set Goals for My Series
It’s at this point that I generally set my goals for the series. I also attempt to set the boundaries for it. Looking at the list I can usually decide how many posts I’ll need to complete my series.
The number of posts helps me decide how long it will run for. Generally I try to run them for a 1 week period, beginning on Monday and ending on Friday. Sometimes they may run for longer or shorter time frames.
It’s good to know up front what I’m aiming for. So I consider questions of how many posts I’ll need? How many I’ll post per day? How long the series will run etc.?
Fleshing Out Drafts of My Posts Comes Next
I then take my created list and take what I’ve written for each post. This is usually just a few keywords and a sentence or two that I copy and paste them into some draft posts on my blog. I give each one a temporary draft title and return to work on in the coming days.
You Need to Pick a Title That Engages Visitors
What you call your blog series is a very important factor in determining it’s success. I would recommend that you give serious consideration your choice. I am thinking about branding and how I will market the series.
Picking the title for a series is similar to how individual posts titles are chosen. It often combines choosing something that drags attention and selecting a title with some good keywords that will help with SEO.
You Need to Tell Everyone How Your Series Will Help Them
Till now what I have been doing is private. Now I put pressure on myself by announcing the series with an introductory post. This lets your readers know what to expect and creates anticipation about what is coming.
My announcement also makes me accountable. I’m under pressure now to finish what I’ve started. It’s very motivating to know that you’ve told your readers how many posts you will be writing on the chosen topic and when you will be delivering them
You Have to Compose a Great Introduction to Your Series
Your introductory post does double duty by functioning as my announcement. In the introduction needs to accomplish two things. First it outlines the direction that the series will take and what is coming in the series.
This could include actually announcing what the series topics will be. Secondly the focus of the introductory post is to help highlight what ‘need’ the series will help to address.
I believe that the most successful posts and series of posts that I’ve written have been popular because they address the need that people have. They answer the questions that people are asking.
Publish Your Posts Daily to Engage Your Readers
I write all my posts in advance and schedule your posts to publish on specific dates in the future. This works well for me and fits my own rhythm of blogging. I usually have my posts pre-written and scheduled for the next month.
Depending on feedback from my readers after they read each post, I am able to edit future posts to address anything raised in comments by readers. This is my personal preference and helps me keep things more manageable as the series posts are published.
Interlinking Provides Easier Access to the Full Series
Don’t make a common blogger mistake of writing a blog post series without interlinking your posts. Your regular readers will follow your post series by logging on each day or reading it in RSS. Other readers might come in via a search, landing on a middle post in the series and if you haven’t linked it to the rest of the posts they will have to go searching for them.
There are a number of ways of interlinking your series. Here are a few of them:
- Central Page– here you have one page/post on your blog that you link to from each post in your series and that lists links to each post in the series.
- Links at the beginning and/or end of posts– in this strategy each post in your series will link to other posts in the series. There are two ways of doing this. You can either just link to the post before and after the post in the series or you can link to all the posts in the series from each post.
I’ve used both methods to interlink my series posts. Deciding which one to use is very much a personal choice.
Your Blog Post Series has to Have a Strong Finish
It may seem obvious that you should have a ‘strong finish for your series’. It’s equally important that you do the well. Your readers want closure and it’s a good idea to finish your series with a short summary of what you’ve written. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the process of writing the series itself.
Especially helpful in your concluding post or paragraph is your invitation for readers to add their own thoughts and points. Relevant comments might give good reasons to have other posts added to your series.
It’s smart to acknowledge this and invite others to continue it in the comments. This way you not only get reader interaction but also develop a more well rounded coverage of the topic as your readers add their own expertise and experience.