If you’ve never written a series of posts for your blog I strongly recommend you give it a shot. I’m going to give you a list of the 10 steps I use, but first, let’s talk about the benefits of running a series on your blog.
- Increases stickiness: Each time visitors return for the next post in the series they get another opportunity to discover the awesomeness of your blog.
- Increases subscriptions: Subscriptions usually go up when you’re running a series. People don’t want to miss the next post.
- Increases page views: First-time visitors start at the beginning and read every post. Repeat visitors read all the relevant content you’re linking to. Page views go up, up, up.
- Increases conversions: You may not see an increase in unique visitors, but an increase in page views typically leads to an increase in conversions. You’re answering all their questions.
- Strengthens internal linking structure: Linking all those posts together and to other relevant content deeper on your blog strengthens you internal linking structure which helps with SEO and increasing your page rank.
Now, let’s get on with the show. Here are 10 steps to writing a successful series on your blog.
1. Choose Your Topic – It might seem obvious, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Don’t create multiple posts just so you can run a series. Choose a topic that has more information than you can comfortably cover in one blog post.
2. Create A List – Make a list of all the points you want to cover. Include keywords and a bit of a description, just enough to organize your thoughts. You’ll be fleshing everything out later.
3. Create A Publishing Schedule – At this point, you should decide how many posts you’re going to create and how you plan to publish them. For example, will you publish one post a day for five days in a row, or will you publish one post every Wednesday for the next two months? The schedule and frequency is up to you, but if you wait to long between posts your readers may lose interest.
4. Create Draft Posts – Either set up draft posts on your blog or start different Word files so you can start fleshing out each individual post in the series.
5. Choose A Series Title – Put some thought into choosing a title for your series. Use keywords so it’s searchable, but I also like to think of it as potential content for a book someday. What would you title your series if you were writing it in book format? On a side note, never title your individual posts as Part I and Part II and so on. Title each post with the title you’ve chosen for the series, followed by a descriptive phrase that let’s readers know what that particular installment is about.
6. Publish An Announcement – A day or two before you launch your series, write a post to announce it to your readers. Send a broadcast email to your list.
7. Publish An Introduction – You can include an introduction with your announcement or you can publish it separately. Let your readers know what your series is about, what you plan to cover and how they’ll benefit from reading it.
8. Write Your Posts – There are two ways you can handle writing your posts. Some bloggers write them all at once in succession and schedule the posts to publish in the future. Other bloggers prefer to write their posts daily so they can answer any questions the came up in the comments the day before.
9. Interlink Your Posts – Always link to the posts that have already been published and don’t forget to include links to other relevant content if necessary. Don’t worry about linking ahead in the series.
10. Write A Conclusion – Write a wrap-up post that includes links to all of the posts in your series and gives a recap of why you thought this series was important and what your readers should have learned. Don’t forget to ask for questions and reply to all comments along the course of the series.