“How to find post ideas” is a popular blogging topic. The more you post the more acute the need for a constant supply of fresh ideas. Although having an editorial calendar helps, you still need to fill it.
Most bloggers fill their calendar by coming up with single idea posts. Every day is filled with one totally unique and distinct subject. Daily bloggers are forced to water down their posts and weekly bloggers are pressured into writing mini-novels.This can put a strain on anyone (except maybe Seth Godin).
I found myself in this position a few months ago. Even though I had a few ideas, I needed a way to create more posts and organize them in a logical way that filled a calendar for at least 3 months. I wanted high quality, quantity and relevance.
That’s when I turned to the Blog Series
What is a Blog Series?
Blog Series posts break one subject into multiple and easily digestible pieces. Each post is distinct but fits within a larger subject. These posts are easy to brainstorm because there is an overarching topic that holds each piece together. Overall, blog series are easier to create because we naturally think about topics this way.
For example, let’s say I wrote a personal finance blog. I could randomly fill my calendar with topics, or I could devote every Friday to posts about lowering credit card debt.
With a topic in mind, it’s easier to brainstorm a list of things that my readers needed to do to lower their credit card debt. Everything from negotiating for lower interest rates, paying one card at a time, consolidating expenses to one card, avoiding late fees would quickly fill up each Friday slot. Within minutes, the blogger could have 3 months worth of Friday posts brainstormed, scheduled, and ready to write.
With Friday taken care of do the same for Thursday. Using the same personal finance example, the blogger could devote Thursdays to ways to posts about lowering daily job-related expenses like eating lunch, commuting, and clothing allowances.
Pause here for a second and think about your blog. What weekly series could you start next week?
While you are thinking consider this…
Why Readers Love Blog Series Posts
Readers love consistency and usefulness. They want to know what you have on the agenda so they can plan accordingly. For example, I’ve devoted Thursdays to Small Business Blogging. I’ve already seen increased engagement and new visitors simply because you know what to expect this upcoming Thursday.
Another benefit is that Google and other search engines will love your tightly focused posts. You’ll find that you’ll achieve better rankings with your Blog Series simply because Google sees how your posts are relevant to a specific topic.
Finally, you can turn your blog post series into an Expert Product that can be used to incentivize email subscribers or used a bonus for an existing product.
How to Get Your Next Blog Post Series Started
Look for In-Depth Topics
The best post series cover in-depth even complex topics. This gives you the chance to organize the topic and build a comprehensive set of posts to explore all angles. Simple one-post question and answer posts aren’t good candidates for a blog series.
Cover All the Bases
I recommend that you cover the “Why, What, How, and Tools” in separate posts. Here’s a quick look at each post type:
- What: Offer background, research, and history information
- Why: Explain why is the subject important. Make sure that you emphasize benefits.
- How: Tips, steps and processes that the reader can use
- Tools: Resources, links, gadgets that the reader can use to get more from the subject
Avoid the temptation to pack your posts with month’s worth of information. Your readers will want the subject divided up into easy to digest pieces.
Name the Series
Give your series a snappy and benefit-driven name. Your goal is to make your series jump out at readers and immediately convince them that your post’s will be worthwhile. Make sure to provide links to all the posts if you decide to number your series posts.
Stick to the Schedule
I’m a big believer in scheduling your posts and sticking to the calendar. Only shift topics around if you’ve discovered a glaring omission or get specific reader requests.
Will This Work For You?
I’m interested in hearing if you’ve considered writing a Blog Post series. Is it easier for you to think about a series of posts rather than create them one at a time?