Why a Blogger Should Write a Blog Series
Writing a blog series is a very strategic move for developing authority, building traffic, and providing accountability.
Planning a Blog Series
What and How Long?
A blog series is simply a sequence of blog posts all related to a specific theme. Your blog obviously has a niche, but a blog series takes a more narrow topic within your niche and expands on it in a series of blog posts. Generally the blog posts build on each other with content so that you need to read them in order to get maximum benefit. But they could also be independent, stand-alone posts that are simply unified with an overarching theme.
Your blog series can be as short as three posts or as long as thirty posts. There is no magic number, but be sure that you have enough to say for however many days you choose. A week long series is a good minimum. A month long series is something of a marathon for both blogger and reader, so make sure that your topic is one that your readers truly want to know about. Otherwise, you may get burned out with writing as your readers are getting burned out with reading.
Look at your blog stats. What are some popular posts? Can you expand one of those topics into a series? Look at your comments. Are there reoccuring questions that your readers ask? Answer them in a blog series.
Accountability to Post Regularly
Reason #1 to Write a Blog Series
You know that to be a professional blogger you should always be creating new content, but it’s too easy to let a few days slide without a post. A blog series forces you to post consistently. After you announce the series, your readers are expecting those posts. You will be eager to keep your word with regular writing. If you are doing the blog series in conjunction with other bloggers, there is even more pressure to publish your series posts on time.
In fact, it is best practice to have all your posts written and scheduled before you even begin your blog series. Furiously pounding out a blog post the night before the next day in a series is a stressful situation. You never know what may arise that would prevent you from writing, so get it all lined up ahead of time. At a minimum, stay three days ahead of your blog series schedule so that unforseen disasters don't ruin your plan.
I had a ten day series planned and procrastinated on completing my drafted posts. Wouldn't you know it? Our Internet was down for two days right before my unfinished posts were due to publish! I had to hang out at the public library to get those posts ready for publishing.
Have You Ever Written a Blog Series?
Be Sure to Maximize Your Blog Series
Get the Most From Your Series / Read Part 2
Traffic to Your Blog
Reason #2 to Write a Blog Series
Assuming that your content is good, a blog series has readers coming back for more. In each post, be sure to state that it is one of a series. You can even give your readers previews of what is to come so that they will be sure to either subscribe to your blog or return in the following days.
Within the posts of the series, use keyword anchor text to interlink the posts. Of course, this should be natural and not forced. If you reference a previous post in the series, be sure to link to it. (This is generally good blogging practice to interlink posts and pages on your blog, but it is especially important for a blog series since you want the posts to be seen as a unit.)
Offering teasers to future content is a good strategy. You don't necesarily want a cliffhanger, but hinting at another area that you are going to cover in a future post is a good way to whet your readers' appetite for more.
Reason #3 to Write a Blog Series
When you write an entire series about a single topic, you are perceived as an authority on the topic. Of course, your content will have to have the quality to back up such an assumption. Nevertheless, when you tackle a blog series on an area within your blog niche, you are demonstrating your expertise.
Don't hold back. Offer your readers all that you know about that topic. Share your insider's secrets and your favorite resources. BE the authority that you want to be seen as. Do your research on the posts, and make them meaty.
Blog Series Versus Blog Feature
What is the Difference?
A blog feature is a regularly reoccuring type of post that covers a similar theme each time.
Examples of blog features
- weekly round-up of great links
- weekly menu plan
- weekly words of inspiration
Often, but not always, a blog feature invites others to join up and post on the same theme while linking back to the original blog. A blog feature is generally a weekly post, but it could be monthly or some other frequency.
A blog series, on the other hand, is several posts on a single theme that are usually posted one after the other. So if you have a blog series about holiday traditions, Monday you post about food related traditions. Tuesday's post is about decorations. Wednesday covers holiday symbollism, and Thursday deals with holiday among extended family. You wrap up your series on Friday with a post about making holidays special for children.
It is possible to stretch out a blog series so that you are giving each post on a certain day of the week. But a series has a definite beginning and end whereas a blog feature goes on indefinitely.