Writing A Blog Series? Make It Great With These 7 Tips
At one point or another you’ve been asked what you do for work. Perhaps you simply answer “blogger” or “writer” but did you ever consider content marketer? Your SEO knowledge, social media prowess and ability to engage a community make you a natural! As a marketer you always want to assist your clients. A blog series is a tool that allows you to:
- Have highly targeted posts with more depth
- Pull in repeat readers
- Add page views / Increase pull on search engines.
What’s not to love?
The Content Marketer’s Cheat Sheet: 7 Steps to a Fantastic Blog Series
Set up Draft Posts: Getting started, is of course, the most vital part of any writing assignment. A series can seem a bit daunting at first. I’ve found draft posts can be exceptionally helpful. Get each title into a separate document, list the keyword to focus on, any notes from the client and start drafting a barebones outline. What are the first thoughts that come to mind on this subject? Jot phrases, themes or sentences you like the sound of. Still no inspiration? Take a break or dive into some research!
Confirm a Publishing Schedule: Often your work rate can determine when blogs will be published. ProBlogger Darren Rowse suggests writing a post a day, but admits that other bloggers prefer to complete a whole project, releasing the posts over time. If a post a day seems a little too ambitious, go with the latter.
Develop a Series Arc: I get it, you are writing online content, not the next season of Downton Abbey. Yet, similar story telling rules apply. Each blog post should build on the last, present dilemmas, answer questions and culminate in a climax. Your final post can present a challenge to the reader, asking them to take a course of action. For clients dedicated to inbound marketing, this is the perfect opportunity for a bottom-of-the-funnel CTA (Call To Action).
Know the End Goal: When fulfilling a content order for a client it’s great to know the goal of the article. Clients concerns usually fall address SEO, traffic or community. Many times a customer will make this clear but if you’re not sure, ask!
- Authority & SEO: Focus on a keyword phrase. This should be throughout the body of the blog and in the title.
- Traffic: For an immediate lift, utilize newsworthy events. Ex, “How Authoring a Blog Series is like Competing in the Olympic Gymnastics All-Around.” Cheesy maybe, but a headline that will garner attention and is super shareable!
- Community & Interaction: Pull from personal stories or pose questions to readers. You can readdress these throughout the series or get inspiration for additional blogs! In some cases controversy gets more comments. Choose a hard to defend stance and a sensational title.
Employ a Consistent Voice: Perhaps a bit of a no-brainer, but clients pay content writers for reliability. Utilize the same voice, whether professional, conversational or humorous, throughout. Employ CopyBlogger’s blogging formulas to stay on track. You’ll notice in Chris Brogan’s “How to Write a Blog Series,” he mentions also using consistent imagery in a blog series. His own came from Creative Commons. Personally, I have found creative commons challenging. A great work-around is finding a license which allows alterations. Simply crop and apply filters to all blog photography.
Create Interlinks: Not only is linking between interior pages just a good SEO practice. Interlinking in a blog series is important for UX (user experience). What if a stumbles on the fifth installment of your series? Cap off each blog post by linking to all blog posts in the series. You can write out the full title in a descending list, or simply state “Get the Full Series! Part 1 | Part 2 | Ect…” There are multiple options! Employ them all if you wish, just ensure the links are functional!
Announce Your Series: Ah sweet relief, your blog series is done! Supply your client with an introductory blog he can publish as a pre-cursor to the series. This will create anticipation. Additionally, you can craft “easy tweets” and LinkedIn updates for this company to post. These extra steps make the difference between a copywriter and a full-fledged content marketer. Which one are you?