Many bloggers increase anticipation from readers by regularly posting a series. Often this is accomplished by publishing a post on a particular topic on a specific day each week. There are a number of examples that we could look at. Smashing Magazine has a Monday Inspiration series that routinely provides readers with some type of inspiration for their own design work. At ProBlogger, two different series are used. Skellie writes a regular column, Keeping You Posted, and there is also a series for Community Blog Consulting where readers offer advice and tips to bloggers who want to have their blog reviewed.
Reasons to Use a Series:
1. When readers get accustomed to seeing these posts on a specific day, they start to look for them and hopefully the success of the posts increases as a result of the anticipation.
2. Readership of the posts can be increased with a series. When readers are anticipating a post on a topic that is of interest to them, they will be more likely to read the post rather than skipping over it in their feed reader.
3. A series can be extremely helpful for branding and recognition. On what topic/subject do you want readers to recognize your expertise? Why not start a recurring series that will consistently demonstrate your knowledge and help to brand your blog as a leader in the industry?
4. A series will be a big help in your scheduling of posts and in your idea generation. These two issues can be troublesome for many bloggers, but with a series you will always know when you need a new post and what topic it should cover. Of course, you’ll still have to come up with a specific idea for the post, but at least you’ll have a starting point.
Keys to Creating an Effective Blog Series:
1. Use Images When Possible – Some bloggers very effectively use images consistently within a series. Developing a banner, badge, or some other type of graphic that distinguishes the post as a part of the series will help with reader recognition. When readers quickly recognize the post as part of the series they’ll likely be more interested in it.
2. Be Clear – Make it clear to readers that the series exists and that this particular post is a part of the series. Many of your readers may not have been around when you first started a new series, or they simply may not remember. Don’t assume that all of your readers know that a post is part of a series. Include a brief introduction that explains the ongoing series. Some bloggers actually create a homepage for the series and they’ll link to this page at the start of each article in the series. With this method they’ll be able to go into more detail on the page about the series, why it exists, and how readers can benefit from it.
3. Use it for Branding Your Blog – If you are going to write a series of posts, choose a topic that will help to brand your blog as a leader on a specific topic. Choose the subject of the series carefully as it will have a big impact on the marketing of your blog.
4. Link the Archives – Readers will often want to see older posts in the series, and as I said earlier, many of them may not have been around to see your other posts in the series. If possible, keep an archive of all the posts in the series. This is another reason why it is helpful to have a homepage for the series.
5. Try to Get Readers Involved Somehow – The community blog consulting series at ProBlogger is very successful in large part due to the involvement that it creates from readers. When readers get involved, especially on an on-going basis like they do with a series, everyone benefits.
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