How To Run A Blog Series

A blog series is a great idea for any blogger. Whether you’ve run many series in the past, or have just started thinking about one, this post is for you! Today we’ll walk you through the whens, whys and hows of running a blog series.

Blog Series

Why Run A Blog Series?

  • People have short attention spans. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but most people don’t hang on your (or my) every word. Most people scan or skim posts. Shorter posts are better for today’s short-attention span readers.
  • Complex posts are hard to digest. There’s nothing that scares a reader off than a too-long or too involved post. When you create a series, it’s easier for people to manage.
  • To maximize your writing effort. Why spend hours writing a 2000-word tome, put it all in one post and then have to do it all again the next day? By stretching out posts into series, you’re able to more easily fill your editorial calendar.
  • To grab the SEO benefit. Offering a series of related posts allows you to interlink the posts between them, which helps with your SEO!
  • To increase your return visitors. If you write a great opening post to a series, chances are people will come back for subsequent installments.

When You Should Consider Running A Blog Series

  • A post is too long to read at once. If your post pushes past 1000 words, it may need to go into 2 parts.
  • You have a group of related topics that don’t fit well in one post. An example would be a series of tutorials on holiday crafts. The posts are related due to the holiday theme but would be much too involved for one post.
  • You’re explaining a complex topic. This is particularly true when writing posts about blogging. A post about “how to gain more social media followers” is going to encompass multiple sub-topics like Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and more. This is a perfect candidate for a series.
  • Your topic lends itself to installments or has natural breaks. Perhaps you’re writing about a particularly dramatic period in your life. Instead of writing one long post, identify a “cliffhanger” or natural break moment at which to end the first post and start a second. This will entice readers to come back to read how the story ends.

How to Run a Blog Series

  • Start with a plan. Outline how many posts you anticipate creating from the original topic. Map out the content in each post and make sure you have enough content to fill the planned posts (or avoid having too much in each post!)
  • Keep each post to 500-650 words. Keep each post simple and succinct. If you’re typically less wordy, add more images to give the post more “meat.”
  • Introduce the series. Write a preview post the week prior to the series running. Step your readers through what the series is about and why they should read it.
  • Limit series to one week unless absolutely necessary. It’s hard for people to follow a series of posts that start before a weekend and pick back up after the weekend. If you have to cross into a new week with your series due to length, a) examine whether you can actually have two separate series or b) make sure you explain to your readers that the series is extending into another week.
  • Don’t start a series in the middle of the week. Unless the series is a weekly feature running on a scheduled weekday indefinitely, try to start your series on Monday or Tuesday.
  • Preview the next post . As you finish each post in your series, give your readers a snippet of what’s to come. Example: “Now that we’ve finished talking about making the perfect Valentine’s Day cake, come back tomorrow, when I’ll share with you how to create a gorgeous Valentine’s Day tablescape.
  • Review the last post. As you start a new post in the series, review what you just covered. Example: “Yesterday we talked about making a perfect Valentine’s Day cake (include link to yesterday’s post!). Today, I’ll give you 4 easy steps to make a beautiful tablescape.”
  • Interlink posts. Every time you have a chance to interlink posts within a series, do it! Also, if you’ve written other posts on this same, or related topics, include those in your posts as well. You can do this within the post content, or you can add an “additional resources” section at the end of the post. Example: “If you liked this Valentine’s Day entertaining series, be sure to check out  my series last year on Easter brunches.”
  • Consider experts/guest posters. If you want to do a series but don’t have the expertise to cover each and every aspect, invite an expert to guest post for you on the topics you’re shaky on. This will enhance your credibility to your readers.

Now you’re ready to tackle a blog series and get the maximum impact. Good luck!

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Comments

  1. oh yea!! I am so excited to try this! I have a few ideas for a series that I am itching to try out!

  2. What a great idea! I unintentionally ran a blog series about SEO, because I had so many great tips (from bloggers and SEO consultants) that I didn’t want to create a super long blog. This post gives me more information so that I can do this intentionally next time. Thanks!

  3. Great suggestions! I’ve started trying to do blog series, but was just kind of winging it. This is the perfect guide for my next one.

  4. I really should calendar a blog series this year! I’m entering my 3rd year of blogging in March, so I think then would a good start. Thank you for the tips; I’m going to set them in stone.

  5. This is maybe a little beyond me… I have thought of doing a series on the same day each week. Hmmm. Food for thought.

  6. This is a helpful post – just at the right time for me today : ) I’ve been thinking about a series and this helps me to make my thoughts more concrete!

    Could you run a series on running a series? : )

  7. I hadn’t thought of running a series for several days in a row. I can see how a weekend would definitely kill the momentum you have built.

    I’d like to add that bloggers should make every effort to finish a series. As a reader, I find it frustrating when a blogger starts a series and then drops it half was through. I’m totally guilty of doing this as a blogger so I’m preaching to me first. As a blogger, I try to have at least half of the series WRITTEN before I publish it and the rest of the series outlined.

  8. I have tried blog series and link up’s many times, but always seem to fail halfway through for series or cancel after 3 weeks for linkup’s. Great methodology, I might have to find a topic again for a series and follow these steps!

  9. I love blog series, this is a great post and has made me realize how to improve mine! Thanks!

  10. thank you, melissa!

  11. My series on Blogger Business cards from last year was my most trafficked week on Momcomm all year! So, running a series definitely works!

  12. Helen Spencer says:

    Great advice, well timed for me!

  13. Thanks for the tips…I plan on running a blog series soon on hosting a birthday tea.

  14. Brillant! I’ve planned series before only to le them drag on for weeks! Now I know better! There will be some more in my future!

  15. Blog series are super fun to write and to read! I agree about not starting on a Friday though. I made that first mistake when I first started blogging. Nobody really read it. I learned my lesson! Thanks for the tips, I’ll definitely be bookmarking this page for future reference. Thanks!

  16. This is excellent advice. I began a series last year about a dramatic period of my past. I didn’t really have much of a plan. I’d still like to share more, and this post is so helpful! :)

  17. Great tips, Gigi. I did a series of posts once, and I was very satisfied with my ratings, and with the interest people expressed in them.

    The SEO benefit is a great thing that I don’t think I thought about when I did mine!

  18. Love it. Love Gigi. Always so smart and helpful!

  19. I haven’t thought of doing a blog series but I do like your explainations about why and how. Food for thought.

  20. I’m doing a month-long series on organizing at my blog. I’m only posting three times a week, but I hope it’s still not too drawn out. :/ Doing the series has been fun, because it’s made me really delve into one topic more deeply, but I think that once February 1 rolls around I’ll be ready to get back to regularly scheduled programming!

  21. Blog post series are my favorite thing to read!!

  22. Fabulous information here.

  23. Thanx for this info. I’ve already done a number of series on my blog, but was just winging it. These tips will come in handy for future series.

  24. Great Tips, I have ran a few series and plan to do one this spring. But I tend to fly by the seat of my pants.

  25. I love the idea of a blog series- I’m actually hosting a blog series this week for my tenth baby’s birthday…a giveaway every day! I don’t really understand how linking increases SEO…I would love to read a post from you on that (or maybe you have one that I haven’t read?) Thanks so much for these tips!

  26. Love this! So helpful :)

  27. Love this!

  28. Thanks for the great tips! I just started my first series over at Cupcakes and Candy Canes, and I’ll definitely be using these ideas.

    Thanks
    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com

  29. Great tips! Thank you ladies.

  30. Great advice! But man, I can’t even imagine writing a 2000 word post. How long would that even take? Mine usually don’t go past 300. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong, heh.

  31. Excellent post! Thanks so much for talking about something that’s been weighing heavily on my mind. I’ve recently transition an old blog to a new one and it’s been a KILLER!

  32. Great tips, sadly my series are spread weeks apart. I’m the one with the short attention span.

  33. This is so inspiring! I’m going to be trying to come up with an idea for a series all day! Thanks for the tips, Gigi.

  34. Now I need to think of a series!

  35. Interlinking is so important. It’s a bummer to find a little gem that says it is part of a series, and yet there are no links to any of the other posts. Make it easy on me. ;)

  36. Great idea! I’m definitely going to try this. Thank you :)

  37. Love the idea – could you also break it into just 400-500 words per post? For a longer series? Interlinking has become so important – great tips.

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