By Steve Lazuka, Zerys for Agencies
If you're like most site owners, you've probably heard that a blog will help you reach potential customers and present yourself as an authority in your field. There's a downside to blogging, however - you always have to think of new topics.
Studies show that frequent blogging yields better results than less frequent blogging, or no blog at all. This puts pressure on bloggers to develop interesting content week after week. With a little ingenuity, though, simple blog topics could turn into a multi-week series.
A blog series gives your content marketing efforts a big boost because it:
- Provides material for several weeks or even months
- Gives readers a reason to come back to your blog
- Can be compiled into a future e-book
To create a blog series, you need topics that can be stretched out over multiple posts. But how do you stretch it out? How can you organize your thoughts in a way that informs people and, more importantly, brings them back for more? Here are three approaches you can take to creating a highly-anticipated business blog series.
Have you ever noticed how instruction manuals are broken up into separate chapters, each one devoted to a separate stage of use or assembly? This format helps users figure out where they are in a process. It can also serve as a template for a how-to series.
The format is especially useful if you readers have lots of questions about a topic. New business owners fit into this category nicely. Budding entrepreneurs might not know what it takes to start a new business, but you can map it out in a series of how-to's that cover all the stages, including:
- Step 1: Pick a business idea
- Step 2: Should you incorporate your business?
- Step 3: How to find the right location for your business
- Step 4: Four steps to hiring the best employees
Also, remember that some topics (like Step 4 above) can be broken down into subtopics, giving you new topics for future series.
Many bloggers have built a following creating best-of lists and handy guides to everything from the best diners in New York to the most popular museums in Paris. Why not expand on the idea and turn a best-of list into a multi-post blog series?
These kinds of series are tailor-made for bloggers who write about arts, culture and other light topics. If your business has anything to do with health and beauty, there's no shortage of ideas:
- The 5 Best Fat-Burning Vegetables
- 6 Apps for Better Diabetes Management
- Exercises That Can Shrink Your Gut
- Want to Fight Acne? Avoid These Foods
They look like blog titles, but with a little more research they could quickly turn into titles for a blog series that lasts weeks or even months.
Pieces of the Puzzle
Some things are so complex that you need more than 500 words to explain all the moving parts and how they work together. Instead of giving short shrift to the whole picture, break it down into smaller pieces and give it the time it deserves.
If you work in the auto industry, you probably have customers who want to know how to fix their engines without spending a fortune at a repair shop. Turn some of their most common questions into blog posts, such as:
- How to repair loose fuel caps
- Replace ignition coils in three easy steps
- Are your spark plugs dulling your ride?
You don't have to cover every single aspect of an issue, just those that garner the most attention and interest from potential readers.
A Few Final Pointers
Whatever format you choose for your series, keep these things in mind.
Create an Outline: You can't improvise a blog series - you have to plan it well ahead of time. Before starting your series, list each topic and the information it'll cover.
Ensure Consistency: Create a common format and style for each post in your series, and add boilerplate text indicating that it's part of a larger series.
Refer to Other Parts: Start each post by referring to the previous post, and end it with a brief teaser about the next.
You want your blog readers to become regular visitors - create a blog series and give them a reason to come back again and again.
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.
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