We bloggers often get very focused on our individual posts – making sure they have catchy titles, Pinteresty graphics, and SEO optimization. We hope that they go viral or at least get pinned or shared a lot. But another subtle yet very effective way to increase your stats and grow your readership is to entice people to get lost within your blog itself. Linking to other posts within posts is SO effective, and writing a blog series on a certain topic can really draw the reader in. It’s great to have that one post that does really well, but even better if your visitor finds that they have just lost an hour on your site because they kept getting drawn deeper and deeper in.
There’s a lot of things I don’t do as a blogger, but if there’s one thing I have done a lot of, it’s blog series. I’ve been blogging for almost six years now, and have nine blog series on my blog (and am in the process of planning my tenth).
While blog series and blog categories definitely have a lot of similarities, a blog series is more focused on a topic.
Different Types of Blog Series
1. A monthly feature: this kind of series is a series that runs one post around the same day monthly. Examples of this on my blog are my Beauty in the Mess series, a monthly feature highlighting God’s beauty in my mess and my Monthly Link Love series, where I feature posts I love from other bloggers.
2. A weekly feature: these are probably series you are really familiar with, as many bloggers plan certain types of posts on certain days, such as “Motherhood Mondays” or “Wordless Wednesdays.” My friend Katie and I have been doing a blog series on her blog called “Faithful Fitness Fridays” in which we rotate posting on fitness every week.
3. A story series: this is a blog series that tells a story. It could be a mini-memoir, your love story, or any other story you want to tell chronologically. My biggest story series is The Wilderness Between Legalism and Grace, a 31 post series covering seven years of my life and my personal journey away from legalistic fundamentalism.
4. A topical series: there can definitely be overlap between this kind of series and the ones already mentioned, but a topical series is simply a blog series that covers a certain topic really intensely.
How to make your series more successful
1. Make a graphic for the series itself. Even if you will go on to make graphics for each post of the series, having one central graphic for the series is very important for visibility. I try to make mine square to fit nicely on my sidebar.
2. Create a landing page for the series. This can be a separate page on your blog, or you can just make the first post in the series your landing page. Here you should list every post from the series so that your readers don’t have to try to find them on your own. (I don’t do this for my monthly features, but my topic-focused and story series I do.) A great example of a landing page is the one I made for my series about Allume, my first blogging conference.
3. Link back to your landing page in every post in the series. Make sure your readers know that a) this post is a part of a series and b) you can find the rest of the posts here. In my most recent series called At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy mom, you will see that I linked back to the landing page at both the beginning and ending of each post.
4. For story series, make your blog an easy page-turner by going in after the fact and putting a link at the bottom of each post to the next post in the series, making it easy for your readers to click through the series without ever having to jump back to the landing page. This helps the flow of the series and will make them more likely to keep reading without distractions. I did this with my legalism series. (I got this idea from Mary-Ellen at Imperfect Homemaker when reading her love story!)
5. Help your readers find their way to your blog series. VISIBILITY is key! Put those buttons on your sidebar, make sure they are accessible from your menu, and link to them in your about page. If you have an email newsletter or weekly RSS digest, put the graphics on that sidebar too.
I had so many blog series on my blog that I decided to create a landing page that lists all of the blog series on my blog, all in one place as yet another way to get the content into the hands of my readers. Katie from Wonderfully Made has done this on her blog as well, with one page that lists both all of her series AND all of the posts within those series!
Have you ever done a series on your blog? Which is your favorite type to host? What about to read? They can be extra helpful if you are facing writer’s block because it’s a ready-made topic for you to write about! Share your experiences in the comments!