New to the Series? Start with Part One
Blogosphere: A series
Part Forty-Four: How to String Your Readers Along
Last time we discussed the concept—the philosophy—of keeping your posts short.
But, wait! What if you have a lot to say about something?
Glad you brought that up.
Think blog series. Think—dare I say it?—think eBook.
OK, so that’s two things to think about, and one of them doesn’t sound like it fits… exactly. More on that later.
When you have more to say than fits into a single post, or a LOT more to say, it is time to build a blog series.
The first thing to think about when constructing a series is how you want to present it. The first series done on UhW was World Building, and in its original form, I fired off six posts a day on the topic, dropping theme only for a Word of the Day. Later, when I reinvented the series I took my Blogging Sensei Bill Belew’s suggestions to heart and posted only once per day, but at the same time each day. This, he told me, is how to keep people coming back for more each day. Never, he said, ever give it all away at once.
It turns out there is a time and place for the all at once model, but we’ll save that for another post.
For now, please consider the following important “rules”:
- One post per day, only. And at the same time each day
- Do your best to plan out your series so the contents logically lead from post to post
- Include links to the previous and next posts in the current one. Note: you cannot put a link in for the next piece until it is posted, even if you know how the link will look. Until it is posted, your readers will not be able to get there. However, once each new post is up, you can go back to the previous one and make the link.
- Always put a brief note and a link to the first post in the series on each subsequent post. THIS IS ESSENTIAL. The chances are some readers will find your series in the middle. If they cannot easily get to the first of the series, or if they need to back-track one page at a time via your next/previous links, they are likely to quit in disgust.
- Advertise your series. Using Blog Surfer (in your WordPress dashboard), find other blogs that have similar topics and let them know about your series. Do be kind and gentle when doing this.
- Perhaps this last bit of advice is not needed, but then… A series is a showcase piece. It needs to look good, it needs to BE good. Check your spelling and grammar, be sure to add at least one good (and colorful) image for each post.
And that’s pretty much it. Oh, right, the other way of using your material… the all at once method. We’ll speak of that anon. And on, and on, and on….