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Blogging a Series for Reader Engagement

blog hopI went to BlogHer a few years back when it was in Chicago and last year envied all the tweets coming out of New York. But this year I can honestly say I don’t have a touch of envy. I spent the last week on a glorious vacation with my hubby and kids and really wouldn’t have traded that for all the blog networking in the world.

BUT, it is nice to learn new things that can help me along as a blogger. I really learned a ton at Type A Conference a few months back and feel like there is so much more to learn. Thankfully some brilliant bloggers decided that instead of having you go to a conference, they would bring the conference to you.

BlogHop Blog Conference At Home will be posting amazing content all weekend from some of the bloggers you would pay big bucks to hear speak at many blog conference. Bookmark that page. You will want to check it out.

Somehow I got asked to be part of this amazing group of women. I am possibly in over my head, but that has never stopped be before. So if you are hopping over from the BlogHop, welcome! I would love to share some tips that have helped me run a few successful blog series over here at The Diaper Diaries.

  1. Choose Your Topic Wisely: When you write a single post it can be about most anything you find interesting. When you blog a series, you need to be able to have enough content to fill many posts. Pick a topic that you are passionate about and knowledgeable about. Also pick a topic that is of interest to your readers and your potential readers. While your mom might find a 10 week series on your daughter’s coloring skills fascinating, it is possible the internet as a whole won’t agree.
  2. Have an Angle: If you want to have a series that people talk about and keep coming back to consider whether what you are blogging about has been done before. If it has, make your series unique. I hadn’t seen anyone talk at length about sex in marriage from a Christian perspective and if they did, it they didn’t seem to be having fun talking about it. I still get a lot of traffic from my Sex Challenge series and I originally posted it 3 years ago.
  3. Stay Consistent: Your readers need to know that they can count on your series. Design a logo that you use for every post in the series. Keep the title of the series visible in the title of the post. You will want to title each individual post as well for both clarity and SEO purposes. (An example would be: Managing Expectations- Marriage Unwrapped)
  4. Blog with Regularity: It really seems as though I should talk about Metamucil here, but what I mean is your readers need to know when to expect your series posts. If you are blogging a series and posting randomly throughout the month and skipping weeks at a time they will not stick around. Pick a day of the week and post your series post on that day. Or post every day for a week about your topic. I have found that even when I am asked to do sponsored posts on a certain day, nearly every PR person has been willing to move things around to accommodate my marriage series.
  5. Link Your Posts Together: If someone stumbles upon your blog in the middle of a series, would they recognize that there were other posts in the same series? You want people clicking around within your blog when they come for the first time and a series is a perfect way to make that happen. But it won’t happen if you don’t make it easy for them. I keep it simple by ending every “Marriage Unwrapped” post with this tag:

    You can find all the

     

    Marriage, Unwrapped posts here

  6. Have an End Date in Mind…..or not: When I did my Sex Challenge series I mapped it out carefully ahead of time and knew I could fill 20 weeks of content. In my first post I made it clear that my readers were to expect 20 weeks of fun ideas to spice up their sex life. With my Marriage Unwrapped series I have no such plan. And since I am using guest posters and my husband to help fill out content it will probably go on for a while. Pay attention to your readers and their engagement. If things seem to be getting stale and you don’t have an end date in mind, it might be time to pull the plug.
  7. Promote Yourself and Your Series: If you are writing a series on marriage, find places to guest post about marriage. Blogging about great toddler meals? Try and guest post on a well read food blog. Develop a hashtag for your series and use it to promote your posts on Twitter. Engage your readers on your Facebook page asking them for ideas for future posts. Embrace the fact that you will meet people at conferences who will say “Oh, you are the sex lady!!” Yes. Yes I am.

Seven seems like an odd number of tips, but I am all tapped out. Actually it is amazing I can write a coherent sentence at all considering my brain is mush from vacation. Thankfully there is a huge line up of uber brilliant bloggers to save the day. Make sure to check them out!

This post is part of the BlogHop Blog Conference at Home. To see the full agenda of learning sessions visit Blog Conference Newbie.

Comments

  1. I love the idea of blogging in a series. There are so many topics that are just too broad to be covered in one blog post.

    Thanks, Jill, for a great post. And I don’t think you’re out of league at all :)

  2. Good lessons! I love my Before You Hit Publish series, but I wish I had made more of a plan in advance. Those posts take a lot of energy for me and fizzled out when I was big and pregnant! But I want to write more. :)

  3. You are totally an expert in this area, whether you think you are or not. It’s fantastic advice, and I just Google +’d it.

    I think. I am not really sure how that works and may accidentally have shared it with my “I Have No Idea Who You Are” circle, but still. I’m certain they enjoyed it.

  4. THANK YOU so much! This has wonderful tips that we will definitely be using!

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