How To Boost Your Site with a Blog Series
I love a good television series. Scandal, American Idol, Nashville, Castle, Elementary, and The Killing are some of my favorites. Hell, I even DVR AM Style on QVC each week. I know, I know, who DVRs QVC? This girl. Anyway, I set my DVR and look forward to these shows each week so I can luxuriate in my hour or so of window shopping, thriller, or guilty pleasure, and I return season after season to follow along.
I like to think of blogs in the same way. While I follow lots of bloggers on social media, there are a select few who I subscribe to via email or Google+ notifications to get their new content pushed to me. When I get a post from one of my favorite bloggers, I look forward to it and await the time when my kids are sleeping or occupied so I can read through it at my leisure. (And yes, washing dishes with the computer on the counter is "my leisure.")
One of the best ways to become THAT blog to people is to take a page from the world of television and create a weekly or monthly series on your blog. I’m talking about a topic that you cover every week, every other week, every month etc., that your readers can look forward to. You can also consider a mini-series, where you choose a topic and create a certain number of entries that you will spread out over a period of time. There are several ways your blog can benefit by including a series. There are several ways your blog can benefit by including a series:
- Predictability: While your readers will start to expect your series posts, it also gives you, the author, predictability with your subject matter. This allows you to plan ahead and make the content gathering part of your everyday routine, since it tends to be in the back of your mind as you go about your daily life. This is especially true when you publish on a certain topic repeatedly.
- Branding: When I first started blogging and checking out other bloggers, I found that those with a blog series were the ones that I was able to identify and ‘brand’ the most in my mind. Stephanie Sprenger? Oh yeah, she’s the Parentz Bop lady. Blog Clarity? They do the weekly 10-minute blogging tips thing. Etc. Take it to the next level by using a repetitive logo, image, hashtag etc. around your series, you can further build your brand by associating your blogging persona with your series over time.
- Anticipation for Reader: Creating a series that your reader loves lets them begin to anticipate that it's coming. When they anticipate, they don’t want to miss it. When they are afraid they might miss it, they are more likely to subscribe and follow you. This is especially true for someone who may have never visited your site before but finds and enjoys your series. If they know there is more to come but have never been on your site before, they are more likely to note who you are and not become just a one time visitor. This can be especially applicable with search engine driven traffic or traffic from social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon that otherwise might just read and move on, never to return again.
- Participation: When your readers start to use your series to identify you in their minds, they are more likely to participate because they recognize situations and see things through the lens of your series as they go about daily life. This may make them more likely to feel they have something to share in comments vs. just moving on.
Let’s look at a real life examples that encompasses the four elements above.
Things I've Learned This Week
Nucking Futz Mama’s series, Things I’ve Learned This Week, is a short, bulleted list of the mostly humorous lessons she learned through the course of the week (for example, “I wish my kids spent as much time organizing their rooms as they do organizing the apps on their phones.”). I look forward to these, and it is probably an easy and fun post for her since she probably jots things down all week as thoughts occur to her (I’m guessing).
While I subscribe and read all of her posts (series and non-series), in my mind, she’s "The weekly funny list lady," and I picture her blog and those funny posts first and foremost in my mind when I hear her blog name. I have read her lists so many times, that as I go through my week, I often think, "That would be a funny list entry!" This makes me more likely to comment on her post with my own additions and/or share her post on social media with my own funny comment about something I learned this week.