I just completed a small series of blog posts that were somewhat related in substance and topic set. I did it as a way to get a lot of posts out while I was away in Newfoundland visiting relatives. You see, just because I go away, I never want you to have to wait, and I never want there to be a break in the action, so I put together a series of posts. Here were the posts in my series:
- How to Put Your Small Business On the Web
- Your Avatar on the Web
- Before You Seek Business
- How to Grow Traffic to Your Blog
- How To Convert Traffic to a Sale
- Package Your Business
- How to Write Effective Blog Posts
You’ll note that the posts had a similar theme: how-to advice for small or solo business people in building their web presence and using it for business.
You’ll note that I used similar art on every post: It all came from the Vintage Collective on Flickr (and was all Creative Commons licensed).
You’ll note that I had calls to action of some sort or another in every post, as well as actions you could do for yourself.
You’ll note that I wrote at least one extra post a day that had nothing to do with the series.
How I Did It
First, I came up with the topics. I started with just writing down titles in the order that they’d appear if I were going to publish an ebook of information to help someone learn what I wrote about. Second, I wrote a few posts at a time until they were all written, added the appropriate artwork, and then scheduled them to post every morning at 4:30AM Eastern Time. Finally, I went back through the entire body of work to be sure that it made sense in sum the way I was laying it out in individual posts.
Simple as That
People often tell me that they have trouble coming up with blog topics. The way I came up with this was asking myself this question: “what could I help other people understand, and how can I write it up to be actionable?”
I have about six other series like this in development, but can’t write fast enough with all my other requirements and responsibilities, so you’ll see them dribbled out over the coming months. In all cases, I did what I mentioned above.
Series Are a Great Resource
By building a series, you get the opportunity to build something of value to people instead of just reacting to the day’s news and/or your passing whims. It’s a great way to offer a bit more to your regular community, and also a way to empower others to develop their own capabilities.
The big trick to you as a writer is this: Just do one thing and then do the next thing. Don’t worry about the size and scope. Just work a bit at a time. It gets done. That’s how Julien Smith and I wrote our book and how we’re writing our new book. It’s how lots of things get done (not just writing). Work on the shape, the package, the first framework, and then fill it in.
Here’s hoping it was useful.