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Keeping Your Blog Alive, Part 4: The Blog Post Series

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If you’ve been reading along with this series of how to keep your blog posts alive, you already have a good idea of what I’m going to talk about. A series of blog posts, when used in conjunction with the techniques I wrote about in the last several weeks, will give you the best chance of keeping your blog alive.

The Basic Blog Post Series

Step 1. Get your ideas.

Step 2. Write them down and make a schedule.

Step 3. Develop the ideas into a series of multiple posts.

Step 4. Write the entire series in a single setting and schedule them for automatic publication.

The 4-steps identified above are not that difficult. What makes it difficult to keep them alive, however, is a combination of factors. If, for example, you’re planning on a single, 350-word blog post per month, it probably won’t take you more than an hour or two of writing each week. Though that doesn’t feel like much, it’s often very hard to do if you’re not used to it.

Writing multiple posts in a single writing session will give you the best chance of falling behind on regular content, but even then, you have to have the discipline to sit down once or twice a month and actually write.

So, assuming you have a little time, and a little discipline, using a series of blog posts can be an excellent strategy. Here’s why.

Multiple Posts, Related Concepts, and Flow

When you’re writing about something you know a lot about, you might find that the words start pouring out of you. You love this stuff, and when you start talking/writing about it, you can’t shut up.

Psychologists who research creativity actually call this flow. When you’re in a state of flow you tend to lose track of time, space, and anything other than the task you’re completing. You might type for 10 minutes at a time when you’re in this state of flow. You might go into and out of this state several times in a writing session. But when you’re in it, you tend to write quickly. You tend to expand and elaborate on the important details because you are letting the knowledge flow through you onto the page.

This is why blog post series are so great. With a series you can take a lump of knowledge that you’ve turned into written words and shape it into multiple posts.

For example, let’s say you know everything there is to know about real estate law. You know about zoning, landlord-tenant laws, eminent domain, you name it. One day you decide to sit down and write a blog post explaining real estate law to someone who knows nothing about it. You write and write and, at the end, have about 3,000 words of material.

Congrats. You wrote a lot and are ready to turn that lump of coal into a handful of polished diamonds.

Dividing the Lump

Taking a long piece and dividing it into multiple blog posts is not difficult, but you cannot simply cut it into pieces and expect it to work.

First, you have to identify the ideal length. If you’ve done your homework, you should already know how long you want your posts to be. You can use that length as a measuring stick. Look at the long piece you’ve just written and get an idea of what it would look like if you chopped it up into posts of the word length you need. This won’t give you complete posts, but it will give you an idea of where the natural breaks should be.

Next, identify those breaks and them cut and paste the posts into individual documents. After that, you need to add some structure. Adding introductions, segways, and conclusions will polish the chopped up pieces into individual posts. All you have to do then is optimize them for SEO, paste them into WordPress, and schedule publication.

That’s it.

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