The A-2-Z of business blog writing: S is for Series

business,blogs,blogging,series,writing,Suzan St Maur,,how to write better

The magic of series: does anyone remember this one? (I loved it when I was a child)

Ever since the first soap opera, “Painted Dreams,” was aired on a Chicago radio station back in 1930, serials and series have been used to hook listeners and viewers into a long running chain of communications. The techniques work for the written word, too – especially for your business blog.

In the broadcast world, a serial (like a soap opera or shows like Dallas, Coronation Street, Eastenders, etc.) consists of XX programs each of which tell the next part of one long story. A series is XX programs using the same characters, sets, etc., in which each episode tells an entire standalone story (e.g. Silent Witness, New Tricks, Murder She Wrote, etc.)

These formats work for business blogs, too

Just like the soap operas, interesting, gripping series of blog posts can keep readers and customers coming back regularly to read your next installment.

There are other advantages, too. Once a series is complete, you can package all “episodes” together, edit them appropriate and perhaps add some additional content and voilà – an instant eBook, and even a full size book for print and Kindle.

One good example of that is Lucy McCarraher’s excellent series here on HTWB, called “How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss,” which she has now turned into a very successful print and Kindle book.

How to format your series: A to Z

There are a number of ways in which you can format your series. Let’s start with this one I’ve used here: an A to Z.

Provided that your subject matter is pretty wide-reaching, you should be able to find 26 words that suggest topics each starting with the next letter of the alphabet, although Q, X and Z can be tricky. I’ve done Q (Questions and Answers) and have something planned for X, although I’m still scratching around for ideas for Z! No doubt I will think of something but all suggestions are gratefully received…

Assuming that each article in you’re a to Z series runs to at least 500 words or so, you will end up with 13,000 words worth of information – more than enough to compile and edit into an eBook which you can then sell or give away as a promotional piece.

How to format your series: chronologically

Lucy’s series, “How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss,” consisted of 26 articles that started at the beginning of the fiction writing journey and with each new “episode” stepped you through the process until by the end you have a good, finished manuscript.

The chronological series is ideal for any specific process that has a beginning, middle, and end – e.g., how to create a brand new beautiful garden out of the muddy, rubble-filled back yard of a newly built home … how to make curtains from start to finish … how to review, analyze, adjust and improve your financial investments … countdown to your house move … and so-on.

How to format your series: associated topics

This is a bit like the A to Z format without the need to find words corresponding to the next letter in the alphabet! Subjects you might approach in this way are things like … tips to help you (achieve/do a variety of things within your topic) … guide to great restaurants in (area) … what you need to get ready for your accountant at tax return time … etc.

It’s a useful way to assemble a group of related but relatively random topics under a series heading which, like all series, will help ensure your readers keep coming back to your blogsite for more information.

What other ways of creating series have you found useful?

Please share!
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