Publishing Article Series Tips and Techniques
Excerpt reprinted with permission from the book, “Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging”, by Lorelle VanFossen
Writing a series of articles is a great way to connect related content together. It is also a great attention-getter, encouraging readers to return for the next installment.
On a blog, an article series must be planned in order to maximize its effectiveness. There must be enough advance time to spread the word of the upcoming series.
There are also a lot of logistical issues such as intrasite linking which needs to be planned.
To be successful, a blog article series must:
- Have content continuity.
- Lead the reader from one post to another.
- Make them eagerly wait for the next in the series.
- Links together the articles in sequential order.
- Make them interlinked to each other.
- Have a navigational aid to help the reader move between the series posts.
The most important element to a series is the linked connection between the posts. This not only helps the reader navigate from one series article to another, but it helps search engines find all the pieces of the series. It also offers some challenges to the blogger on how to create those links without a lot of extra work.
While there are tools and utilities which make the process of automatically connecting articles in series, you need to ensure the articles are connected manually.
First Post Table of Contents: In the first post, create a list of the articles in the series, including links on the articles only after they have been published. Even if you are working with the future posts feature, if the link is present and the post not published, the visitor will encounter a 404 page not found error. Add the links after the post has published.
Last Post Table of Contents: In the last post, add a list of all the articles in series with their respective links. Optionally, once the series is completed, you can include the full article series of links on each post.
Next and Previous in Series: Include a “next” and “previous” post link at the bottom of each post. While you can easily add the previous post link, you will have to return after the next post has published to add the new post link.
Write Content With Interconnecting Links: From within the content, either list the previous articles by their title or link to them via summary keywords, such as:
…and yesterday, we covered embedding podcasts in your blog post. Tomorrow we will look at how to embed video links…
After publishing the next day’s post, go back and put a link on the “embed video links” text. The more interconnected the articles are, the easier it is for the reader to move through the series, and search engines to find all the connecting parts.
Article Series Resources and Tips
For more information and resources on writing article series in your blog, especially a WordPress blog, see:
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
Thanks for the linky Lorelle – but perhaps could you change the pointer to Organize Series WordPress Plugin? Organize Series 2.0 final release has been out for over two weeks now :) Thanks again Lorelle! (BTW you should check out the improved version – I think you’ll like it ;))
Thanks for the link correction and for the incredible Plugin you offer. I love that you and Remstate have a little competition going so we will all benefit from the improvements in these similar but vastly different Plugins.
Thanks for the template to create a series of articles in a blog. I am still fairly new to blogging so your info. will prove to be quite useful.
Thanks for the tips, Lorelle.
It is reassuring to know that I’m doing some things right when it comes to article series. When publishing my 10-article Speech Preparation Series, I followed much of the advice you give above.
I tried the In Series plugin, but it didn’t quite allow me to do what I wanted. Instead, I adopted the Sniplets plugin to build the navigation boxes. This allowed me to build the “table of contents” boxes where the links appeared only as the articles were published (text-only placeholders were used until then).