How to Run a Blog Series and Get More Subscribers
We bloggers all want to build that email list and grow our subscribers don’t we? Preferably by writing content which makes our readers want to subscribe for email updates, or at least to our RSS feed.
Email subscribers are best because, once you have someone’s email address, they’re giving you permission to get in touch with them and start a personal relationship. Email subscribers are quite different from casual blog readers who just pop onto your blog when they have time or when you write a post that grabs their interest.
Your email subscribers are committed to reading your blog and want to make sure they don’t miss out on any of your posts.
Those email subscribers are offering you a high level of trust which you should not abuse but build on by continuing to offer the free, useful content people signed up for.
Most readers will understand that you have a business to run, so they’ll expect updates about special offers on your services or products, but it’s important to make sure these are carefully spaced out so you don’t turn your subscribers off and incite a flurry of unsubscribes.
Generally your blog subscribers will grow steadily the longer you blog, even though it’s perfectly normal for a few people to unsubscribe each time you send out an email update. When that happens remember it’s probably about them and their current circumstances, not about what you wrote.
So how do you get more blog subscribers faster?
I’ve been blogging seriously for three years now over at Get In the Hot Spot and, apart from guest blogging which, if done correctly, will get you more readers and subsequently more subscribers, there is one very simple way to get more people to subscribe to your blog: running a series of blog posts about one specific topic.
But before getting down to the nitty gritty of how to run a blog series a big thank you to Amy Parmenter at the Parm Farm (check out her wonderful post about life transitions) who told me she enjoyed my Blogging Tips A-Z series, asked for more tips and inspired me to write this post.
Why Running a Series Will Build Your Blog Subscribers
Running a series will encourage more people to subscribe to your blog because they liked the first posts in the series and don’t want to miss they rest. Just like with a TV show you’re leaving a cliffhanger for your readers and they’ll want to come back for more.
You’re drip feeding content and giving people a good reason to subscribe to your blog.
Running a blog series does take some forward planning but the small effort is definitely rewarded with an uptake in new email subscribers.
The first series I ran here was Blog Writing Magic which included five blog posts, then earlier this year I embarked on an epic undertaking with the Blogging Tips A-Z series.
The Blogging Tips A-Z series scared me senseless because I knew once I started I’d have to finish and a series of 26 posts is a big undertaking. I was also scared that no one would like the series so I’d have to either stop it and admit failure or carry on to the end even though it wasn’t working. So what were the results?
My 26 Blog Post Series Experiment
When I started the Blogging Tips A-Z series I wasn’t happy with the results to start with because the first blog posts didn’t get many comments. If you have a look at some of the posts in that series you’ll see that they got relatively few comments compared to other blog posts on Successful Blogging.
At first I saw that as failure but then I noticed I was getting more subscribers than normal and realised the series was working as planned. Even though people weren’t commenting much on the series they were reading, sharing the blog posts and subscribing to my blog. Best of all the series was attracting the new bloggers and bloggers whose stalled blogs needed kick-starting I was targeting.
The series ran from February to August (over six months) with one new post published each Monday and I stuck with it although I did run out of steam at the end and combine X, Y and Z into the final post. It series ended up being 24 blogs posts which is still a long series.
The results: Successful Blogging is two years old and over one third of my current subscribers signed up during the six month period the Blogging Tips A-Z series ran.
Running a series is an easy way to get more blog subscribers and if you’re ready to give it a whirl here’s how to do it.
How to Run a Blog Series
1. Keep it simple
You don’t need to start with a 26 blog post series. Three is a good minimum but if you can stretch to five or seven posts in your series you’ll get better results. The Blog Writing Magic series was only five blog posts but it still helped me get more subscribers than normal.
2. Decide on a topic
Choose a topic for your blog series you know will interest your readers based on what they share, what they comment on and which of your blog posts get the most traffic. Now drill down to what each post will cover and work out how many posts you can write.
3. Write the headlines
Writing great blog headlines is key to getting readers to your blog so you want to make sure your series headlines are as juicy as possible. With my Blogging Tips A-Z Series I decided before launching the series what topic each letter would stand for so I knew I’d have enough to write about.
4. Pick a publishing schedule and stick to it
I chose to publish one post every Monday. It’s best to space the series to give people time to subscribe and share it. You don’t want the series to be over too quickly. I stuck with it even though the initial results were promising and never missed a day. If weekly is too often fortnightly should work well too.
5. Create the draft posts
Each of these can have the same blurb at the beginning and the end to let people know you’re running a series, what you’ll be covering and encourage them to subscribe. For example at the beginning of your series blog posts you can write something like this:
Blogging Tips A-Z is a new series which will run every Sunday (or Monday if you’re in Australia). It’s a quick start guide for new bloggers and a refresher course for bloggers who want to stay motivated and inspired.
So if you’re a new blogger, or if your blogging has plateaued and needs reviewing, subscribe now by email or RSS feed so you don’t miss out.
At the end of the posts add a reminder such as:
Subscribe now to get the whole Blogging Tips A-Z series free. Click here now for email updates or get the RSS feed.
Make sure your links go to the right place.
6. Deliver the goods
Now you have a great idea for a series and some hot headlines make sure you deliver on that promise. It’s time to write the blog posts. Either batch process them if that works best for you or write one a week depending on time.
7. Don’t worry about how long your blog posts are
The series needs to be useful for your readers but it also needs to be fast for you to produce. Don’t think you need to write reams of information. Write about the subject as briefly and quickly as possible making sure the posts contain all the most useful information.
Some of the posts in your series may end up being long and others short. If all you have time for is a bullet-pointed or numbered lists write that. They tend to be easy to read and popular anyway so your readers won’t complain.
8. Reuse your best content if relevant
I reused some parts of older blog posts that new readers probably hadn’t read and expanded on them when I could.
9. Announce your series
Headline the first blog post New Series: Blog Writing Magic (or whatever the topic is) to get as much interest as possible. Promote it on all your social media outposts and ask your blogging buddies to share it too.
10. When the series has ended create a round up post
When the series is over create a round up post with links to all the posts for readers who may have missed some and new readers who will be able to find them all in one place. Leave it a few weeks or a month so you’re not repeating yourself too soon. Here’s an example of the round up post for the Blogging Tips A-Z series.
11. Leverage your series to maximise subscribers
Use the posts to create a mini ebook to give away to new subscribers like I did with my Blog Writing Magic series.
So what are you waiting for? If you’d like to grow your blog subscribers faster run a series. Your readers will love it and so will you when you see your blog subscribers growing.
Take Action to Start Your Blog Series
Leave a comment here suggesting what topic you can write a blog series about. Feel free to suggest a few options and we’ll give you our feedback.
If you’re stumped for ideas just say and I’ll throw out a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Brainstorming for content ideas is one of my favourite things so let’s have fun with it and see if we can help each other out.
Oh, and of course if you’ve got an idea of another series you’d like to read on Successful Blogging let me know.
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Thank you, I appreciate that and I’m looking forward to sharing more hot blogging tips with you soon.