Turn One Idea Into a Fascinating 4-Part Story

Whether you’re a beginner blogger or a seasoned pro, at some point you’ll want (or need) to write a content series.

Once you’ve persuaded people to keep reading your content, you have to keep … producing content.

So, do content creators ever get to take a break?

Absolutely … if you know how to prepare and schedule multiple pieces of content in advance.

Then you can keep your audience satisfied while you take the necessary down time that will allow you to recharge your creativity.

What is a content series?

A content series is essentially a story that evolves over multiple blog posts. They can help you build an audience interested in your niche and they’re especially useful if you want to write a tutorial that breaks down a large topic. The content series allows you to teach one aspect of the tutorial at a time, so it’s easier for your reader to learn.

When content marketing for small businesses, you’ll sometimes want to write a long guide on a single topic. But most blog posts aren’t supposed to be the length of novels. If you write engaging content that educates but is not overwhelming, the experience can be much more enjoyable for readers who follow your site.

Learning how to write a content series so that you can take a break also helps you evolve as a content creator … because you’ll practice shifting from merely publishing content to building anticipation for your next installment.

To start planning your content so that you can meet your publishing deadlines with ease, we’ll start with the simple, small task of selecting one content idea.

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Then we’ll break down that one idea into a fascinating four-part blog series.

If you produce one piece of content a week, the installments below will give you four weeks of content, but they could also publish four consecutive days in a row or every other day. See what works for you.

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Installment #1: Establish your authority

Here’s where you select your content idea.

Let’s pretend you run a health-conscious, organic bakery that serves tasty desserts.

Your customers love your grape jam, so you want to give your blog readers a recipe for grape jam with natural ingredients and no added sugar.

You can start with a basic “how to ___” to generate your idea, and then follow simple SEO for content writers to see how your idea relates to what people search for …

“How to ___” might not be your final headline, but filling in that blank with details narrows your focus.

How to Make Mouth-Watering Grape Jam (with Less Sugar than Grocery-Store Brands)

(Need to brush up on your headline writing? Check out our comprehensive article: How to Write Headlines That Work.)

In this first installment, you’ll establish your authority by:

  • Introducing the topic in a unique way
  • Explaining your interest in writing about it
  • Describing your organic bakery’s philosophy

The motivation behind the information you share in this content series should be: why someone should listen to your advice about the topic.

Then outline what you’ll cover in upcoming installments, weaving in anecdotes about how your tutorial will be more beneficial than other grape jam recipes.

And that’s it for your first post.

At the end of the content

  • Write a call to action (CTA) for readers to subscribe to your blog to get the next piece of content via email.

Installment #2: Educate with a relevant background lesson

The goal of this post in your content series is to make readers feel ready to follow your advice.

Link to installment #1 in your introduction and then write more helpful information about making your grape jam.

What types of kitchen tools will they need? Where are the best places to buy the ingredients you’ll recommend? What is your issue with grape jams that have added sugar? How did you discover this recipe?

You build trust as you educate your audience and offer useful suggestions that prepare them for the next installment.

At the end of the content

  • Provide an “Additional Reading” section, with a link to installment #1.
  • Write a CTA for readers to subscribe to your blog to get the next piece of content via email.

Installment #3: Share your tutorial

The big moment has arrived.

In this post, you’ll show how to make your grape jam, step by step. You could also discuss the type of container you like to store the jam in and how long it will stay fresh.

The tutorial should make sense to anyone, even if they didn’t read the previous two installments. But there will likely be opportunities throughout the text to link to the other installments you’ve already published.

When you content edit your first draft, look for ways to engage and entertain. When you think like a content editor, you can give readers an experience they won’t have on other bakery blogs.

At the end of the content

  • Provide an “Additional Reading” section, with links to installment #1 and installment #2.
  • Write a CTA for readers to subscribe to your blog to get the next piece of content via email.

Installment #4: Add extra value to your content series

This blog post is for advanced tips. You can also encourage readers to experiment with your recipe and inspire them to learn more about organic desserts.

What types of bread complement the grape jam? Can they easily alter the recipe to make strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry jam? Is the grape jam an ingredient in other recipes you’ll publish in the future?

If you plan to create additional content series in the future, you can tease upcoming tutorials that will cover related topics.

At the end of the content series

  • Provide an “Additional Reading” section, with links to installment #1, installment #2, and installment #3.
  • Write a CTA for readers to subscribe to your blog to get more content via your email marketing strategy.

Bring your content series together

Once you’ve published all four installments:

  • Edit the “Additional Reading” section at the end of installment #1 so that it has links to installment #2, installment #3, and installment #4.
  • In the “Additional Reading” section at the end of installment #2, add links to installment #3 and installment #4
  • Add a link to installment #4 in the “Additional Reading” section at the end of installment #3.

This basic content series template works well for all types of writers who want to build audiences of interested prospects.

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If you’re looking to strengthen your writing skills in practical and effective ways, we’d love to guide you to the best resources each week.

Because when you get the exact right information, you can immediately begin to up your game as a content writer. And that’s what’s going to get you the results you want.

The written word drives the web. It always has, and it always will.

Even if you’re working with audio or video, the right words are still what make the difference.

Words drive:

  • Engagement
  • Customer experience
  • Sales, growth, and profit

And if you want to master the art of using words to drive business results, you’ve come to the perfect place — Copyblogger has helped accelerate the careers of writers just like you since 2006.


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