How to Write an Article Series?
Quality articles are one of the best ways to attract unique visitors to your website, improve your search engine rankings, and massively increase your online reach. Therefore, it stands to reason that a complete article series is the holy grail of content marketing. What’s not to love about delivering fresh, interconnected content that makes your brand the go-to authority on a topic?
How to Write An Article Series vs Stand-Alone Posts
There are definitely times when stand-alone articles are more suitable, such as time-specific pieces including latest releases or news posts. However, creating an article series provides you with multiple opportunities to engage your target audience. You can really get to grips with complex topics and impart far more valuable information than with a stand-alone post.
From an SEO perspective, a series can maximise your engagement with a particular topic. With an article series, you can target multiple keywords, giving you a greater chance of coming out on top of multiple search engine pages.
In terms of content management, it is much more efficient to create a series. You’d be surprised how quickly the ideas come when you are creating an entire series of related posts. Rather than coming up with niche ideas every time, you can devise a strategy. This way you can build on a relevant and successful topic from the outset.
Now you know the benefits, let’s break down how to write an article series
It may seem like a mammoth task at the beginning, but it’s well worth the extra planning. Here we discuss each of the key steps, covering everything from writing style to technical tips. This is a great guide to get you started, but if you’re looking for more tailored industry intel, drop the Ingeniums team a message and we can work with you on the right content plan for you.
Plan your SEO and Keyword Strategy
Optimising your site for search engines is imperative if your content is going to reach your target audience. If you’re writing about a substantial topic, chances are potential customers will be posing multiple questions to search engines. This is where it pays to produce an article series. You can tailor each post to target a slightly different key phrase, massively increasing your chance of connecting with the people you want visiting your site.
Let’s say you want to write a travel series about Peru. Your main keyword phrases could be, ‘visiting Peru’, ‘when to visit peru’, and ‘what to do in Peru’. Further insights could include, ‘what foods to eat in peru’ and ‘when to visit Machu Picchu’. In this way, you will rank for multiple pages, all contributing to the end goal of becoming the top authority on visiting Peru.
Taking the time at the beginning to understand what search terms your ideal readers are searching for will pay dividends in the long run. Use keyword research software to find out what organic keywords are already linked to your domain. Focus on increasing your rankings for these phrases first, before targeting other high value keywords.
Set the Scene with a Cornerstone Article
Before you jump straight into the details, you need to put your article series into context for the reader. Outline the aim of the series and highlight some useful insights that are to come. You want to strike the perfect balance between setting the scene and not giving too much away.
Again, let’s use our Peru travel series example. The cornerstone article could be a broad-based piece on ‘Everything you need to know to visit Peru’. In here, you would outline the information your series offers and provide links to more specialised articles.
If you want readers to keep coming back, you need to convincingly establish your authority on the topic. Why should people trust what you have to say? Achieving this can be as simple as explaining who you are, what you do and why the information you provide is so valuable. You know everything about your business and why your service or product is so essential, so tell your audience! Use this cornerstone article to let your readers in on your back story and mission.
Opening Paragraphs – Quality not Quantity
The key to hooking the reader is a strong start. Create a compelling beginning for every article in the series. Short and punchy prose will instil an upbeat curiosity in the reader.
Your opening sentence has one job, to make sure the reader continues on to the next one. The longer someone keeps reading, the more invested they will become in your story and brand.
Keep the start of every article brief, alluring, and interesting. Big chunks of text can put off readers, so don’t be afraid of white space. Shorter paragraphs give the reader a chance to absorb the information and encourages them to read on for more information.
How to Write an Article Series to Entice your Audience
Carefully plan the structure of your series. You don’t want to give everything away in the first article, only to lose your audience thereafter. Consistently incite curiosity in the reader throughout the whole series by gradually providing more information.
Unlike talking to customers in-person, you need to try and pre-empt the questions that people are going to have. As experts in your field, chances are you’ll have a good idea what these are and have the answers to match. Prompt your audience to ask these questions, before providing the knowledge to solve their problem.
If we think of our Peru example, the target audience may want to know what is the ideal time of year to visit or how much a trip will cost. As Peruvian travel experts, we can provide the answers to all our readers’ burning questions.
All this aside, nothing keeps people coming back more than quality content. Deliver value and information worth knowing and customer loyalty will follow.
Connect Content with Easy Navigation
An important consideration when learning how to write an article series is making sure your posts are connected with internal links. You want it to be as easy as possible for hooked readers to find your next instalment. Easy navigation is not only important for the user experience, but also essential for search engines to correctly index your website.
As your series develops, go back through your content and add links to previous and upcoming articles. Be mindful that linking to unpublished articles can result in a Page Not Found Error, which can damage your search engine ranking. An easy way to interconnect everything is to create a tag or category for the series, which users can click on to find all the relevant content.
Ensure Articles Make Sense in Isolation
Not everyone is going to catch every single instalment in your article series. They may miss your introductory cornerstone article altogether. So, it’s important that each article makes sense as a stand-alone piece.
When figuring out how to write an article series, remember that each post has the potential to pull in unique visitors. Consider how to briefly outline the wider context of the series at the beginning of each article so they are well-informed regardless of where they joined you. Again, excellent navigation is a great tool here as it will allow readers to quickly flick between content.
Timing is Key
Essential to the success of any storyline is timing. Not only do you need to think about the flow of your content across the whole series, but you also need to schedule when you publish posts and plan production within your content writing team.
As we’ve mentioned previously, drop in the most valuable information at regular intervals throughout the series to keep people coming back.
Equally important, is considering when you should publish each post. Do some research to figure out when your audience is most active online. Check whether your competitors are releasing content around the same time you were planning to. Predicting future traffic forecasts isn’t easy, but a well scheduled post can make all the difference to the success of your content marketing campaign.
The beauty of an article series is that you can plan well in advance. Ideally you want to create demand for your series with consistently scheduled article releases. Make sure you have the resources to meet these publishing deadlines.
Tools to Ensure You Stay On Track
If you’re producing an article series yourself, set aside enough time to write, or make sure you’ve assigned it to your team with plenty of time to spare for editing.
There are numerous tools available to make sure you stay on schedule. Project management software such as Asana can help you to visualise your upcoming deadlines. You can divide each article into subtasks so that you stay on top of all the essential steps.
Make Calls to Action Throughout
The purpose of good content is not to keep people passively reading, but to entice them to act. Whether that be purchasing your product, signing up to your monthly newsletter, or downloading your course material.
You’ve put in the hard yards getting the customer to trust you, believe in what you have to say, and keep coming back. That’s the difficult part! Now, make their next step easy. Include various calls to action throughout the series, providing easy links to sign up, download or purchase.
Again, stagger the approach throughout the series. If we think back to our Peru example, initially we could prompt them to sign up for our free weekly travel newsletter. As the series progresses and we foster further brand loyalty, the call to action could include purchasing a travel guide or audiobook.
When to Get an Agency to Write an Article Series?
Content is the key to connecting with your audience. The longer people spend reading your content, the more likely they are to engage with your business as a customer. An article series is an incredibly effective way to achieve this. As much as we would love one, there is no straight forward formula on how to write a series. In this article, we have outlined the essential elements you need to consider as you begin constructing yours, leaving plenty of room for you to experiment and find your own way.
You may want to reap the benefits of content marketing, but not take on the task yourselves. If you lack the time or staff to dedicate to creating a worthwhile series, an agency could provide the support you need. Maybe figuring out SEO is a technical challenge too far and you want some expert eyes on your content. A content marketing agency can work out technical elements for you. At Ingeniums, we can work with you to figure out what you want to say, then leave us to it as we design the best way to say it.
The Many Elements of Creating an Article Series
In this article we have covered in detail the many steps of how to write an article series. Begin with thorough keyword research, as this will underpin SEO across the whole series. It will also highlight some valuable topics to focus on which you can use for article inspiration. Your next focus is on the content writing itself, delivering a great cornerstone article and pulling the reader in with enticing introductions. Make it easy for the reader to access everything you produce with easy navigation and links throughout. It’s important to plan your time so that you hit all your deadlines. Finally, If in doubt, message the Ingeniums! We know this process inside and out and understand what is required to deliver a stellar article series.