Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started, you know? You’re faced with this ginormous task that at the time seems extremely cumbersome or even impossible. Or maybe you know it’s possible, but you just know that it’s going to take so much work that you’re doubting whether or not the investment will be worth it.
Whether it’s losing a bunch of weight, trying to launch your dream, or writing a blog series, getting started eating that elephant can be the most difficult part. But you know the answer to eating an elephant: “just one bite at a time”.
So then, when writing a blog series, the first bite should be “What should I write about?” Maybe you already know exactly what it is that you want to write about and you’re ready to just get started. But if you don’t know what that topic is, and you only know that you want to write a series – well that’s okay, too. This is just the next logical step. So, here are three ways to figure out what you should be writing about.
Write something you’re passionate about.
This might seem like a “duh” moment, but I can tell you, it can be very easy to get sidetracked to write about something that’s popular or something that’s easy. While you don’t want to completely ignore the aspect of making sure your blog topic has an audience, that’s nowhere near as important as writing from experience and writing from the heart. Writing about something you’re passionate about is the best way to get others onboard with your ideas, and actually inspire a reader to action. The passion and feeling you’ll bring into the discussion is contagious, and your readers will be able to tell. So when you can, write the story you’ve always wanted to tell.
Something you can talk about a lot without repeating yourself.
Passion is great, but the point of a series is to make it stretch a bit and be a great resource of information over an extended period of time on a particular topic. Thus, a blog series that only lasts one post or just a couple paragraphs over two posts isn’t much of a series, it’s more like noise, and trust me, your readers can tell.
What you want to do is to find a topic that you have plenty of experience in, can speak from the heart about, and can deliver a wealth of useful information to a reader over the length of a small book (pretty much). Doing so not only causes you be an authoritative voice on the subject, but it becomes a great resource for point back to when people ask questions.
For example, I wrote a series on “Upstarts“, which dealt with the small businesses I was watching as they started from nothing more than a hobby and built themselves into full-fledged businesses (a lot of times they were almost forced into it). I had a few years of watching several of these businesses grow into success, and had done plenty of other research on the topic from numerous other authors, so I knew I had plenty to offer on the subject without the risk of sounding like a broken record. It was also a great challenge for me to create 5 posts over 5 days, so I dug in and wrote my first series ever, and it did well.
Something you can talk about that does repeat yourself but goes back to a central theme.
Sometimes it’s okay to repeat yourself several times in order to get your point across, just make sure you’re doing it intentionally, and that the readers know you are. This is especially helpful when there are several ways to prove the same point or more than one way to say the same thing. It’s a touchy strategy, because it could be easily overdone, but writing several posts that revert back to a single idea or phrase can be effective in communicating that idea to your readers.
Okay, now that we’ve covered why you should write a series and how to determine what to write about, the next post in the series is going to be on “how to get started”. Throughout my series last year and by watching some very successful blog series from other writers, I discovered something of a blueprint you can set for yourself in order to get started well and stay strong throughout the entirety of the series. Be looking for it!