Keep Yourself Writing By Starting a Blog Series

2 years ago

Blogging comes in all forms, from the visual to the creative to the narrative to the technical how-to. It's up to you to do decide what you want to DO with your series.

Do you want to push yourself to take new and different photographs? Join a 365-day (or in 2016, 366!) photo challenge and blog them every day. Are you hoping to push yourself to tell your stories, to write personal essays? Write out a list ahead of time so you don't get to week two and think, "Well, gee, I've told all my stories."

If you're going for poems, get yourself a stack of notebooks ahead of time and be writing at all times. If you want to share your creative abilities, start thinking of one direction you might take them in: a series!

Image: Cat illustration via Shutterstock

Pick something unique.

Honestly, you might find photographing mailboxes and telling stories about the mail you perceive the mailbox owners receive, but really, all the mailboxes in my neighborhood are the same mailbox.

While no one you know may have written a mailbox series, making it unique on that hand, mailboxes in certain areas are all very similar. Instead show me famous mailboxes and research the strangest thing celebrities have received. Take me on a tour of ornate mailboxes.

Maybe pick something other than mailboxes. But whatever story or photo or craft or food you decide to focus on, find a way to spin it and make it your own. Your unique perspective is what keeps people coming to your online space. Don't do a series just because someone else did a series; make it your own.

Pick something in your passion house.

If mailboxes don't do it for you, find something that strikes your fancy. It's very easy to get bored while writing a series, to open up a writing window yet again to write about the same damn thing. If you're not passionate about your chosen series, writing about it will feel like a chore in no time flat.

Beware the narrow niche.

If you're a food blogger looking for a new series, don't drill down too far. Don't decide to make homemade blueberry cobbler, because you're quickly going to run out of cobbler recipes (at least ones that taste good).

If you're a parenting blogger, try to avoid a phase series. There's only so much you can write about potty-training; there's only so much the Internet can read about potty training.

If you're a craft blogger, you kind of win series because you have make different Santa Clauses for the rest of your days as a Santa craft blogger and no two will ever be the same. Make sure the series you've given yourself allows for new storytelling each and every week.

Stick to your schedule.

Once you've found something unique, that only you can write and share that fits in your passion house and avoids the dreaded narrow niche, you need to pick a schedule. Maybe you'll write weekly, or bi-weekly, or just once a month on this topic.

Whatever you choose, stick to it. Schedule it out. Start working on ideas for two to five posts ahead of time.

Give yourself deadlines so you can load it into your blogging platform and give it a proofread before you push it live to your audience.

But be flexible.

Some random Tuesday in September, a news story is going to happen in your town, state, country, or the world. It's going to move you. You're going to want to write all the words. But you're supposed to publish your next piece on mailboxes which is already loaded into your blogging platform and set to go live at noon.

Reschedule that mother!

When you are moved to write, write. Sometimes our passionate replies to the things happening around us need to be published timely to lend necessary voices to the conversation. Don't beat yourself up because your Mailbox Series post went up a day late.

Your loyal mailbox lovers will be just as excited to see it on Wednesday as they would have been on Tuesday.

Let it go.

Eventually, we outgrow our own series. You may eventually tell all the stories behind fancy, ornate mailboxes in your entire state.

You might decide to no longer write anything about your children. You might go vegan and thus make your carnivore blog obsolete.

Allow room to grow and change; not only are you allowed to, it's healthy.

Additionally, rather than write a post stating that "this series is over," maybe add a footnote to your last piece in the series or announce it on your social media accounts instead. Let your series stand for itself without apology.

BlogHer Editor Jenna Hatfield (@JennaHatfield) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog.

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