A blog series is a great way to build engagement and create repeat visitors for your blog.
What exactly is a series? Remember how TV shows used to occasionally end an episode in “To be continued…”? And then you couldn’t wait until next week to see what happened? Each episode was still an episode, but those two episodes in that were linked together by the “to be continued” could be considered a series inside the show. In blog terms, each episode is a blog post that builds on another, and leaves your readers anxious for the next installment.
Some practical examples of blog post series would be:
- A particular renovation project (especially something like the One Room Challenge)
- A tutorial that’s too long for one blog post (like if I wrote one on how to use WordPress)
- A topic that is closely tied together, like “One Sofa, Three Ways”
So, writing a series is as easy as writing any other blog posts on your blog, because they are just blog posts. However…
There are two common frustrations when it comes to how to display a series of posts on your blog:
- Posts always show chronologically, starting with the most recent. But when you write a series, your visitors are going to want to start with the first post. So how do you reverse the order without fudging the post dates?
- Your series won’t automatically add links to all the other posts in the series, so every post will have to be manually updated each time a new one is added. Pain in the butt.
So, what’s the solution?
I have a free, incredibly simple WordPress plugin for you. It was built by Brian Krogsgard and I made some modifications so it would display a little differently.
What does the plugin do?
- It automatically adds links to the bottom of each of your posts in a series to all the other posts in that series. Like this:
- It reverses the order the posts display in the series home page.
For example, if you have a bedroom renovation series, and someone clicks on the category for that particular series, it will show the “before” post first so your readers can follow from the beginning.
Click here to see an example on my own personal blog.
How hard is it to set up?
- Install and activate the plugin on your blog.
Here’s a video of how to do that:
- Create a category for your series by going to “Posts,” then clicking “Categories” and adding your category name e.g. “ORC Spring 2018” or “Bedroom Makeover”, just above the button that says “Add New Category” click the checkbox that says “Enable Really Simple Blog Series”
- If you already have a category that you want to make a series, hover over the category on the right and click “Edit”, then scroll to the bottom again, and check the “Enable Really Simple Blog Series”
- When you write your blog posts, just select the category you have enabled the Really Simple Blog Series on!
Here’s a video tutorial if you prefer to watch:
Yes, this plugin is completely free, and there are no ads or any annoying dashboard messages in it.