You slave over the writing of a great new post for your blog, you’ve researched, hypothesized, edited, spell checked, polished and made it look all pretty….
You Hit Publish….
What happens now? Are you done? Do you move on and push the post idea from your mind – searching for your next killer post?
I’d like to suggest that rather than hitting publish and moving onto your next topic – that a smarter thing to do is to think about how the post you’ve just written might be useful in creating some momentum on your blog.
The problem with many blogs is that they are filled up with posts on similar topics (all within a wider niche) but without any real connection between them. The bloggers feel the pressure to keep producing good content – and in doing so don’t think about the journey that they’re leading readers on.
Here’s my suggestion:
Treat every post you write as an introduction to the next one
What if instead of hitting publish, pushing the post from your mind and then searching for your next post topic – you stopped and asked yourself how that last post you wrote could be extended?
Here’s a few ways to do it:
- Take the Opposite Point of View (like I did earlier in the week with my post on why you should use AdSense and why you shouldn’t)
- Pick up on a Comment left by a reader (answer a question, respond to an idea etc)
- Write an opinion piece on a previous news piece (if a big story breaks and you write about it – follow the post up with a post on what you think about it, how the news might effect you or your readers etc)
- Write a followup ‘how to’ post after writing a more theoretical one
- Explore Alternatives to an idea that you’ve written (for example, next week I’m planning a post following up on the AdSense ones from the last few days that explores alternative networks to AdSense).
I’m sure that there’s a lot more ways to do it – but the key is to look at each post you’ve written as an opportunity to write a stream of posts that build on one another.
Not every post that you write will be suited to this (and that’s OK) and the posts that build upon one another don’t have to be formally tied as a series one after another – but over time if you build upon the things that you’ve previously written you’ll find that readers pick up on the threads that you’re exploring and will feel as though they’ve been taken on a journey with you.
update: I’ve extended this post with a practical example of how I do it using Mind Mapping.