Theme Week: Extend Your Ideas With Future Blog Posts

This week we’ve been looking at what to do after you’ve hit publish on your blog posts.

Today I’d like to suggest a task that I think has real potential to help our blogs to make a big impact upon our readers by taking them on our journey.

Think about how to extend the ideas in your post, and follow it up with more content.

Over the last 12 or so months I’ve noticed numerous blogs using a strategy that I think is a little short-sighted.

It comes in the wake of big sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed who largely use curated content, wrap headlines about it that are either sensational or use curiosity, and then call those who arrive on the site to take action with a ‘like’ or ‘share’.

While this model of publishing is obviously working for sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed, my concern is that within almost every niche now I see blogs that used to be creating quality original content moving to this model.

In the photography blogging space I can think of 4-5 blogs that used to publish 1-2 quality original posts per day (posts that were all about helping readers and building momentum from post to post), now publish as many as 15-20 curated posts per day.

While I’m sure their traffic is up, I’ve noticed something of a backlash happening on social media. Almost daily I see people complain about the ‘fluffy’ content and headlines that over-promise on the content that will be featured.

These blogs that had built loyalty, trust and community now are in danger of having a less-engaged readership, and brands that are somewhat damaged.

I guess it partly comes down the monetization model of the blog in question – this curated content approach certainly can drive significant traffic and thus increases advertising revenue – but I worry that blogs are becoming ‘fluffy’, and less relevant as a result.

In this time of ‘fluffy’ content, I see a real opportunity for bloggers who want to stand out by producing blogs that go deeper.

One of the ways I think bloggers could do this is to consider producing content that builds from one post to another – something that was very common place back in the day when I began blogging.

You’ll notice here on ProBlogger we’ve been doing this more and more over the past year with our ‘Theme Weeks’ (like the current one we’re running). Going deeper into topics with longer-form content.

A planned series of posts is just one approach to doing this. Another is simply to pause after you’ve written and published a post to ask yourself a simple question:

“Is there anything in what I’ve just written that I could extend or followup with another post?”

Get into the habit of asking this question, and you’ll naturally start to create content that goes deeper and builds momentum between your posts.

Other quick tips on ‘extending’ your content in this way include:

  • Pay attention to the tangents you consider taking mid post – many times we consider adding ideas into posts but don’t. These could well become separate posts.
  • Pay attention to the questions that your blog posts readers with in the comments on your posts.
  • Examine older posts in your archives that perhaps could be developed further because they’ve become a little dated
  • If you’ve written an opinion post – could you follow it up by exploring the opposing view?
  • Could you follow up the post with a case study or example of what you’ve been writing about?

Lastly – check out this mind mapping exercise that I wrote about a few years back which is all about taking a post you’ve written and finding ways to extend it.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Ben Troy says:

    Thanks for the tools provided in here! I also like Ezine Articles. They are great to search related topics to any niche and gives an idea about what to write

  2. Priya Ranjan says:

    Superliked your post. To add more, I like to spin my old blog posts in new context – and, extend the ideas with new perspective. Because, old posts are dated and my lose relevance with time.

  3. LOVED this post! My blog site is very new & I struggle with organizing all of the ideas for posts that jump into my mind daily. I worry that my little new site is too disorganized, so this post (as well as the mind mapping exercise) were very helpful for me. Thank you.

  4. Shahbaz Ali says:

    you simply introduce effective methodology regarding post writing… please also share with me more guide regarding post writing with easy and effective software package regarding old ideas to regenerate new one or simple and effective tips for blog post writing…..

  5. Ken Cook says:

    Good stuff Darren. “Fluffy” is such a nice word for repetitive bloat. Then again, you’re a nice guy. Very good of you to tie back in to your mind mapping exercise – we spoke about that particular exercise on the show many months ago. If I may add some caution to the readers about “diving deeper”: droning on and on over a topic into the thousands of words can be dangerous, too. For a while there was a little crowd of social media marketers here in the southeast who thought it would be really cool to write 3500 word articles and anything less was just beneath them. See what I’m saying?

  6. well i started a site after along investigations on internet,watching tutorials,spending money online from driven traffic ..and all of that didnt help at all,until i figurate exatly what you said there Darren.
    Blogs need to be symple writen,not becoming ‘fluffy’,as you said…but also hiting the target and writen in unique way. Ty so much for this post,ill be coming back now and then to read more

  7. werena says:

    very interesting. I believe that trends will always exist as well as people who do not care about these trends. it is all about your ability of taking risk and creativity of course