Every now and again, you'll come across a great content idea that ends up being a serious blockbuster.
The usual approach is generally to focus on creating a comprehensive longform blog post, which can become one of your most important pieces of evergreen content.
But why just create one post out of an idea, if you could get several?
Rather than creating one long piece about a given topic, you can also consider splitting it up into a series of posts.
This can work particularly well for complex topics that are hard to cover in just one blog post.
It's also a great way to keep your audience checking back for more, creating a sense of anticipation as you roll out each piece in the series one at a time.
In a recent post at Copyblogger, author and editor Stephanie Flaxman outlines a four step process that she's used successfully in the past.
It divides the content into four components, each of which serves a distinct purpose.
Her unique approach to serial content is designed to not only educate your audience about a topic, but also to create a sense of authority surrounding your brand.
Installment #1: Establish your authority
Here’s where you select your content idea.
Let’s pretend you run a health-conscious, organic bakery that serves tasty desserts.
Your customers love your grape jam, so you want to give your blog readers a recipe for grape jam with natural ingredients and no added sugar.
Start with a basic “how to ___” to generate your content idea. “How to ___” might not be your final headline, but filling in that blank with details helps narrow your focus.
How to Make Mouth-Watering Grape Jam (with Less Sugar than Grocery-Store Brands)
In this first installment, you’ll establish your authority by:
- Introducing the topic in a unique way
- Explaining your interest in writing about it
- Describing your organic bakery’s philosophy
The motivation behind the information you share should be: why someone should listen to your advice about the topic.
Installment #2: Educate with a simple, relevant background lesson
The goal of this post is to make readers feel ready to follow your advice.
Link to installment #1 in your introduction and then write more background information about making your grape jam.
What types of kitchen tools will they need? Where are the best places to buy the ingredients you’ll recommend? What is your issue with grape jams that have added sugar? How did you discover this recipe?
Installment #3: Share your tutorial
The big moment has arrived.
In this post, you’ll show how to make your grape jam, step by step. You could also discuss the type of container you like to store the jam in and how long it will stay fresh.
Installment #4: Add extra value and advanced tips
Encourage readers to experiment with your recipe and inspire them to learn more about organic desserts.
What types of bread complement the grape jam? Can they easily alter the recipe to make strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry jam? Is the grape jam an ingredient in other recipes you’ll publish in the future?
You can learn more about how to transform a single idea into multiple pieces of content over at Copyblogger.