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Last summer, I published content on my site for 26 straight weekdays. It was an epic A-Z blog post series covering all my best tips for working from home with kids in the house.
This series still continues to drive traffic to my blog. It’s sharable, and full of action steps busy mompreneurs can take to get more done. Creating it was definitely one of the better moves I’ve made for my blog!
Ready to create an A-Z blog post series of your own? You can’t create an epic blog post series without a plan, so let’s get started!
Set a Goal
Without a why, it’ll be easy to lose steam. Before you start, take a minute to think of your goal. To help you think of possibilities, here’s my goal:
Lisa’s Goal: I wanted to establish myself as an authority in my niche, and increase traffic to my blog.
My goal reminded me of why I was doing what I was doing. It kept me motivated to keep writing when I really just wanted to take a day off.
What’s your goal for creating your A-Z blog post series? Write it down and keep it where you can see it.
Select a Topic
With your goals in mind, it’s time to select the overall topic that will connect all the blog posts in your series. My topic was Working at Home with Kids. You must pick a topic that:
- You are knowledgeable about
- Shares information your audience needs
- Is broad enough you can write 26 posts about it
- Fits within the scope of your blog
If your topic doesn’t do those things, it won’t work well for such a long blog post series. It doesn’t mean your idea won’t work for another project, but it’s probably not right for this one.
You want your series to resonate with your audience, so keep it within the boundaries of your blog’s niche. If you regularly post recipes, you don’t want to spend 26 days writing about blogging.
To help you pick a topic, it’s time to do a brain dump. Spend five or ten minutes writing down all the ideas that come into your brain. Don’t evaluate them right now, just write.
When your time is up, take time to read your words aloud. Do any of them go together? Consolidate those to make your list easier to read.
Put a star next to any topics you think are a good fit for your blog. Cross out any that aren’t.
Circle the topic you are the most excited about. If you aren’t passionate about the topic, you’re going to get very bored writing these posts. Your audience will be able to tell!
Once you have your topic, it’s time for the big picture overview. After all, you need 26 different blog posts for this series. That’s a lot of content!
It’s not time right now to start assigning topics to letters and trying to make everything fit.
Jumping right into that part can be overwhelming.
I learned it’s much easier to start with a list of ideas. Then, you can start picking which topics fit each letter.
To make a list of your own, write down all your ideas. It helps if you think about your topic from multiple angles.
Here are some questions to get your brain churning:
- What are you planning to teach your audience?
- Specifically, what do your readers NEED to know about your topic?
- What would a beginner need to know about your topic?
- Are there any resources related to your topic you can write about?
- Is there a step-by-step process you could break down into multiple parts?
- What are frequent questions about this topic?
- Are there different tips or tricks you can cover?
- What makes your approach to this topic different, ie: what makes you stand out?
- What do you wish you would have known before you started?
- Did you make any mistakes you could share?
- Are there books about this topic your audience would enjoy?
- What information is missing from other posts on this topic?
- What are the “next-steps” someone should know?
You really want your series to be an authoritative guide, so be as specific and helpful as possible.
As you answer these questions, begin writing down your topic ideas. Don’t worry about putting them in any order right now, just write away. Try to get at least 30 possible topics. This way you have a bit more flexibility during the next stage.
Any ideas you don’t use in this series can be put to good use elsewhere on your blog!
Assign Topics to Letters
Now it’s time to really start planning the order of your series. It’s time to assign topics to letters of the alphabet.
Remember that series are most useful for an audience if they’re presented in a logical order. So, you need to keep that in mind. Is there a definite beginning spot for your topic?
If so, that post should be published first, with the letter A. Sometimes it won’t matter what order your audience reads your posts in, so you can be more flexible with your planning.
The goal for right now is to write down the order you want to publish your posts in. As you complete this exercise, don’t worry about finding a word that actually starts with each letter. You’ll do that next!
Create Your Headlines
Once you have the order of your 26 posts, it’s time to write your headlines. This is where the A-Z portion really comes into play.
You’ll need to think creatively to find a starting word for each letter. I found it easiest to come up with a verb for each letter. Then, I fit the rest of my headline around the verb.
A thesaurus will be your friend for this part of the plan!
If you think of a couple of words for one letter, write them both down. You can select the best one later.
Are you stuck on a certain letter? You can use Google to help. Simply type in “Verbs starting with the letter ___” and fill in the blank with the letter you’re on.
Q, X, Y and Z were the hardest for me to think of. Just do the best you can at this point, and remember you can always change it later!
You can either mix up your headline structure, or use a common one for all 26. Here’s an example of both:
Common structure: An A-Z Guide to Working at Home with Kids: Create a Workspace
Mixed Up Structure: The Importance of Creating a Workspace When Working at Home with Kids
Think of what works best for your blog, and go from there.
Your Planning Stage is Done!
Congratulations! You’ve just mapped out the content for your epic A-Z blog post series! Nicely done.
Now you have to actually write the posts.
Content Creation Tips
By batching tasks, you’ll move more quickly through the process and find ways to streamline everything.
You can divide the process up into several steps:
I recommend working through five posts at each stage. So, you’d outline five posts. Then you’d draft those posts. You’d continue working through each stage, until you have your first set of posts scheduled.
Then you can start your next batch. Working through your 26 posts in chunks like this helps keep you from burning out. It also means you won’t have to actually write, edit, and publish an entire blog post every single day for this series.
You’ll be able to start publishing as soon as your first batch are scheduled. This gives you a little more leeway as you create the rest of the content.
Create templates whenever possible. Use a template for your images, and save time by minimizing what you need to change for each. My first pins were very plain, but they worked!
You can always go back later, so don’t let perfection stop you from moving forward. Just get it done for now!
If you’re struggling to find time, help yourself out by using think time. This way you’re ready to write when you finally get a moment. Make your blog posts a priority until you get them all ready.
You can do this!
Length of Posts
There’s a lot of debate in the world of blogging about how long blog posts should be. Since you’re working on an epic series, let’s keep it simple.
Pick about five topics you’ll dive deep into. Aim for long form (1500 word +) on those. Pick another set of five or so that you’ll write around 1000 words for.
Then, don’t worry about your word count on the rest. Well, worry a little bit so you make sure and write at least 500 words to keep Google happy. But, don’t add a bunch of fluff where it isn’t needed.
It makes sense in a 26-post series that you’d have a combination of long and short posts. Just try to mix them up a little, so you don’t have three long ones followed by seven short posts. Always aim for quality over quantity. Your audience will appreciate it!
You’ll need to decide how often you’ll publish. Are you going to publish a new post:
- Each day (7 days a week)
- Every weekday (M-F)
- Each week
- Every two weeks
Since one of my goals was increasing my traffic by increasing my publishing schedule, I went with one post every weekday.
You’ll have to decide what works best for you and your audience. Pick something that is sustainable for you.
Promote Your Posts
Your work doesn’t stop once you hit publish. I learned that the hard way. It’s not create it and they will come.
So, get busy with your marketing. Start planning now. Here are some ways to promote your post:
- Twitter posts (use hashtags!)
- Share in Facebook Groups where your audience hangs out
- Pinterest – make multiple pins for each
- Create Instagram posts or stories about each post
- Share your posts on Facebook
Reuse Your Content
By creating epic, evergreen content, you’ll be able to reuse these posts repeatedly. Try:
- Create videos for each
- Turn the series into a course
- Create an “Ultimate Guide” style eBook
- Make a printable and use it as a freebie to grow your list
- Record an audio version of each post
- Create longer blog posts with 5 or ten of your tips to publish later
- Create new pins regularly
Want a downloadable PDF workbook to help you create your own epic A-Z blog post series? I’ve got you covered! Grab yours here!
Have you created an A-Z blog post series?
I’d love to hear about it!
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