I've long talked about the danger of trying to write the article of a lifetime, and advised you to break up longer articles – especially if you're trying to make more than one point.
People who visit your blog may or may not know you, may or may not have time to read a longer item, and may or may not be interested in more than the one topic that brought them there in the first place.
But what if you're trying to explain a model, theory or method that has many pieces? You want to explore each of the pieces in depth, and those pieces may break down even further in several parts.
Does that mean you have to scrap this longer content and start again? Not at all! Here are four steps to help you turn a long article or book chapter into bite-size blog posts:
Step 1: Compose an introduction to the series. Sometimes this will be a stand-alone post, as I wrote here. Other times, your introduction will be part of the first post of the series, as in this example.
Step 2: Look at what you've written and find the natural breaking point(s), where you've finished talking about one element and you've started talking about another one.
Step 4: If you're going with an article format, compose an introduction and conclusion for each of your blog posts. Otherwise, just insert each separate point into its own blog post, using the format you chose.
Here are some additional helpful tips for turning your long article or book chapter into bite-size blog posts:
- Language: Carry over some of the same language and phrasing in each post, so that you reinforce your unique writing style and personality. Above all, try to use some of the same language that your typical client might use when they discuss the topic.
- Independence: Assume people are reading each piece as a stand-alone blog post. They may never read the related posts, or they may read them in a different order than you wrote them. Make sure each post makes sense on its own.
- Links: Help your readers out by providing links to the other posts in the series as you add them. You can list these separately at the bottom or top of your posts (in this post I actually put the links in both places), or mention them in a sentence.
It IS possible to cover topics in more depth on your blog. And if you've taken the steps I've suggested, you've provided a road map of your ideas to the person who has the time and interest (and the good eyesight!) to sit and read them all at once.
The bonus is that you haven't lost the person who just came for a quick look! You gave them a quality taste of what you have to offer, and if they're a good match for you they will be back. That is the magic of content marketing.