Create anticipation within your audience with these three ideas for serial posts on your blog.
Serial posts are one way to encourage your audience to return to your blog and make your site a part of their reading habit. Today, we’ll look at three ways you can serialize and have a bit of fun doing it no matter whether you’re writing or publishing photographs.
Old school cliffhanger
Back in the late 60s, every other episode of that awesome campy series, Batman, ended with the caped crusader and his sidekick Robin stuck in a trap and headed for sure demise. In the following episode, Batman would finagle a bat-tool of some sort out of his utility belt and save the dynamic duo from disaster. Batman is an example of a classic cliffhanger.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, consider sharing your post in multiple parts, spread over a couple of days or week to week. Withholding critical detail will build curiosity in your readers — they’ll return because they just have to know how the story ends.
A photo essay in “x” parts
If you’re into photography, consider using your camera to tell a story, and then serialize it by publishing posts on successive days or weeks. Looking for some inspiration? Michelle published a great photo challenge called, “Threes” earlier this year where she asked participants to take three photographs that together told a story. While the number three offers a tidy, “beginning, middle, end” feel to it, why not experiment and vary the number of photographs in your story. The more you use, the more serial posts you’ll have in your drafts folder. If you’re not sure about a topic for your story, check out previous photo challenges to help nudge your visual storytelling muse.
Switch up your point of view, or person, then serialize it
I never tire of the thrilling juxtaposition that a new perspective brings. Serial is a new podcast from the people behind This American Life that has earned a large and dedicated following by sharing a new perspective on the same story each week. If you’re writing fiction, consider writing scenes through the eyes of more than one character and then serialize those posts. If you’re writing creative nonfiction, consider the various angles from which you can tell your story and then publish your story told from a new angle on successive days or weeks.
Bonus idea: variations on a theme
This American Life is a radio show and podcast where each of the “acts” is a segment on the show’s theme of the day. In the most recent episode, My Pen Pal, host Ira Glass shares a story about an unlikely pen pal relationship between General Manuel Noriega and a young American girl, as well as a story about a woman whose husband wrote to her every day of the eight years he spent in prison and the effect those letters had on their relationship. If you’re into poetry, why not try writing about the same theme using different forms. How about a haiku, a sonnet, and some free verse on the theme of how travel alters your perspective, for example?
The Moth* is another podcast that shares personal stories based on the theme of the evening. If you’re into collaborative blogging, you might consider choosing a theme and having blogging buddies do guest posts on your theme, over successive days or weeks. Not only will your blogging buddies provide great post material, they might just bring their audiences along too.
* Bonus bonus: here’s WordPress.com editor Mike Dang telling a personal story on The Moth podcast where the theme of the night was “Bosses.”