Once your online course is almost ready to begin its fruitful e-life and you have decided to write a blog post series to give it a proper launch, it’s important that you keep on schedule with both of them.
In the previous article, I have talked about the topic selection and testing process, so if you have gone through that you should have a good idea about what you should cover in each post – this will help not only with the actual writing but also with making sure that each time you finish one, you build expectancy for what is following.
Read more: Common questions about blogging to promote online courses
6 Practical tips on how to write a blog post series for your online course
You obviously have to deliver on that as well, so you’ll need (good) ideas. Here are a few practical tips on how to write a blog post series that will help your online course stand out from the crowd:
Brainstorming is the best way to come up with great ideas. You already have the basic outline of your series, but you need the extra zest to make it engaging enough for the audience to follow and, hopefully, share and recommend your page. The fun part about brainstorming is that you should put down anything and everything that comes to mind.
There are several techniques for stimulating your creativity – you can pick random words and try to connect them to your topic, you can think what the generally accepted ideas are on that subject and think what the opposite would be, or you can simply empty your mind of everything else and freely rant in a stream of consciousness.
The important thing is not to censor yourself, there will be plenty of time for that later as you sift through that list and decide what you keep.
Set the basics
Some of the items to consider in the initial stage of writing your series include:
- What your reader persona is
- What word count you are targeting for each of the posts
- Ideas for relevant imagery you would like to use
- Social media locations you’d like to share the posts
- Famous quotes that would work to support your content
- Websites that you could go to for resources or inspiration
- Issues related to your topic that might lead to debates
- Questions you could ask your audience to spark conversations starting from your posts
Of course, you can include whatever else you think is relevant for your series. These are a few pointers in case you get stuck while brainstorming.
Research, research, research
Researching your posts should go a lot easier if you have both the outline and a few good ideas about how to approach the content. However, as everyone who has ever done it knows, there is always the risk of going down a never-ending rabbit hole.
Just the other day I saw a post by one of my favorite novelists saying that an hour after going to Google she still hadn’t learned if a certain breed of hares was native to England but she had seen quite a few images depicting the cutest baby bunnies.
If you want to research efficiently, know exactly what you are looking for, and set a timer for no longer than half an hour. That will help keep you focused and less likely to scroll through all the very engaging content put out there to drive us all into clicking temptation.
It’s important that if you copy some information, you don’t use it in that exact form in your posts – inspiration is ok, stealing content is not.
Read more: What you need to know about copyright for online courses
Don’t worry about perfection
Write first drafts instead of spending an enormous amount of time on your first post alone. It’s best to just sit at your desk and compose away without bothering with sentence structure or spell check (you will do all that later). No matter how rough the material will look when you go over it later, the fact that you will have all of it down will make a big difference.
Also, don’t try to shorten content when you are on your drafts – that’s what final editing is for. It is better to have more material and trim than not have enough.
That being said, keep in mind that for SEO purposes your posts should only be up to 2000 words, and for consistency purposes, they should have roughly the same length. If something runs way too long you may consider either taking information that is not relevant out or adjusting your initial outline to add one more post.
You might even turn to dictation for your first drafts if you have that function on your device. It might not be terribly accurate but you’ll have to edit anyway and using your voice instead of your typing skills could speed things up.
Polish things up
Edit your posts no sooner than one day after you have finished writing them. Some time away from the content will help a lot both with assessing what you have written and with catching mistakes or redundancies.
There are several apps you can use to check your content – Hemingway and Grammarly are two of them and they can be helpful, but you will still need to put in the bulk of the work as it is your ideas that have to be properly conveyed. You can read it out loud or, if possible, have somebody else read it to you so you get a better idea of how it sounds.
The polishing may be a slightly tedious endeavor, but you want your efforts to pay off so it’s paramount that all the posts in your series hit their mark. The final step will be to add images and links and see how it all is tied together.
Read more: 5 Blogging hacks for online course creators
Hit the Publish button
Publish your series and start the countdown to the launch of your course. You can choose to set up the publication dates for the entire series (get it automated) or upload it at your decided intervals. It is very important to be consistent and deliver on your initial promise.
Checking the comments and encouraging your readers to ask you questions and interact is a good way to keep them engaged.
As for the best time to schedule your content’s publication, studies have revealed that for most visibility and traffic you should make your posts ‘go live’ on Mondays, around 11 o’clock – since your audience is unlikely to be all in the same time zone you should just aim for the morning hours.
Writing a blog post series to launch your online course will achieve at least two things. First of all, you will get a larger audience and will establish yourself as an authority on the topic. Second, you’ll build excellent momentum for when your course becomes available.