Kikolani features a weekly series called Fetching Friday. It has been exciting to see the series take off, and I thought I would share some of the elements, benefits and tips of writing a weekly blog series.
The Consistency Element
I chose Fetching Friday because I wanted an article that really summed up the best of the week. Fridays are not usually that popular in the blogging world, so I thought it was a great day to catch people’s interest. Also, the basic items in Fetching Friday are generally consistent from week to week. Readers can expect to find the resources mashup at the top, which contains the best articles I have found over the week, #FollowFriday recommendations, related news, previews, and a random video – sort of a TGIF treat!
Benefits of Consistency – Having the article appear on a consistent time interval, plus regularly including the items that readers like the most makes the articles more sticky, memorable and likely to attract regular readers. Also, keeping a consistent style for each article in the series allows you to create a template, further simplifying the process of creating the new post each week.
Tips on Consistency – If you choose a particular day of the week for your weekly series, pick a catchy, short title with the day included. I researched a lot of different titles before coming up with Fetching Friday – you want to make your series title unique and memorable! Also, don’t abandon the post just because it is late. While it is best to get it published as early possible on the chosen day, giving it to your readers a day later is better than not at all, disrupting the rhythm.
The Reader Interest Element
Chances are if you have been blogging for awhile, you have a good idea of what information the majority of your readers are interested in. This knowledge is what I use to guide my choices of articles in the Resources Mashup. Currently, the top subjects my readers are wanting to read more about is blogging, social media, personal development, business, SEO, and technical articles.
Benefits of Focusing on Reader Interest – This one is pretty simple. If your articles cater to your readers, then your readers will return for more and share with members of their community as well.
Tips on Reader Interest – How do you find out your reader’s interests? Start in your comments section – read and respond, and follow the author’s link to their blog and see what they write about. Chances are you will see a pattern across all of your commentators’ sites. New to blogging or do not have a community yet? Why not visit more established blogs on the same subject, and do the same thing – check out their comments and commentators!
The Link Love Element
While I do include some articles from the top authorities on subjects in the resources mashup, I also give a lot of link love to those in my community. Why? Because I believe that if an article could be beneficial to readers, it should be shared.
Benefits of Link Love – Again, this one is pretty obvious. It shows your community that you do read their content as well and, thus, care about their interests. It shows your community that you want to bring them the best information possible, whether or not you were the one who wrote it. And with the trackbacks, it notifies other bloggers that may not have visited your site before that you found their article useful, which may bring them in as a new reader to your series as well.
Tips on Link Love – Don’t include articles just to get a more popular blogger’s attention. Your first goal in link love sharing is to benefit your readers, not just to flatter other blog owners. Also, keep the articles that you want to include in your weekly series in one place – either tagged on a particular social bookmarking network or as you find articles, go ahead and add them to the template for the upcoming article.
The Twitter Trend Element
Since I love the idea of recommending your favorite Twitter members to all of your friends, I thought I would extend special #FollowFriday recommendations on the Fetching Friday series as well.
Benefits of Riding a Twitter Trend – By having #FollowFriday recommendations in my article, I can include that tag into the article title. So anytime the article is shared on Twitter, it is not only exposed to the followers of the Twitter member who shares it, but also to everyone searching and interested in the #FollowFriday trend.
Tips on Selecting Twitter Trends – Not interested in #MusicMonday, #FollowFriday, or other weekly Twitter trends? Why not check out the top trending topics of the day (via sites like What the Trend, Hashtags.org, or the Trending Topics section of the Twitter sidebar) and write a blurb in your article about that topic to include in your title?
The Related News Element
The related news section of Fetching Friday contains site updates, social networking news, or simply personal updates on other projects.
Benefits of Related News – This is a great section to share with your readers any changes that is going on in relation to you or your blog. New sections (archives or categories) or opportunities (advertising or guest posting), communities based on your site (Facebook pages or groups elsewhere), and something personal to let readers know about the person behind the blog (wedding photos or other goals) are all things that can be related news.
Tips on Related News – This is a great place to announce things that you want to bring attention to, but don’t necessarily want to write a full blog article about.
The Preview and Review Element
Up until now, I have been including a preview for upcoming articles in the next week. I also plan to start adding a week in review section starting this coming Friday.
Benefits of Preivews and Reviews – Since there are readers that may be coming in for just the Fetching Friday, I hope to draw their attention to other articles that have been written during the week, and peak their interest into returning earlier the next week (or better yet, subscribing) to catch the previewed articles as well. The bonus for doing previews is that it forces me to plan ahead on what the next week’s articles will be, as opposed to finding myself on Monday in a slump because I haven’t a clue what I want to write about. And of course, let’s not forget the SEO benefits of internal linking to your own posts.
Tips on Previews and Reviews – If you know your reader interest, especially related to your weekly series, make sure that any articles you are trying to draw their attention to is related to those topics.
The Video Element
I include random videos that I have added to my favorites over the week on YouTube or Vimeo. Since I have a lot of friends that are YouTube junkies, and lots of people in my StumbleUpon community that share videos, it is usually not too hard to come across an interesting video each week.
Benefits of the Video Element – One statistic that is overlooked when counting pageviews and referrers is the bounce rate, or the amount of time people spend once they arrive on your site. Aside from writing essay – long articles, there is nothing better than a video to keep your reader on your page for a longer amount of time.
Tips on Videos – You can go two ways with videos. Either you can search for videos that are related to your topic and reader interests. You can go for humorous and otherwise interesting, as most people with any area of interests like to laugh or learn something new. Or you can go for something that is just something you like, to show your readers a more personal side of you, the author.
Your Thoughts & Opinions on Weekly Series
Are you a fan of Fetching Friday and have a particular favorite element? Does your blog have a weekly series with other unique elements? Do you think a weekly series would be beneficial to your blog? Join the discussion below with your thoughts, ideas and tips!