How-to: Develop a Wildly Popular Content Series
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A content series becomes a powerful asset in your affiliate marketing business because it gives you an immense boost to your niche authority, search engine placement, and be reworked into additional opportunities to generate affiliate commissions.
The focus of this guide is to give you a solid foundation for developing your own content series (similar to ones you’ve seen on AffiliatePrograms.com).
Your series, with enough hard and dedicated work, can become a definitive piece within your niche (and industry) so go and get a pen & paper, prepare to take a good bit of notes, because you’re getting a crash-course on making the best possible series of content your readers have ever seen (and that which they’ll share).
Here’s how it goes …
It begins with a Single Idea (aka Topic)
The idea you elect to become your content series needs to be BIG.
Many affiliate marketers launch a content series focused around a single topic and stretch it out as far as possible but, more often than not, the actual topic doesn’t truly warrant a full series.
For example – spot the difference:
- The ultimate guide to blog commenting (series)
- How to start an online business from start to finish (series)
People want content that will blow them away.
Think of it this way: the content needs to be as valuable as purchasing a book on the topic.
Yes, it does mean you’re essentially creating a premium information product and releasing it for free but these gigantic series can do wonders for building your brand and driving traffic.
The idea needs to be at the top of the information chain.
Pro tip: take one of your main categories and create an entire series about it.
You’re aiming to create a popular series so take what few others have done and become the authority in your market by making the best possible resource on the topic.
Breaking the Idea into Individual Parts
Take those ideas and start to refine them.
Think of your series as individual chapters in a book.
The series (and posts) break down like so:
Each piece in the content series will lead in from the previous and out to the next; this creates congruency between the works to allow readers coming from any source to find the beginning.
Start of the series
Go with the timeless method of delivery:
- Tell them what you’ll tell them
- Tell them
- Tell them what you told them
The first part of the series is to “warm up” your readers into following along with the work; it’s a major commitment on both ends since you won’t (normally) diverge from the series until it has reached completion. Some people may have a lack of interest in committing such a great deal of time toward a topic which is why you need to capture their attention right from the get-go.
Getting into the “meat” of it
Now, each section of the content series goes deeper into the subject in its own way.
Generally, you will want to keep the topic as specific as possible when you’re in these individual sections.
A good way of doing this is to think of it in the following fashion:
To begin, you need to catch them with a hook like any great piece of content. You’ll identify who benefits from reading through the entirety of the work, what they will learn, how they will approach and replicate parts of the topic, when they will see the results of taking action – then end it with a lead into the next part of the series.
The full explanation to this approach can be found within our money-making (pillar) post guide.
It’s actually far easier to do once you begin working through the series; the important thing to do, when you’re getting into it is to outline each piece so you leave no stone unturned nor do you go too far off the rails and lose the interest of the reader.
Wrapping it up
Last, it’s a matter of giving the visitor some form of action steps whether it’s implied or spelled out.
This can be accomplished through the following:
- Provide worksheets for each of the sub-topics of the series
- Have a specific section dedicated to action steps
- Listing resources that will aid in the completion of the main sub-topics
The individual pieces of the series should not come to a complete close but lead into the next of the series; it’s at the very last piece that you bring everything to a neat and tidy conclusion but even then you should leave it to the visitor to interpret where the information ends and when the real journey begins (which opens new opportunity for future revisions and additional leverage to profit from the content series).
Hand off each piece of the series to a fresh set of eyes because these individuals will have the ability to spot mistakes and give accurate feedback about your work; use their feedback to edit each piece into an extremely tight piece of content.
Capitalizing (and Monetizing) Series Development
Given your fair share of experience in affiliate marketing – you may be fully aware of the possibilities and methods to monetize your content series but let’s go through the list to ensure we’re getting all the angles:
- Create reviews for each of the products/services you plan to mention prior to releasing the series in order to give these review pages as much traction as possible and to increase your chances of converting an interested party.
- Contact the owners of said products/services and ask if the two of you could work together with a coupon or some kind of promotional item to give your promotions additional weight.
- Publish a “hub” for the content series which shares an overview, links to each of the parts, and a quick reference guide to the affiliate products/services used in the series.
- Rotate and experiment with competitor products within the work if you plan to revise the pieces sometime in the future.
- Print the work in a professional manner and use it as a physical product if you’re hosting local meetups, attending workshops, or just want to get it into the hands of fellow conference attendees.
- Show multi-tiered pricing for comparable products/services you’re sharing to ensure you reach the different income brackets of your readers.
- Include extra content such as worksheets, cheat sheets, spreadsheets, videos, audio, and slideshows to expand the value of the work, increase viewership through embedded media, and to have extra assets which become vehicles for your affiliate promotions.
- Use content lockers for bonus resources to increase the social shares of your work.
As you can see, there really are no limits to how you can capitalize on your work; use your creativity and knowledge to test a variety of methods or go for them all!
Bringing it Full Circle
Once it’s all said and done, you have a powerful series of work that will aid in building brand authority and placement in your niche.
But the benefits don’t stop here, you also gain:
- The ability to show it front-and-center on within your blog sidebar
- Rework it and publish it on external content platforms
- Continually improve and revise the piece and rekindle community attention
- Leverage the work for an offline strategy
At the beginning, you learned that your work was essentially creating a premium product with the intention of giving it away. Well, after long, hard work on the series – you do have a premium product on your hands. You may not profit from the work as a packaged item but what you’re doing is creating extreme examples of pillar, evergreen content.
This work will continue to deliver passive affiliate sales so long as you revise and share the work; it will become your definitive work in the industry if you bring your best work forward.
More traffic, leads, and conversions are the rewards for those that undertake such monumental tasks.
Do you have what it takes?