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Today’s guest post is brought to us by the lovely Julie of Knitted Bliss

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Julie Crawford is a writer, blogger, and pattern designer from Toronto, Canada. She blogs about knitting and life at knittedbliss.com. She also has a full time day job and a toddler, so it’s a miracle anything ever gets done.

You can also find Julie here:

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Regular Feature. Series. Column. Whatever you call it, every great blog has at least one posting series that they are known for, a linchpin in their blogging arsenal. You can often tell what some of these are from the headings or tabs at the top of the blog, which can tell you the areas they cover regularly. Those aren’t just savvy design layouts, they are the calling cards of what the blog is all about. In my neighbourhood of the blogosphere, I’m known for Modification Mondays, a weekly series I run every Monday featuring a modified knitting pattern. I have a knitting lifestyle blog, so that regular feature makes sense for me and my readers. Having that feature means every Monday, no matter what, I’ve got a post ready to roll at 7:00 a.m. that is on target. And I love it! I’m always on the look out for the perfect project to feature, readers will often send me ideas for future features, and it’s become the most popular series on my website. I don’t have to stress about what to post about, because the format is structured the same, and I can fill in the details and add the relevant photos.

How to Nail this Regular Feature Thing:

  • Choose something you really love. There’s no point in having a regular feature post that you dread doing. So if you have a fashion and lifestyle blog, don’t decide your new regular feature is going to all about recipes. Especially if you aren’t known for your cleverness in the kitchen.
  • Ask yourself if this is the right fit for your blog and your readers. If your blog is all about self esteem and being your authentic self, a regular feature on 15 minute fat burning workouts might turn off your existing readership. Think about what your blog is about, what you are passionate about, and ask yourself how you could go deeper or explore a certain aspect in a regular way that your readers would find interesting.
  • Have a stylesheet for your regular posts. This means that they are consistent from post to post in their structure, such as same number of photos, same number of items, or a clever visual signature. The consistency helps you look more professional, and acts as a checklist for your post while writing.
  • Be consistent about frequency: is this a weekly post, a monthly one? bi monthly? whatever you decide, stick to the schedule. When your readers who love your feature know that they can expect your regular column Wednesday evenings, they know they can look forward to it and rely on you. That’s the kind of thing that builds trust and a regular readership.

Benefits of a Regular Feature:

  • Since it will be a subject or area that you cover regularly, you will always be on the lookout for things that fit within that feature. Sometimes you’ll come across lots of ideas that work within it, and you can batch schedule many posts in that series ahead of time.
  • Less stress. knowing that you will have at least one post a week/month already sorted, you don’t feel that nagging worry about how long it’s been since you last blogged.
  • A regular feature can not only expand your readership, but also become something you are ‘known for’  and helps make you unique (When I met other knitters, I’ve regularly been introduced as the ‘Modification Monday expert’). Considering how many blogs are out there, being unique and known for something is a great way to increase your visibility.
  • Opportunity for Cross promotion. You might be mentioning other products, brands, blogs, or people that have social media accounts in your regular feature, so why not send them an email or a tweet letting them know that you gave them a little internet love? People are often happy to have the exposure, and will often retweet or post about your link to their followers as well- giving more people the opportunity to discover your blog.

Make it Easier on Yourself:

  • Don’t have a structure so rigid that you have a regular feature for every day of the week. Not only will the content feel a bit formulaic and stilted, it won’t leave you room for fresh ideas or other posts that might come to you more organically.
  • Don’t copy someone else’s regular feature. If a blog you love already has Chocolate Tuesdays or Dresses I Crave Fridays, don’t go doing the same thing. People can already find that content on another blog. You want to be known for your own thing.
  • Don’t think it must always be content created by you and you alone. If you can and want to, that’s great- but personally I love reading weekly round ups with great links from other corners of the internet that I might not have seen. A Cup of Jo does this brilliantly every Friday.
  • Ask for help. At the end of your column or feature post, you could have a standard tag line like, “if you see something that you think would be perfect for (name of feature here), send me an email and let me know!”  People are often all too happy to help connect you to other great content or ideas that would be just right. Not every suggestion will be a winner, but most of them will be amazing finds you might not have discovered otherwise. It’s also a great opportunity for you to interact more with your readers.

 

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