I just got done with a 14 week blog series, and it was too long. So how long should a blog series be? Here are some things I learned along the way.

A blog series can be a great way to go deep on a topic or stay fresh on a perennial issue. They can take the burden off of a blogger to come up with something new week after week. But taken too far, a blog series can be a real buzz kill.

A Short Exclusive Blog Series Can Build Expertise

A short blog series, running back to back for a few posts, can make you look like an expert on the issue in question. At the same time I was writing my monster of a blog series, I was also ghostwriting a 5-part series on lemon law for one of my clients. This series broke down the dense information she presented in an industry webinar. It demonstrated the depth of her authority and allowed me to deal with issues more deeply than a single blog would allow.

A Long Blog Series Needs Interruptions

But as the weeks went on in my review of Ari Kaplan’s book Reinventing Professional Services, I found myself missing out on timely topics. My long blog series swept right through the holidays and muted any efforts I may have made to capitalize on my readers’ New Year’s resolutions.

If you are going to engage in a long blog series – for example, a running FAQ on recurrent issues of your practice – break them up. Give the series a name and create a category for it. Then intersperse them series posts with others that are more timely. It will allow you to stay relevant while taking advantage of an area ripe for the blogging.

Don’t Let Your Readers Lose Interest

If your blog series goes on too long, you may also notice your readership drop. Readers will lose interest in your topic, wanting you to move on already. If you are in the midst of a blog series, keep an eye on your analytics. If your numbers start to drop, it could be a sign that it is time to wrap it up and move on.

Don’t Neglect Important Categories or Keywords

The other danger of a long blog series is that by focusing intently on one area of your practice, you will neglect to market the others. Your blog series isn’t likely to include all of your most relevant keywords. So unrelated topics will become neglected, and your SEO visibility will go down.

This is another vote in favor of interruptions in the mist of your blog series. By interspersing blogs on other topics related to your business, you will be able to keep those keywords fresh, even as you develop your expertise in your principle area.

Writing an effective blog is more art than science. Sometimes you will make mistakes along the way. Learn from my experience, and don’t let an overly drawn-out blog series bog you down. Keep them short (4-5 posts at most) or break them up. You’ll keep your readers engaged and make the most of your online marketing dollars.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She ghostwrites blogs and web content for law firms and small businesses. If you need someone to write for you, contact Legal Linguist to schedule a meeting.