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How to Turn Long-Form Features into Multi-Part Series

Converting features into multi-part series is a useful strategy for editors – you can create logical sections out of articles that are too long for the available print space, get more mileage out of your content, and make long articles more digestible. 

Multi-part series are also a smart recommendation for sponsored content. Sponsors can submit one piece that your magazine can arrange into several separate articles for sponsorship. 

With this in mind, creating multi-part series is a valuable editorial skill. Here’s how to plan a series for your publication. 

Choosing the Right Articles 

Some articles are a better fit for a series than others. Features that are too long to publish as one piece are ideal. Articles that contain actionable, relevant, in-depth content often lend themselves naturally to creating more than one piece. 

Using your editorial judgment, you may notice that some features shouldn’t become a series. Not every article can be made into a series without basically creating new articles entirely from scratch – feel free to edit these features down instead. 

Create a Series 

If you’re ready to create a series, consider following this process:

  1. Begin by dividing your article into logical sections that can be published as separate articles. 
  2. Review each section and determine what else that article needs before publication:
    1. Is it too short? 
    2. Does it need rewriting? 
    3. Should you add an introduction and conclusion? 
    4. Is content missing, or is there not enough meat in each section as is? 
  3. Follow up with the original author, if necessary, for additional content you can add to the articles, such as photos or interview questions to supplement the existing material. 
  4. Write new headlines and introductions for each installment. Re-edit text for each section to update first references and other details that may no longer be where they should be.
  5. Add links to each article that help readers quickly access each part of the series. 
  6. If you’d like, you can create a landing page where all parts of the article are linked, including an overview of the series. You can add images or an infographic to make the landing page visually appealing. 

Planning a Multi-Article Series 

After a few months of adapting existing print and online articles, consider researching and reporting with this multi-part, serial format in mind. For example, allow sources to speak more at length and consider including details and content there wasn’t room for in the past.

Start to organize and write articles from the outset in multiple sections for online, and then draw from and distill those to create feature articles for print. Be very careful to avoid creating and needing to correct multiple versions!

Use website metrics to track increased traffic from multi-part series and more fresh content in order to justify added labor of producing larger series running online. In time, you can watch your efforts pay off as you adapt and repurpose content in new ways for your website.

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