Stumped on content?
Lots of new bloggers hit a content wall after they finish writing complete guides for their topics. I’m also convinced this plays a role in the number of inactive and abandoned blogs. Consider this:
Of all the new blogs being created right now, ninety five percent will be abandoned within the first hundred days.
Obviously this is good news to those of us who keep pushing on and work past the content wall. Making it past that hundred day mark puts you directly in an elite (5%) group of your blogging peers. If something in the pages or the design doesn’t work, change it. Post at least once a week. If you’re completely burnt out on writing, design some pins of your posts, pages, products and freebies. (I heart Canva.) These can double as sidebar images.
Sorry. I’m totally off topic.
Book thinking: When you’ve started a blog and written well-researched, long-posts (or Ultimate Guides) about your subject, then find yourself out of ideas. But a blog is not a book. It’s a mixture of magazine, quiz, forum, photo album and workbook.
There’s a better way to think like a book author
And it will help you generate content for your blog, create products and design course content, all while setting you up as marketable for future print publishing.
I recently followed The Bloggess on social media as she saw her book rise to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List. Sure looked like fun. I know I enjoyed watching her excitement. 🙂 I don’t know that I’ll ever write a national bestseller but I would love to see my name on a book cover someday. I imagine you would, too. Creating content and building a platform are actions you can take every day that lead to publication – whether you choose a traditional publishing house or a print on demand service.
Start by imagining you’re going to write a fully-researched book on your subject. Title it The Ultimate Everything-You’ll-Ever-Need-To-Know Guide to…your niche. It’s going to be the bible of your topic – the epitome. Now grab a notebook (I know you can reach like two from where you’re sitting) and outline your table of contents, subheadings and all. List out some chapters and draw from those. Look at the table of contents in some of the books on your shelf.
This should take you a while.
Now add a list of how-to articles. Call it a chapter or appendix.
Look for gaps in old content to give you ideas. Read through your current ultimate guides and jot down what you’d add now.
If you met someone who wanted to apprentice you, be mentored by you and learn all it is you know…what would you tell them? Make a list of the exercises, topics and lessons you would cover. I run into people (when I leave the house) that when I mention I’m a writer and work from home, want to know how to do it. If you’re being asked questions about your niche, pay attention to what those people ask you. These are the questions your readers want answered. Add this list to your table of contents.
Your Table Of Contents
So let’s look at this monster. Your subheadings become blog posts, guest posts and articles. Your chapters (along with those how-to ideas and exercises) give you a blueprint for possible products and courses. Plus half the work of creating these projects will be to curate all this content you’re creating. Formatting your content into a user-friendly or interactive medium is half the battle. Some chapters might make a good ebook or course with guided and solo options. Yes, you’ll have to rewrite and create new features to pull your products and courses together but the hard part will be done.
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Repurpose your content into worksheets, charts and printables. Create guides and write down assignments for your readers. Pitch some of your content out for guest posts. Record until you have a backlog of podcasts or videos to include in your courses or to include as a bonus for pre-ordering another product or service. Rotate your subscription freebie or create an entire page of freebies on your site. Create pins for all of these. Schedule (then reschedule) the social media posts that highlight them.
And when the day comes that you’re ready to publish your all-inclusive knowledge on your subject, you’ll have plenty of content to draw from, a ton of research under your belt and a following of like-minded enthusiasts who are already interested in what you have to say.
So what’s your title? The Ultimate Everything-You’ll-Ever-Need-To-Know Guide to…