Content is king (and context is the ruler of the world) is something you’ve probably heard before and various people, articles, posts that you read will tell you to be creating content for a million different platforms – social media, blogging, pulse, guest posts, ebooks, course, white papers and so on.
On social there are a million ways and places to share your content – Facebook updates, Instagram stories, Pinterest boards, LinkedIn updates, Twitter links, Facebook Lives, YouTube, LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages and so on and so forth…
I think we have all been faced with a blinking curser or a blank page in our time and thought how do I get everything I know and choose one thing to write or talk about.
Suddenly those emails need checking, that brew won’t make itself and procrastination sets in nicely,
You know it is important, but overwhelm and time pressures mean that it gets put to the back of the queue (or outsourced of course) and operational stuff takes precedence.
I wanted to share a tip with you what was shared with me by the lovely David Parrish – a published author – which is a technique he used for writing his books. I have since changed it in some ways but the essence is the same.
At our agency we are focussing on our two core strengths. Using social media for recruitment (I’m sure you will have seen plenty of content on that from me!) and Social Media Training.
Alongside offering online courses such as my LinkedIn Bootcamp (shameless plug) and our Social Media Academy for employees of small businesses who have responsibility for social media (shameless plug #2) and our infamous Power Hours (you get the picture…) we wanted to create a course that catered to the small business people and entrepreneurs who felt overwhelmed with where and how to take regular, positive action on social media. It’s also great for employees to up skill themselves and contribute to their companies social media presence.
We wanted to offer a low price point course that gave them a daily dose of social media information, and a simple action to take that could be done that day. The idea being that small, incremental actions lead to increased knowledge, confidence and results without it overtaking the day to day running of their business or their day job.
So we decided to write a course called ‘90 Days of Social‘ which is a social media tip AND action to do every day for 90 days, I’m sure you have seen this sort of thing before. I’m not kidding myself that I’m breaking new ground here. However it is great to finally get everything out of my head (I’ve been in social media for over ten years) and into a format that will create manageable action steps for overwhelmed entrepreneurs.
Yeah, yeah, get to the tip…
So, I’ve never written an eCourse before. Don’t know about you but when I try to take ten years of experience, challenges, mistakes, successes and start writing it didn’t exactly flow…
So I remembered the tip David told me about a few years ago now, and got the team involved too (but you can easily do this as a one person)…
Grab some post it notes, set a timer for 5 minutes and write out as many things that you know about your topic. Just words or headers, or a couple of words. Don’t overthink it, just start writing.
At the timer stick them up on the wall, and go straight back and do another 5 minutes. Keep repeating until you start to run out of steam.
Then go and review what you have got.
Some will be similar or the same and you can remove one, or some will be clearly under the same topic and you can group them together. You can move and order them and step back and take a visual of what you have got.
Once you have done this you will probably have the urge to start writing again as you see gaps, or go off down avenues in more details.
Start the timer and go through the process again. I don’t know about you but the timer really helps me focus.
Add your new wave of ideas and review again. Keep repeating until you really feel you have got enough, more than enough ideally because it is easier to edit down.
Now it’s time to write content on each header. For this we made it fun and went to the wall, closed eyes, span around and picked one at random.
Taking the topic back to the desk, set timer for 10 minutes and start expanding on the topic. Again because we are in a team of three we used a google spreadsheet. We categorised everything by author, title, content, then whether it was educational, inspirational, motivational and whether it comes at the beginning, middle or end of the 90 days.
As well as being a great way to write a course, we now have over a hundred blog titles to work with, or Facebook live topics, or ideas for social media posts. Or even topics within chapters for a book.
Hope this helps any of you thinking ‘what the hell am I going to write about?’ when looking at a blank page or a blinking cursor.
I’m also taking some of my own advice and asking you amazing people what YOU would like to learn about when it regards to social. Something you can learn about and take action in ONE DAY. If you reply in the comments and we haven’t already covered it I will add it up on my wall and get it added into my course.
PS We are running a waiting list for the 90 Days of Social eCourse – you can register (completely free and under no obligation to buy) here