Total time: 30 minutes
Resources needed: Pen/Paper, Laptop, Patience
Goal: To narrow in on your subject of choice and develop 25 blog post
Have you heard it said before, Content is King?
In the digital age of attention, the one thing that will allow you to develop your authority will be your content. Why? Because you are the expert.
You might not feel like the expert right now, but you are an expert.
The subject that you write about is something that interests you, something you have spent time with, and something that you feel comfortable talking about. The subject is the thing that gives you energy when talking about it. The subject is something that you find friends asking you for advice on. You are an expert for the subject you pick because you are the one that interacts with your content daily.
It is important that you start to tell yourself you are the expert now before you sit down to write any content. This stage of development is important and something that you need to tell yourself. Say it with me, “I am an expert.” Now it is time for your work and writing to speak for itself.
If you have ever played golf you understand what it means to be an expert. Standing over a little white ball and trying to make it do exactly what you want it to do could be one of the most frustrating things in this world. This simple act will leave you walking away feeling more like an amateur than an expert.
Confidence is the name of the game when it comes to golf. You have to tell yourself that you will make this put, that the club you selected is just the right one, and that you can hit the ball straight. It is all about what you tell yourself that allows you to have an enjoyable experience.
Writing is much in the same to golf. It is 90% mental and 8% skill and 2% look. Starting any new blog requires you to stand over your keyboard and write out words that flow, form, and capture the attention of your audience. It takes confidence to stand behind what you have to say and to express your thoughts on a subject. But just like golf, the more you try, the better you get, and the more understanding and experience you gain.
You are an expert!
As we look at our subject choices that we chose from exercise 1. We need to start developing our content around those areas of choice.
One of the crucial mistakes bloggers make is having an idea and launching without having any content to back them up.
I made this mistake when I launched www.kylereed.tv.
I had thre blog posts ready to go that were scheduled for the first three days the site was live. When I hit publish on Monday things were looking great. Thursday morning I was scrambling to find what I could write about next.
Exercise two is all about writing your content.
Before you launch your blog, you need 25 blog posts ready to go. I will repeat that, you need 25 blog posts written, proofed, edited, and images added before you hit publish on your entire site. Let’s let the depth of that sink in first. Hopefully you have returned to reading and not hit the delete button that makes all of this go away.
The practical side of writing 25 blog posts allows you to have content ready to go for 3 weeks. But the lasting effect is what we are after here. Out of those 25 blog posts you will probably have about five to seven quality posts. Even Babe Ruth strikes out some times.
But of those 25 blog posts you have done several things to set yourself up to win:
-You have started to develop your voice.
-You have started to develop your writing style.
-You have started to develop your audience profile.
-You have started to develop your content strategy.
-You have started to develop patterns in the way you write.
-You have started to develop your habits.
-You have started to develop your want to.
That is the goal of the 25 blog post exercise. Just like any great discipline, you have to work through the process to start to see how the process can work for you.
Let’s look at the benefits of this exercise a bit more:
You have started to develop your voice:
Writing has tone. And just like when you are speaking, tone can change the conversation for the better or for the worse. Inside your writing, you start to develop a “dialect” of sorts for your audience. You will be surprised how much you start to see patterns in your writing voice from post one to 25. But even more important, a theme will start to stick out to the way you write. That is your writing voice.
You have started to develop your writing style:
Writing style follows close behind the writing voice. You might like writing list post that give several options. Maybe you like to ask more questions than provide answers. Or maybe you enjoy picking one point and looking at it from all angles. Whatever your preference, you will start to see how your writing style develops and plays out.
You have started to develop your audience profile:
Not everyone will like your writing. I know that might come as a shock, but you will start to see after you have been blogging for a while you have developed an audience verses a gathering. An audience participates, a gathering stands around and looks. When you start writing your 25 blog posts, you will be able to start to think about the end user, your audience. You will be able to develop in your head what they look like, how they will respond, what questions they will be asking. Your audience profile will allow you to shape content to help them succeed. That is why you are starting a blog, to develop an audience.
You have started to develop your content strategy:
Content strategy allows you to pick titles and subjects of what your posts will consist of. If you look at your 25 blog posts from an outsiders perspective, you will see that your content has a flow to the way it unfolds. You will be able to start working on blog series, blog topics, and blog habits that will allow your readers to digest your content.
You have started to develop patterns in the way you write:
I am sure if we followed each of you to work we would start to see you have certain patterns to the way you go about your day. And beyond the creepy factor of us following you to work, you will start to realize you have patterns to your day. These patterns are what make you who you are inside of what you do. Blogging does the same thing. You develop patterns to your writing that allow you to get in a flow and complete your post. You might write your conclusion before your intro. Or write your post in shotgun form and then come back the next day to edit. Whatever your pattern turns out to be, you will develop it in the first 25 blog posts.
You have started to develop your habits:
Habits are the very thing that allows us to accomplish so much. If you are in good shape you probably have great health habits. If you have a lot of money, you probably have great spending habits. These are the things that we do each day that allow us to accomplish our end goal. Writing 25 blog posts is very hard. Inside this exercise you will start to develop a blogging habit that will stick with you for the life of your blog.
You have started to develop your want to:
Your want to is the very thing inside of you that says, “do I want to do this?” It is that voice that sits in the back of your head and lobs up flaming bricks at your desire. In the 25 blog post exercise your want to will be the strongest muscle in your body. Not only will you be able to say that you wrote 25 blog posts but you will also be able to see if this is something that you want to do.
When most hear about this assignment they immediately move to the improbability of its completion. But let me encourage you not to skip over this exercise. You will be glad you did it. Especially on those nights when you don’t feel like writing, or those early mornings where you forgot to write a post the night before and you need to get something published ASAP.
Last but not least, this exercise will allow you to finish exercise one. For most of you, there are two or three themes that you want to go with for your site. This exercise will help you narrow down to one theme. If you cannot write 25 blog posts about a theme then you know that was not the right theme for you. And if you cannot write 25 blog posts in general, then you know blogging is not for you.
It is time to write.