Content Development Strategies
We are going to take your big topics and niche them down, and give you an endless supply of ideas. So, it's on page eight in your workbook that I walk you through the steps of how to niche this down. Did you have a question, or are you just--? Okay (laughing)
The 25 topics coming
Oh, the idea of 25 topics is overwhelming. Well here's the things to keep in mind, we've talked about formats, and then there's topics, which are like general, like healthy living is just a topic. The episodes can be super, super, super specific to get to very detailed, small level of-- Because if you just talk about healthy living, that could be maybe three episodes. What I want you guys to walk away with is tons of ideas for all the different directions you could go, and then from this list of 25, you might like two of 'em, and also the more you generate the easier it is to have something to talk about. I always like to generate 10 times more than what I need, because then I can pick the best ones, and t...
hat goes back to the brainstorming idea, that if you just come up with five, your first five might be total duds, but if you come up with 25, maybe it's like the 23rd one is great, and the seventh one is great, but you would have never got that second great idea if you didn't keep going. So, don't be overwhelmed, we are going to come up with 25. (laughing) Even, it's fine if you're overwhelmed, we're going to do it anyhow. So, what we're gonna do is niche down your big topics I'm a mom of four and this is how I balance my life, into what you could talk about specifically. Now, in Liz's case, if she's gonna do vlog, each week might just be, this is something that came up for me this week. Maybe you don't need to plan ahead for your episode ideas, but it wouldn't hurt to have a couple in your back pocket, literally nothing happened this week, no one was sick, nobody got upset, I can't even imagine your life is like that, but if it ever happens that nothing happened that week, you could go back to this idea, and be like, oh, I'll talk about this cause this actually happens every week. Or this never happens, and here's why because I fixed it. Pick one of the topics from everything that you've done so far. The questions you get all the time, or something from the list of what your audience needs to know before they buy. Pick one of those, and then we're gonna look at it from all these different angles, to generate really specific micro content for each episode. So what we're looking at is a very specific episode, so you can go home and just record if you want to. So first, you're gonna generate five ideas for different audiences. So, let's say we're doing book reviews. Book reviews for moms of toddlers, book reviews for women over 30, book reviews for what, what are the different audiences you might be serving in this episode. So there are so many different-- And when I say audiences, I don't mean you're going away from your best buyer, I'm saying different angles. So, one of the things is that she might be a mom of four kids, but she also is interested in health for her husband. Manly health or something, or maybe she's interested in health for a five year old, which is different than health for a ten year old, or different for health for a kid going off to college. So there's also health for her elderly parents, and if your parents are watching, not that they're elderly. So, when I say different audiences, they could all be the same listener, but she has many different interests, she has different people in her life, she has different people she's concerned with or that she's helping out with. So your audiences could also be different stages of their life, or just totally different people, the people that she's friends with that she might want to recommend the episode to, or that she's listening so that she can help them. Also, you can generate a couple different ideas for skills or interest level, and what I mean by this is, are they beginner, are they advanced, are they intermediate, are they really nerdy and into all of the details. I could do an episode that's profitability for number nerds. So I could talk about the profitability in your business for people who just love all the stats and numbers, and I could talk about all the different things you could measure in your business. What I tend to do is profitability for people who hate math, because that's me, so that's a different level of interest level in that, or profitability for people who have never looked at their expenses, or something like that. Or I think I did one that's like, accounting terms if you've never looked at your bank statement, something like that. You have a whole wide variety, that best buyer, there's a whole bunch of different interest levels and skill levels in there. So, look at all the different ways you could hit it. And if you're watching at home, I'd love to hear your different examples of this, and if you get stuck on any of these, and you can't come up with five or three or 25, tell me, and I love to come up with ideas for you. So another way you can do it is look at different perspectives or formats. So, different perspectives could be that you were the expert, or that you were the learner. So, if you are just learning something for the first time, people love to hear that. I just read a book, and it was giving me all these epiphanies, so I was just sharing the epiphanies in my podcast episode. This isn't something I know, that I figured out, I just read this from my book and it got me thinking about this, and that was my episode. That's a different perspective than, hey guys, I've been teaching craft business owners how to become profitable for the last five years, let me tell you what works. Those are two different perspectives, and I could take them, or you could take them, for totally different topics, the expert versus the beginner, your own perspective. It could also be the perspective of somebody who's really has done all the research versus somebody who is just starting to. And then the different formats, you could interview five experts in one show, or you could interview one expert and ask them 50 questions. You could go all different ways. You could go and just poll your friends, people who know absolutely nothing about essential oils, and ask them the question, what do you know about essential oils. That could answer that question that she's asked the most often, but in a totally different format than you just answering the question. You could ask your five year old, what do you know about essential oils. She probably knows a lot. (laughing) So that's what we mean by different perspectives. If you're running low on ideas, list all the different ways you could come at this, and maybe if you feel like you've been thinking about it forever, you're 180 episodes in, how else could I talk about this. Go become a beginner, have a beginner's mind, and go read a book that you haven't read about it, and start from scratch, or list all the things you don't yet know about it, and share that. Another perspective is, I always think of it as I make tons of mistakes, so here's what I've learned. I do a couple episodes every year that are, it's my 35th birthday, here's what I've learned. Oh, what I've learned is, I've made some mistakes, here's what I've figured out from that. So, this is on page eight of your workbook. We generated five ideas for perspectives and formats, and then I'd say come up with another ten. And that's brainstorming, you are not going to do all of these ten, you are just going to come up with the craziest idea possible. Maybe the craziest idea is that you interview your five year old, or maybe the craziest idea is that you do an episode about dog training. Literally whatever you can think of just to get ideas flowing, list ten. And then I'd love to know, is there anyone in the chat room who's having a hard time generating more ideas?
A flurry of them coming through actually on the chat at the moment. It seems like the exercise of really writing everything down through the workbook is helping viewers a lot, because it's opening up the ideas that they haven't thought of before, the perspectives and the formats that haven't really come to mind before. So, it's definitely getting some new ideas in there for viewers. Dawn says for example, my topic is to knit with Indie dyed yarn, five different audiences so far, shawl knitters, mitt knitters, sock knitters, and asks, is that on the right track?
Yeah absolutely And you might want to do a whole series that's for all different kinds of knitters, or you might want to actually focus on those projects. So maybe if it was Indie dyed yarn you could say for sock knitters, or you could even go deeper, cabled sock, lace sock, short socks, tall socks, stripey socks, knee socks. Just to get ideas flowing, I'm not saying you have to record each one of those episodes, but just to get more ideas, and then if you are also asking your audience questions, and paying attention to what they're talking about, you might find out they need more information on knee socks. The more detailed and fine grain you can get the more you will see, A. There are no podcasts about this, and B. They need to have details about something you hadn't even thought about talking about. And the other thing I wanted to say is, I asked you all these questions about your audience, and your own personal angle, and what you want to talk about. You've written down some ideas that will make awesome episodes. What I'd like you to do is go back and star or circle the ones that are your favorite. So the thing with brainstorming is that you have some real dud ideas, and then you have some really great ones. So go back and circle the ones that were great, and that you really liked, so that you remember, because I promise you when you go home, or the class is over, you're gonna be like, where do I start? So, start with the ones that you really like, maybe highlight or star, or put exclamation points around the ones you really love, So that you've narrowed it down, and what I do regularly is I rewrite a content list. So I might go through here and come up with a bunch of ideas, star the ones I like, and then put 'em on a fresh sheet of paper, these are my next 20 ideas. And we'll talk a little about a content calendar. That's where you can put those, or you can just keep a running list in your notebook or your bullet journal or whatever you're using.
A few messages from Rachel actually, who is looking for maybe a bit of inspiration. She's a jewelry designer and struggling to think of topics without seeming salesy. She says, I could talk about different stones and metals, and how to care for jewelry, but do people really want to listen to that? She's struggling a little bit to find her inspiration for topics.
Yeah, the thing to keep in mind is that people who buy jewelry don't probably care about stones and metal. I don't want to know about stones and metal. Liz did jewelry, I think you have ideas.
My background is actually in silversmithing, that's what I got my degree in. I have a different perspective, because I love to see how the piece of jewelry is made that I'm going to purchase because it puts more meaning to it. Where did that stone come from, or how did they actually make that spezzled that that stone is encapsulated in, what's the story behind it? Funny enough, my niece does jewelry also, silversmithing, so I found a stone that I really liked for my friend that I had her make a special pendant for. It puts personal experiences on it. Well, if somebody did a podcast on that I actually would find that really interesting.
I'm so glad you said that, I was thinking like, I don't even know the names of stones, this is a ruby, a ruby is like this, this is the qualities, that's boring. This, I found this stone when I was in this place, or this customer sent it to me, and I custom, blah blah, whatever the words are, to make this piece of jewelry, like that story about what you asked your niece to do for your friend, that would make an excellent podcast episode, because it's the story behind it. So, if she does custom pieces, asking the customer if she can share their story, she can even interview her customers. I would have Liz on the show and be like, so tell me why you picked that stone, and what does it mean to you, and what is this friendship about, just have you talk about your friendship for 15 minutes, and then talk about the stone and the setting and what I did. That's super interesting. Go on, yeah.
One more thing to add is, if you're making the piece of jewelry, the actual tools and the process behind it, I find fascinating for any art. So, I know jewelry really well, but I don't know knitting as well, so if somebody was explaining, this is why you do this, or this is this particular process, explaining that in a podcast I would find fascinating, because I'm always wanting to learn new mediums, and the way that the process is done.
Yeah, one of my students that I work with, Tawny, of Sundrop Jewelry, she made these earrings, and they're actually melted recycled glass that she melts with the power of the sun. She has a giant magnifying glass, the sun comes through it, and it melts bottles, a lot of liquor bottles, the camera is swooping in on it, and then she wire wraps it, and makes it into earrings. So she posts some pictures of the giant magnifying glass out there with the-- That's awesome, and that's different from being really technical about glass has these properties. It's different to say, this is how it's meaningful and this is how I do it, and this is what I use. That's more interesting. So, it's really just a matter of maybe tweaking that a little bit.
Now I want to go look at your earrings. I want to go to that girls website, and I want to purchase those earrings.
Yes, so it's sundropjewelry.com. (laughing) I love it, that's exactly it. So just sharing your stories and your process from a, this is what makes this cool. You could even ask your friends, what would make this cool? You could talk it out with them. I have this stone and I'm doing this with it, what's cool about this? And if you're doing custom work I think it's really easy cause you have stories. If you're sitting at home alone, and you're making your jewelry, you could still-- Well, one of my friends who teaches at Creative Live all the time, Megan Alman, makes beautiful jewelry with these stones that she picks with this very special process. When you ask her anything, she explains the reason she picked those stones. It's so interesting. I know nothing about the stone, I can't even remember what it's called, but her process, and what we mean with process is not the technical details, but what she's thinking. I made this decision because of x y z. I made this decision because I know this. That's different than if you just tell me what you know. This stone has these five properties. It's not nearly as interesting as, I was thinking about those five things, and then I came up with this, and I displayed it in this way. Thank you for helping me come up with that, cause that's the thing I don't want to-- People and a lot of artists and artisans will get into the real technical weeds, and what they'll become is a show that teaches other people how to do it.
I was just going to add one thing is, a lot of people probably don't know the process behind making jewelry or whatever craft it is. So being really, almost talking at a fourth grade level, so you're very generalized about what you're saying, so you don't get into a jargon, or technical terms of that particular craft.
Exactly, you want to help people. You don't want them to feel left out, and you don't want to create a show for your peers. So, if you use all that jargon, you're gonna just create a show that other jewelry artists listen to, and they might not be your buyers. But if you picture talking to a fourth grader, or you just explain every jargon word you come up with. I use the phrase, call to action, which is somewhat self-explanatory, but in marketing people just shorten it to CTA, if I just said CTA half the audience would just be like, I don't know what she's saying. So, you just explain it whenever you come to it.