Most times I tend to consume content, a lot of content.
My goal, though, is to grow this blog, so that I can earn money through it (besides it being a “hobby” I enjoy).
To grow a blog you need to create content.
If you just consume content and never create content, then you have a problem, my friend.
But, I love to read (“consume”) content!
So, what’s the solution here?!
I instituted some rules. I will update this rule-set as I go along, as I find out what works best for me.
My Content Creation Rules
- Write down in the Journal everything I do while on my computer
- Whatever content I “consume”, I have to turn it into content for this site.
- Tweet as I go along. Share my thoughts and insights before I forget.
- Search if there is a nice quote for whatever topic I happen to write about.
I’ll explain these rules here.
Rule #1: capturing everything
I find value in capturing my thought process.
- It gives order to my actions. I can see the logic behind my thinking.
- I can go back and check what I did. I can keep track of how I’m spending my time and how productive I’m being.
- I can share this with others (“documenting my journey“). This is content in and of itself. I can share my work-in-progress. I can inspire someone else.
Rule #2: turning consumption into creation
Whatever content I consume, I have to turn it into content for my blog straight away.
I’m only allowed to consume content if I turn that content into a blog post.
I call this strategy Content Consumption to Content Creation (CC2CC).
There are 2 main reasons why I have this rule:
- I find it much harder to create content “after the fact”. I find it way easier and more rewarding to share things “as I do them”, right in the heat of the moment. I prefer to right down things in a “stream of consciousness” manner, then wait and write down an outline, a draft and finally publish. The more I wait, the more new ideas and curiosities distract me from actually creating content. The only way for me is to document everything I do or think as I do it. This doesn’t mean I just write and hit publish. This only means that I write as I do/read and save as a draft. I then publish it as soon as I review it and as a general rule “as soon as possible”. Which means that when I publish, I know the article is far from “perfect”, and there are surely a lot of things I’d like to add to it. But I prefer to publish nevertheless and “move on”.
- This forces me to be selective with the content I consume, while paying more attention to what I read (since I have to turn it into content – which also forces me to condense it into a “digestible”, shorter and applicable form).
So, if I read something I then try to:
- write about it
- turn the post into a visual to share on social media
- turn the post into audio and/or video
- use the content in the post for a future book and/or course
Another benefit of the CC2CC rule is that it “cures” me from another problem I often face, which is the following.
I read a very good piece on something (as Gary Vee’s example above) and then I feel like there’s no point for me to repeat the same stuff on my blog, that I should just link to the original source.
But this thinking is faulty in more than one way.
- Re-writing a concept in my own words helps me better understand and learn the concept;
- Telling the message in my own words helps the readers absorbing the concept from a different angle, a different point of view, perhaps better resonating with them;
- As Austin Kleon wrote (Steal Like An Artist), we all “steal” from each other, meaning no one every hardly creates something completely new, but our contribution to the evolution and progress lies in re-elaborating what others have created, and adding our own personal touch to it;
- Curation consists in collecting and collating the best content on a topic, presenting it to the reader in the most effective way;
- A blog needs content, good content, but most of all a lot of content (again, see Gary V on quantity).
Rule #3: tweet as I go along
To grow a following on Twitter I have to share valuable content. Thinking of a tweet to share forces me to reflect on the value of what I’m doing. I find it better to think about a tweet as I’m creating the content, as the concepts are fresher in my head and it’s easier to articulate them.
More on how to create content for Twitter here.