I know creating free content is a great way to show your competence and experience as a practitioner. You create so much stuff for your site and other sites. I would love to start to write stuff about tapping but don’t know where to begin. How do you come up with ideas, and what is your process for writing?
photo by churl
Before we get too far into answering this question, I want to make one thing very clear. You don’t need to create as much content as I do. When it comes to content creation I am extreme. Some weeks I spend as much as 15 hours on content creation between the free resources I provide on this site and products I sell in the on-line store.
I create free content for three reasons (in no particular order):
- It is a great way to build my reputation as a trusted expert. The more quality material I create the more proof I am providing that I can be trusted with client’s time, money, and issues.
- I learn something in the process. Many times when I think I am dashing-off a quick e-mail in response to a reader’s question it turns into a 750 word article. When I am done writing I think, “Wow, I didn’t realize I believed that?!?” I have found explaining what I know is a great way to learn new ideas and gain mastery over the knowledge.
- I really enjoy it. Explaining difficult concepts in simple ways is something I enjoy. There are days when writing feels like a chore, but most days I love the process.
Some of my favorite Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)/tapping writers only create new content a few times a year. You don’t need to write as much as I do for you to get some or all of the benefits listed above.
The goal is to get started. In the first year of this web site I wrote less than 20 articles (less than two a month). At the time it didn’t seem like a lot, but if someone visited my site for the first time after that first year it looked like a more comprehensive site.
If you do a little bit every now and then you are going to be surprised (in a very pleasant way) with what you end up with.
We are going to look at this process in three parts. First, we are going to look at what to keep in mind when you are starting. Second, we are going to look at the different types of articles you can write. I have found it much easier to start when I have a more defined form or type of article to work within. Finally, we will look at how to pick a topic and how to start.
[Once published all three parts of this series can be found @ content creation series]
Getting started can be the hardest part. There are few things more intimidating than a blank page. There are endless possibilities but you don’t know where start. Here a few things to keep mind.
It’s called a first draft for a reason
We know what the finished product is supposed to look like. Even if we don’t know what we are going to say we know the look, feel, and quality of a finished piece. When we start we don’t have a finished product.
Your first draft is going to be rough. Things aren’t going to be in the right order. You aren’t going to explain things the way you’d like. You might not even know where you are going to end.
Sometimes the only thing that comes from a writing session is knowing how you are not going to explain something. The only way you are going to get to the finished product is to get the rough draft out of the way.
One of my favorite tricks is to turn off my monitor and just to start typing the article. This prevents me from being over-critical and going back to edit things while writing. By just letting it flow to begin with I can get the ideas out and then come back to polish it.
You don’t need to explain everything all at once
One of the biggest mistakes writers make is trying to do too much in one article. Remember, the article you are working on right now is just one article. You don’t need to do it all at once. The first article I ever wrote about Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)/tapping wasn’t about tapping at all. My first article was how to make tapping a part of your everyday routine.
I didn’t talk about the tapping points. I didn’t talk about psychological reversal. I didn’t talk about the movie technique or the palace of possibilities. I chose a very narrow topic and explained it completely. When I try to do too much in a single article I end up not explaining anything very well. It’s okay (and preferable) to choose a narrow topic.
If you are looking for a great example of effective short blog posts check out Seth Godin’s blog. His entries are regularly less than 300 words.
Not everything is going to be great
Not every article you are going to write is going to be perfect. Not every article you write is going to be great. Not every idea you have is going to be earth-shattering.
That is okay.
Not every episode of The Simpsons is great. Not every movie directed by Spielberg is perfect. Not every resource on this site is amazing. (I know, it is hard to believe!).
This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive for excellence in our work, and this doesn’t mean that we are satisfied with sharing crap. (There are articles that I have written that you will never see.)
One of the reasons I write articles is to get better at writing articles. From time to time I go back to re-read some of my earlier articles. It becomes (painfully) obvious how much better I am today at explaining things to my readers. Not only am I a better writer, but I know more because of my previous writings.
Not everything is going to be for everyone
Everything we write isn’t going to perfect for everyone. When I write something I know that all six billion people of the world aren’t going to read it, much less learn something from it.
When I started this site I was responding to an e-mail question I received. My thought was, “Instead of answering this question for one person, wouldn’t it be cool if twenty five people read my response.”
There are times that I write things for a more general audience while other times I am writing for a much more specific audience. Take this article for example. Less than 15% of my readership is composed of actual EFT practitioners. I am okay knowing that the vast majority of the people who visit my site are not going to read these words.
If you write about a topic well, the right people are going to find their way to the article.
Even if you are writing something that has been written a hundred times before it doesn’t mean the person who is reading it has read it before. You have access to people whom I will never have access to. Not only are you a unique voice in sharing information, you have unique avenues through which to share it.
Just know that you don’t need to be all things to all people.
Now you know a few things to keep in mind before you start. In part 2 we will look at the types of articles you can write.