See Brian Clark’s, of Copyblogger fame, Simple Secrets For Writing a Blog Post For Your Blogging Marketing. See Tim Ferriss of “4 Hour Workweek” and “4 Hour Body” Fame’s Simple Small Business Marketing Strategy For Writing A Book Chapter Without Getting Overwhelmed

Hey You,

blogging marketing-small business marketing strategies

Lick writers block using what you learn from these marketing beasts

It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd. 

How come you’re not writing a shit-ton of content – blog posts, book chapters, reports, video scripts, etc.?

You’re scared that’s why. You may say you’re stressed or overloaded at the moment with everything else going on in your life, especially if you’re a guy because you feel like you’re lopping off your manhood by admitting you’re afraid of something, but that’s what you are. Scared.

Scared you’re new and feel you’re not doing it right. Scared no one’s gonna like it. Scared someone’s gonna clown on you in front of your entire audience for expressing your opinion.

I been at this  content producing thing for a bit now. You could say I’m balls deep in it. I know what being scared feels like because I’ve been there.

I’m scared every time I write but the difference between you and I is I recover faster which allows me to hurdle fear and my skin is thicker so I don’t give a fuck if a vocal minority doesn’t like what I’ve written as long as I feel I’m bringing true value to the market and the majority loves it.

Two Content Hit Men Have Shown Up To Take Fear Out To Some Quiet Place To Talk Where They Won’t Be Bothered

Most people royally screw themselves when they go to write content because they start to write content without knowing where they want to get to.

This leads to fear walking onto the scene and pushing them around and putting the squeeze on them. Well Tim Ferriss and Brian Clark have arrived and they’re gonna show you how they slap fear around and put it in it’s place. 

In the deep, dark recesses of the tail end of an 1.5 hour Q & A session Brian Clark did for the Third Tribe program with Darren Rowse of Problogger, I stumbled across a gem of a process that allows Brian to . . .

Write 1,000 Word Blog Posts From A Single Headline

Brian starts with the initial idea.

Then he writes an initial draft headline. A lot of people think this is weird but like copywriters do this with a sales page , he does it too with content because the headline is the promise you have to fulfill. So you start with what you’re promising to deliver before you start delivering it. You can always go back and tweak the headline later if you come up with something more compelling or if you go in a different direction.

Just that suggestion right there is worth your price of admission for this month’s membership.

He has the initial idea but he needs a way to fully flesh out what he’s going to deliver. The headline does this.

Next he writes as many subheads as he needs. If he’s looking at a 1,000 word post and just sees a blank slate and a 1,000 word goal, he admits he’s never going to do it because it’s too much.

So he writes the subhead sections which act as an outline, same concept, and then he writes each section.

This chunks the whole post down into manageable bites, “Yeah, I can write that section,” and he gives himself a little pep talk along these lines, “You can do it, it’s only one section,”.

So you’re working from this outline and drive home the finer details of each section.

He focuses on writing the opening up front with the headline because it’s the continuation of the headline and it’s very important to keep people reading and it’s the next most important step in convincing them you’re gonna deliver what you said you would.

Then he goes through and fills in each of the sections and figures out how he’s gonna close.

So instead of one huge task, this breaks it down into a bunch of small ones. This is how you construct a long ass piece of content without  getting overwhelmed.

(See Stephen King’s suggestions for getting more writing done here . . . )

What About If You’re Writing a Book?

Buried at the halfway point of an interview Leo Babauta did with Tim Ferris for his “Un-Procrastinate” book, I stumbled onto a concept that makes any book or any content easier to read and write . . .

Make it modular in design.

When Tim was first working on the Four Hour Work Week, he was completely overwhelmed by the idea of writing “A WHOLE BOOK”.  Where the hell do even start? Yeah, you can start with an outline but that’s a page. You’ve gotta put together 200-300 more pages to turn that outline into a jenna-wine book.

One of Tim’s agents gave him some very helpful feedback by telling him, “You should make every chapter a magazine article. They should each have a beginning, middle, and an end and it shouldn’t be dependent on other chapters in order to have value. It should be very valuable by itself. Focus on doing one magazine article at a time.”

He used this approach and it worked very well for him. When he hit the wall with any given chapter, for any reason – maybe he was burned out on the topic for the moment, he could just jump to another chapter and just as the reader can pick a chapter and get value even though they’re reading out of order, when you write according to a modular design, you can write them out of order.

This was a life saver for him.

He had to call on this strategy of bouncing to different chapters many times, especially with 4 Hour Body where some of his experiments didn’t go as planned and he had to repeat them.

Think Small, Get Huge 400 Page Book Sized Results

Through interviewing ghostwriters, people who write books for other people, and put the people who paid them’s name on it, and finding out what these people’s fantastic process was for writing 50-60 books, he learned about the power of small expectations.

One of the reason IBM exceeded all the sales quotas for so long was that they set all of their sales quotas very, very low so that there wasn’t all kinds of pent up fear inside their salesman about picking up the phone and making sales calls.

So think about it. If you have to “WRITE A BOOK” when sit down in front the blank page of your word processor, it can be totally overwhelming so your mind will go through all kinds of gyrations to sabotage your effort in pursuit of comfort.

The way Tim overcame this was by setting the goal of only having to write 2 pages a day.

These 2 pages could be complete and total shit. Still counted. They could be all photos, they could just be graphs, could be a title page with huge font, could be quotes, he let himself cheat by doing this. All he asked of himself was 2 pages of content. If it ended up being shitty, he told himself he could get rid of it later.

And of course, what often happened is he’d get two pages in and have gotten himself in the zone, he’d go beyond two pages and maybe churn out 15 pages.

But there were a lot of days where he only had two meager, unimpressive pages.

What I like about this small goal is that it’s easier to do without an accountability partner, you know, someone you tell you’re gonna go to the gym 5 times a week, and email them every day you do after you’ve gone and if you miss a day, you agree to pay them $1,000.

And hey, maybe even for a small goal of two pages, you need that external motivation, but Tim didn’t for either of the two books he wrote. The motivation for him here was rooted entirely in feeling like he was moving forward.

Just being able to say, “Yes” or “No” to the simple, measurable question of “Did I make progress today?” within such a complex project was massively helpful.

Merging Of These Two Simplifying Methods

How can you use Tim’s advice if you aren’t writing a book now?

You can marry Tim’s 2 page a day approach Brian’s suggestion of writing blog posts in sub-headed sections.

You can allow yourself to finish more high quality posts by committing to only writing one section a day. Just one. And reward yourself for doing so.

And what you can do to give yourself even more incentive is do something to reward yourself for doing so – go balls to wall with any kind of recreation that empowers you – Reading fiction, playing an instrument, having wild, sweaty gorilla sex – and in moderation anything that disempowers you – yet you love – eating junk food, drinking liquor, smoking a cigar, watching T.V. (One of my indulgences right now is Boardwalk Empire or almost anything else HBO does), etc.

Preferably you’d have 1-3 things you’d want accomplished by the end of every business day, other similar small goals that move you toward progress.

And if you don’t knock those simple acts off your list, no comfort activity for you that day. No exceptions to the rule.

When I was doing my 90 day challenge, 3 of the things I demanded of myself everyday were 30 minutes of my typing tutorial to increase the speed at which I write, drinking 75 ounces of water, and studying some kind of marketing/copywriting material for an hour.

None of those were ever impossible, no matter how crazy my day was. Yet they all slowly but surely led to my life becoming richer as a result of doing them. An easy to attain pay off. 

DO THE LEAST TO BECOME A BEAST

I think we’d both agree that both Brian Clark and Tim Ferriss are in beast mode in this period of their careers when it comes to producing kick ass content.

Maybe you aren’t.

But guess what? You can be though by following the simple steps that they take that I’ve laid out for you here that allow you to make incremental, consistent progress.

Remember, progress, not perfection is the name of the game.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd

PS. If you’re at all interested in taking your blogging marketing to a new level using super stealth small business marketing strategies taught at Dan Kennedy’s Social Media Money Magnet Seminar, you definitely want to click here now to get your hands on these . . .

Advertisements