After a week dedicated to why email courses are so great, we'll spend the next couple of weeks focused on how to create them.
Some of you told me you’re eager to start writing, but you don’t know what. So, that’s what we’ll tackle in the coming days.
This week’s theme is how to never run out of content ideas.
We’ll first look at why (and how) to set up your capture system. Then, I share two of my favorite frameworks for ideating content: the Two-Year Test and Sales Safari.
Neither is my original idea, but in the spirit of curation, I share what’s worked for me — and link to more resources if you want to dive deeper.
To prime you for what’s to come, here’s an overview of what to expect from the next four emails:
Capture content ideas as a habit
No matter what tools or frameworks you use, you are the best source of inspiration for content.
You probably already get great ideas when you read or hear something interesting. But what do you do with those ideas? If you don’t capture them, you’re doing yourself a major disservice.
In tomorrow’s lesson, we’ll have a look at the core components any capture system needs to have:
• A reason to capture.
• A place to capture.
• A process to review.
I’ll also share some of my practices to develop ideas. From journaling to walking, anything that helps me create content like you’re reading now.
Remember content ideas with the Two-Year Test
One of the most vibrant writing communities on the web is Ship 30 for 30 by Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole. They basically share copywriting advice with people who want to teach via text.
One framework they teach is the Two-Year test, which helps you create content when you have no idea who to write for. With this framework, you write for yourself: either for your past or your future self.
In Wednesday’s lesson, I’ll share how to do the Two-Year test, and I’ll link to free resources by Dickie and Cole if you need some more time to wrap your head around it.
Discover content ideas with Sales Safari
Thursday and Friday, we’ll focus on the Sales Safari technique.
Invented by Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman, Sales Safari is basically “strategic lurking” in online watering holes where your (potential) audience hangs out. By looking at what challenges people run into and what words they use to describe them, you can craft a solution and market it in a way that will resonate with people.
Because Sales Safari takes quite some practice, I’ll spend two days on it. On Thursday, we’ll look at how to prep a safari, and on Friday, I’ll give some examples of how I find relevant channels and take notes from them.
Recap and what's next
That's it! With these three tools, I'm sure you'll never run out of content ideas again:
- Build a capture habit: Never forget an interesting idea again.
- Do the Two-Year Test: A framework to find ideas from your past.
- Go on Sales Safari: A tactic to find real problems worth solving.
Before you go, let's learn from each other:
What are you looking forward to?
If you struggle with writer’s block, please let me know what you look forward to this week.
Reply to this email, or leave a comment after you’ve given today’s writing prompt some thought:
Where do YOU get stuck when ideating content?
The better I understand your struggles, the better I can help you. While I’ll share my own experiences throughout the week, I also hope to help you solve some pesky challenges you’ve been struggling with.
I hope to read from you!