Don’t Start with a Blank Page

Don’t Start with a Blank Page

When a lot of thought leaders go to create fresh content—such as blog posts, videos, and other assets—they sit down with a blank page. And they struggle to get started. Perhaps you’ve asked yourself these questions:

  • What’s a good topic?
  • How can I find a fresh angle?
  • Do I have anything new to say?

As content creators, blank pages don’t hold our attention. Instead of leaping onto a topic and excitedly framing your ideas, you stare at the blank page, unable to get started. Soon, you find yourself distracted, thinking about cleaning out your sock drawer, brewing a cup of coffee, and a thousand other things. Once you’re done worrying about what to say, you won’t have much energy left to actually write the article.

End the tyranny of the blank page.

The best way to build your content is to create a solid editorial plan. That means taking time to outline themes you want to focus on and topics you want to explore. Write down 20 such topics, and then, when you need a blog or other piece of content, go back to that list and choose one. That’s called having an editorial plan!

When we work with thought leaders, we keep a detailed editorial plan of their strongest topics and ideas, drawn from that thought leader’s books, keynotes, or other material. When it comes time to create content, the thought leader can open the spreadsheet and look at all their best ideas, just waiting to be detailed. Which topic inspires you today? Great, go write about that – and you’ll get it done in no time.

Having an editorial plan addresses the question, “What should I write about?” and keeps distraction from blocking the actual writing of a piece. This approach will save you a lot of time, and more importantly, will keep your content generation on-message and aligned with your platform.

Don’t start with a blank page. Take a long, hard look at your content, and focus on its strongest parts – then do everything you can to ensure that those ideas are always at the forefront of your articles, videos, and other promotions. That’s how you turn out strong, focused assets in the least amount of time.

Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman works with thought leaders to launch big ideas within well-known brands. He is the COO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Bill on Twitter

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