April 27

Planning Your Content



How do you plan your content when you already know it inside and out?

Start with remembering what it was like when you started. What were your questions? What was hardest for you to learn?

That’s a good place to start. It’ll help you get something down on paper. But it’s just a start.

Your next step is to find people who are just getting started. Aside from making your murky memories more clear – the concerns of someone starting out today are probably a lot different from even just a few years ago.

This is what I’m doing right now while I write for two projects. It’s also what’s being done for me with another project.

As I put together the interviews for a teleseminar series, and write a new book about Internet Marketing for people over 50, I’m constantly backing up to make sure I’m covering the material completely.

The last thing you want to do is “assume” some level of understanding and have it end up being wrong. My personal preference – when I’m reading a book to learn – is to have the book give me more detail than I need. At least that way, I can spot the holes in my own knowledge.

The project I’m working on where this is being done for me is one on list building.

This is one Bob Bly and I are working on together. In the process, he has shown me at least a dozen things I thought I knew, but was really only skating over.

In the process, we’re ending up with a stronger book. Now, as I explore things more deeply and fully, I can write about shortcuts, pitfalls, and techniques I didn’t even know existed before.

Can you see how taking a good, long look at what you’re doing can make a huge difference in how well you show others what to do?

Whether you’re a tradesperson, an administrator or hobbyist…describe every step of what you do – that’s how you plan your content.

Want an example? How about www.TheBookOnEBooks.com

It’s the first book I wrote with Bob Bly. It walks through each step of planning, creating and marketing an information product – specifically an e-book. I wrote it to walk you through every step of creating an information product – start to end.

Now, I’ve heard lots of marketing pros say “Don’t show them everything.” I’m sure you’ve heard that, too. But you have to be careful to keep that in context.

When you’re writing sales copy, you definitely want to just tease the reader You can give away one or two things, but there has to be lots left for there to be a reason for buying.

It’s the same sort of thing when you write a report, an e-book or do a video. You have to give everything your sales copy promises, but you don’t have to answer every single question any reader could possibly have.

Aside from making your info product about 2,000 pages, you could never make a profit doing that. So, back to planning your content.

Once you have a clear idea what you’re going to write about, you have to decide how much you’re going to write.

For example, in Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit (TheBookOnEBooks.com), I write about setting up a web site. But I didn’t try to make my coverage of that topic exhaustive.

Readers have enough to know what to do – that’s the point of the book. Then there are resources listed where any reader can discover how to do it. You see, setting up a web site is something most people are better off  out-sourcing.

Making the decision about how much you’ll cover is a vital step in planning your content.

That’s it for today. If you like what you’ve read, do your friends a favour and share it with them. Then leave me a comment and tell me what you think.


Conrad Hall


Bob Bly, content, ebook, Writing

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