The 3 Types of Content You Must Create (#2 is Often Overlooked)

Building an audience online is all the rage.

Individuals and organizations alike are building platforms by creating content.

And rightfully so.

Content is the new marketing currency. It is what will help you project your message to people and help people find your message.

You see, from blog posts, videos, and podcasts, the proliferation of content has forever changed consumer behavior. People no longer wait passively for someone to approach them with a solution. They search for answers online, they poll their friends on social media and read reviews on Yelp, Amazon, or a retailer’s website. Consumers are now taking the steps to educate themselves about you, your organization, and your product.

Content You Must Create

Whether you’re an author, small business owner, or represent a large corporation, you cannot rely exclusively upon paid media to reach customers. You need to help customers find you and to decide whether or not to buy from you. In the words of Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, cofounders of Hubspot, “you need to match the way you market your products to the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products.”

In order to do this well, you must understand the basic journey that every buyer takes—including yourself—when it comes to purchasing a product. There are three basic steps to the buyer’s journey:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

From creating awareness of your product to make a decision, the content you create for every stage a buyer goes through needs to help them along the way. It needs to serve as the ground they walk upon. To do this well, you need to develop three distinct types of content you must create for your audience.

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Quickly Build an Audience Online With These 2 Strategies

“The only job you start on top is digging a hole.” 

I was a senior in high school when I first read these words on my guidance counselor’s wall. At the moment I didn’t think much of it. And quite frankly, I have no idea why I still remember them. It’s not like I was a good student. But here I am, more than a dozen years later, and those words are still nailed into my memory.

This pithy advice is true in so many ways. Whether it’s learning a new skill, starting a new business, or climbing your way up the proverbial corporate ladder, the only job you start on top of is digging a hole.

This is also true of building an audience online.


Apart from your family, friends, and a few acquaintances, we do not start with anything.

We begin with no traffic to our website, a lack of connections with influencers, and an insignificant social media following.

When we first begin building an audience, people do not know our name, they don’t know what we’re all about, and they have no reason to give us their attention.

My goal in sharing this is not to send you cowering to a corner in a fetal position. But to state the obvious and provide a little help in overcoming one of the greatest challenges you and I face online: obscurity.

It takes time, and normally a lot of it, to build an audience online from scratch. And not just any audience you can by for $19.99 on Twitter, but an audience who trusts you and will actually consider buying something from you.

But there are two ways you can quickly build an audience online. Below are arguably two of the best hacks that have worked for individuals and businesses alike.

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3 Simple Ways You Can Test Your Ideas

Everyone has an idea.

You may have an idea for a book, for a new product or service, a new business concept, and on and on and on. We have hunches, inspirational bolts of lightning, or we have been slowly simmering an idea for many years.

Many times we do not act upon our ideas. Whether we think they’re bad or what other people will think, fear often paralyzes us from moving forward. It lurks within the shadows waiting to reach out and trip us from acting upon our ideas and moving forward.

Even though this is the case, there are simple ways you can test your ideas to see whether or not people actually want what you have to offer. This is what Ryan Holiday, author of Growth Hacker Marketing, calls Product Market Fit, which is when your “product and its customers are in perfect sync with each other.” Creating this harmony between your idea and your future customers is where you want to be.


Thankfully, you don’t have to have a degree in Computer Science to test your ideas with people. There are simple data hacks you can use to help you quickly test their viability. Here are three different sets of data you can use to help you get started.

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Effective Content Creation: The Busy Person’s Guide to Creating Content

Staying focused isn’t easy.

And I have 221 reasons to explain why.

Smartphone users recently surveyed averaged carrying out 221 daily tasks. Accounting for eight hours of sleep per day, this means that the average smartphone user is handling their phone up to 14 times per hour.

Now, I understand that some of these tasks are carried out in succession. For instance, many of us will conduct multiple tasks one after another, like, checking the weather, scrolling our social media feeds, or sending a text. But this same study also revealed that the average smartphone user would pick up their phones more than 1,500 times per week. Needless to say, but smartphones prove to be an unending source of daily distraction.

I want to believe that I don’t handle my smartphone this often, but I’m having a difficult time convincing myself otherwise. I am the rule and not the exception to consistently checking my phone. Focusing on what’s in front of me is a constant challenge. And crazy enough, the battle to focus doesn’t stop with our phones for you or me.

Life is busy.

Personally, I’m married, have five kids, work full-time, participate in the life of our local church, exercise on occasions, pick-up contract work when I can, and maintain my blog and social media accounts.

Focusing on what’s in front of me is a challenge. Some days I do well. Other days I fail miserably. (You can ask my wife who often has to redirect me.)

Despite the distractions I face and the responsibilities I have, I still have a desire to help individuals and organizations reach their audience with their message. To this end, I like to create content, in particular, written content.

There’s More to Creating Content than Content

10338411_849882698435692_5233134693788257313_oIf you’re reading this then I imagine you wrestle with focusing on your content creation, too. You, like me, have a desire to create. A desire to write, record podcasts, or make videos. You have a desire to tell a story, to get a specific message out about your product or service, or to make a difference in the world.

I know your life is different than mine, but I know you face similar challenges to consistently creating content. You have demands—in a good way—from significant others, family, and friends. You’re working full-time, part-time, or looking for employment. You may be a full-time or part-time student. And you’re probably hustling on the side as a blogger, freelancer, or solopreneur.

Finding the time to create content, pursue our dreams, and make a difference is no easy task. We’re pulled in a myriad of directions and presented with a plethora of options when it comes to connecting with our audience. We can write blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets, pins, record podcasts, create infographics, and on and on and on.

And it doesn’t stop here.

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4 Ways Your Content Can Support Your Business Goals

Your content is not your business.

Some people, groups, and organizations can generate substantial revenue by selling ads on their blog, podcast, or YouTube channel because of the size of their audience. But this is not the case for the vast majority of content creators. And I would add that I don’t think it should be the goal for most people and organizations, too.

Though the content you create is essential for building your platform and an audience, it is not your business. In other words, it is not what you’re going to predominately make money directly from. But your content does one vitally important thing: It supports your business.


The content you create is what connects you with your target audience, introduces them to who you are and what you provide, and creates a mutually beneficial relationship. Your content can compel visitors to your website to make a purchase, opt-in for your email newsletter, or sign up for a free trial of your service.

Your content supports your business.

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Why Your Platform Must Be Built with Content


It possesses a God-like characteristic in its presence.

Whether we’re at home or work, in a car, flying in a plane, riding on a boat or on our phone, tablet, or laptop, we live in a sea of communication.

It’s everywhere we turn.

It’s everywhere we look.

And we cannot escape its reach unless we travel to a remote part of the world without access to the Internet, television, or radio.

We are bombarded daily with a slew of messages. The amount of information we swim through every minute is staggering. Every minute, Internet users:

  • Send 204 million emails
  • Upload 72 hours of new video to YouTube
  • Share 2.46 million pieces of content on Facebook
  • Tweet 277,000 times on Twitter

This amount of information presents a daunting task for creative people, solopreneurs, and even large corporations. Breaking through this noise can feel like offering someone who just finished drinking from a fire hose a glass of water.

But here’s the great thing.


You can rise above the noise, cut through the clutter, and connect with your audience without having to take out a television ad during the Super Bowl, a billboard in Time Square, or conduct a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign.

You can build an audience of people “who will rely on your for information, advice, and help, and will seek out your expertise” with nothing more than a blog. Individuals, non-profit organizations, and even startup companies have developed highly engaged audiences who place them in a position to launch a career, further a cause, or establish a profitable company.

But, in order to do this, you have to first understand how today’s media-rich environment has forever changed the way we obtain information and make purchasing decisions.

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A Simple Blogging Template to Help You Quickly Write Killer Content

Blogging is not for the faint of heart.

If you’re reading this then I imagine you, like me, wrestle with creating content consistently. You have demands—in a good way—from significant others, family, and friends. You’re working full-time, part-time, or looking for employment. You may be a full-time or part-time student. And you’re probably hustling on the side as a blogger, freelancer, or solopreneur.

But despite these scheduling challenges, you still have a desire to create content. You have a desire to tell a story, to get a specific message out about your product or service, or to make a difference in the world.

Thankfully, you don’t have to do this work without being equipped. There are plenty of tools you can use to help you create killer content both effectively and efficiently—one of those tools being a blogging template.


Below is a simple template I’ve personally used for a few years. It is loosely based off of what are arguably considered the seven best practices on writing for the web.

This blogging template isn’t intended to serve as a mold for you to pour your words into. Rather, it’s intended to serve as a guideline to help you quickly write killer content.

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How a Six-Year-Old Can Help You Create Clear Messages

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

— Albert Einstein

Getting the attention of people is difficult.

We are bombarded with a slew of messages everyday. Whether we’re at home or work, in the car, or on our phone, tablet, or laptop, we live in a sea of communication.

The amount of information being created today has forever changed the way people consume content.

Many people will not read what you write word-for-word. They will simply scan your post in search of what they are looking for. Many people will not watch your entire video. They will watch the first few seconds or do something else while it’s playing in the background. And many people will not listen to your entire podcast. They will review your show notes and fast forward to what they want to hear.

If you haven’t figured out what this means for you, let me explain: If you don’t satisfy your audience’s appetite—quickly—then they’ll move on. This is why simplicity in your messaging has never been more necessary than it is today.


Your target audience isn’t in the mood to take their time to figure out what you’re trying to say. They’re driving by your message at 70 mph with one hand on the wheel, the other on their stereo, while periodically glancing at their phone.

Clear Messages are Simple Messages

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11 Web Tools to Help You Organize, Optimize, Distribute, and Create Your Content

Tools are important for any craftsman. Not only for those who work with wood, architectural design, or paint, but for those who work with words to write articles, who edit sound bites into podcasts, or arrange frames for a video.

The tools you use will either support or detract from your work. Possessing the right tools for the right job is crucial to not only creating your best work, but to help you work efficiently and effectively, too.


Below is an inexhaustive list of 11 web tools to help you organize, optimize, distribute, and create content. I hope you find some new tools to place in your proverbial tool chest.

Web Tools to Organize Your Content

Knowing what you want to achieve, keeping track of your tasks, and reviewing your progress is crucial to help you accomplish your goals. Here are a few tools I use to help me do just that.

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Define Your Audience to Experience Freedom as a Content Creator

Creating content for the public to view is not like writing in your personal journey or creating homemade videos for your family. You’re creating content for a public audience—not yourself.

If you desire for the right people to read, watch, or listen to what you have to say, then you need to know who they are, what they want, and where they spend their time online.

These simple steps will not only help you to best connect with your audience by creating content that resonates with them, it will also help you maintain your sanity. Let me explain.

The options available today for you to share your message are nearly countless. From blogs, videos, podcasts, multiple social networking sites, and on and on and on, your have multiple choices to consider where you need to deliver your message.

But let’s face it.


You don’t have the time or resources to share your work everywhere people are online. And besides, even though your mom may have told you otherwise, your content isn’t for everyone. This means that your content doesn’t need to be everywhere in the physical or digital world. It just needs to be delivered to where your audience is spending time.

As an individual content creator, you have the permission to not be all things to all people. You have permission to focus. You have permission to create content that meets your objectives and connects with your audience.

One way to better understand your audience is to create what is called a user persona, which “is a fictional person who represents a major user group for your site.” Continue reading