How many days do you wake up, stare at a blank page, and just feel at a loss for what to write about?
It doesn’t have to be like this. It shouldn’t be like this.
You need a plan. You need to know, every single day, exactly what you’re going to write about before you sit down to write.
So how do you come up with something to write about before you start? I’ll tell you how in a minute.
First, I want highlight the part above where I said “every single day.” You need to be writing every single day. If you’re serious about your business, your career, your sales, your exposure—if you’re serious at all about what you do, you need to be writing every day.
Every. Single. Day.
1,000 Words Is a Goal, Not a Rule
I often receive emails from people saying they tried to write 1,000 words a day but had trouble. So they stopped writing every day and said they would instead do it only on the days where they felt they had a chance to write 1,000 words.
This is not the point! The “1,000 words” prescription is a goal. It’s intended to help reinforce the fact that you need to build the writing habit.
It’s far better to write less every day than to only write 1,000 words every once in awhile.
When you spend time building the habit, eventually 1,000 words will feel like nothing to you. It will flow like water.
This is why you should have a recurring event on your calendar. Writing must become a thing that you do.
Water finds the path of least resistance. If you want your words to flow like water, you too must lower the resistance.
Having to think of a topic when you sit down to write puts too much pressure on yourself. You’re wasting energy thinking instead of spending that energy writing.
You need your words to flow. You need to lower the resistance.
How do you lower the resistance?
Schedule Your Topics
Scheduling your topics ahead of time for specific days lowers the resistance.
Give yourself a quick win this week:
Set aside one day a week as your topic day. I like to use Mondays.
You don’t even have to write anything. You just need to come up with topics for the rest of the days in that week (or two weeks if you’re on a roll).
How much easier would it be if each day you knew exactly what to write about?
This is how it should be. Schedule your topics in advance. Assign one topic to each day. Schedule your writing time on your calendar and include the topic.
I’ll say it again because I don’t want you to miss it: schedule your writing time as an event on your calendar.
Get serious about this.
In the writing event you create for each day, include the topic you’ll be writing on in the title of the event.
When you get to that day, you simply look at the calendar to see what you’re going to write about. This topic is not a suggestion. It is mandatory. There is no fighting the topic. You wrote it down, now you get to write about it. If you don’t like it, too bad! Come up with better topics next time.
Now is not the time to get distracted by thinking about what to write. Now is the time to write.
What you have now is a topic list. More specifically, you have a scheduled topic list.
This is good. It also helps to include five or six bullets for each entry to serve as writing prompts. How nice would it be to start writing early in the morning and already have five or six writing prompts to go off of?
Water. You want your words to flow like water. So lower the resistance.
A topic list is good. An editorial calendar is better.
We briefly touched on editorial calendars in the two-hour workshop I did last year. It was too brief, but we were pressed for time. I will be going more in depth on creating an editorial calendar that is specifically geared to increase your sales.
In the mean time, I want to return to deliver on a promise I made.
The Power of Open Loops
Remember on the first page I was talking about bridging gaps in the buyer’s journey? I told you I wanted to share something.
I said I wanted to show you my annual revenue from the past six years. More specifically, I said I want to show you a chart of my annual revenue that I’ve never shared before.
For a moment, you might have been distracted by the value provided on this page. We’ve been talking about scheduling your topics, but there was a pin in the back of your mind—a little seed planted about seeing my annual revenue. You still remember.
That’s called an open loop. They’re used a lot in TV shows. Your favorite shows use them to get you addicted to the story. Ever binge-watched a show on Netflix? That’s because of open loops.
Open loops are powerful. Extremely powerful. You may even have a surface-level familiarity with them, but there are different kinds, different lengths, and different methods of combining the various types to create an intensely compelling narrative that pulls your reader.
Pulls your reader.
Everyone works so hard to get people to notice what they’re doing. They desperately want their products and services to be seen. They do everything they can to PUSH people to do things, PUSH people to read things, PUSH people to watch things, and PUSH people to buy things.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being pushed. You know that feeling you get when you see an email popup telling you you’re a loser if you don’t sign up? Yeah, that’s the feeling of being pushed. I don’t like it either.
It’s much more effective to pull.
Here’s the chart: see how I TRIPLED my annual revenue with writing.
Did you notice the two loops I opened on this page? Bonus points if you can say how many were closed and how many remain open.