I have not lost interest in publishing daily. But I’ve recognized the importance of producing and publishing strategic content, more than ever. And I admit it is much harder to be strategic about content creation when you’re under the gun to produce daily, even though you squeeze out the occasional search-optimized post.
Ranking in search only becomes harder by the day, though, and while the impact of A.I.-generated content remains to be seen, it does make mediocre writers redundant, and soon, it may make most podcasters redundant as well.
I am busier than ever as a writer, and that’s the opposite of what I thought would happen with the emergence of tools like ChatGPT, but I’m mindful that there are no guarantees that demand will continue to maintain or increase.
To be more strategic, I have:
Done my keyword research.
Created a content calendar with at least a month planned.
Made notes of content opportunities I’ve come across.
Decided to dedicate more energy to finishing the seven or eight some-odd books that are nearing completion.
When all is said and done, you may not notice a huge difference in output on my part. I may still post the occasional life update or spontaneous news. But I have decided to put an end to the insanity cycle I have been in. When something doesn’t work for a long enough period, you’ve got to adapt and try something else. And, I have been pivoting faster than ever.
I can’t imagine too many people will be disappointed by this change. But you’re always welcome to let me know.
Well, it was new to me anyway. Someone else has probably thought of this before.
Either way, it was Sunday. And I wanted a pizza.
So, I looked up my favorite local pizza place and placed my order. The confirmation message said I’d placed the order for May 30 at 12:30 PM, but I didn’t think anything of it. I honestly thought it was a bug in the system.
So, I drove over to the pizza place for my takeout order at 12:30, only to notice the shop was closed. I realized right away what had happened.
The pizza place was closed on Sunday and Monday. It sounds a little crazy, but where I’m living right now, the city is very quiet on Sunday and Monday, so it kind of makes sense.
Should I cancel the order? No, I decided to let it stand. Count on the fact that the pizza place would have my pie ready for me when I got there on Tuesday (today). And sure enough, they did.
Not all ordering systems have a calendar that allows you to pick the specific date and time you would like your order, but some clearly do.
If you know in advance that you can’t cook on a certain day, or if you know you’re going to be busy, you could place your order well in advance of that date and have a meal that’s ready to be consumed waiting for you. Score.
Is it crazy to think that everything you’ve experienced, everything you’re experiencing, and everything you’re going to experience is a result of what you’ve been thinking and feeling?
The thought gives me pause.
It would mean that everything I like reflects some part of me.
Likewise, it would mean everything I don’t like reflects some part of me also.
Everything I experience is a feedback mechanism, reflecting to me what I’ve been thinking and feeling.
And that reminds me to look closely at what I’ve been thinking and feeling. Because my view of the outer world is often limited. It often doesn’t look how I want it to look either.
Change is possible. But I can’t force change on the outer world. It doesn’t work that way.
What I can do is engage in inner work. Be in the discovery of what is having me see the world as I see it now. Declare completion over past events. Seek out opportunities to heal.
Trying to change others is a waste of time – they are reflecting you. You are meant to observe and be in the discovery of what part of you they are reflecting.
Forcing a change in yourself is also a waste of time. There is always an impact, and you end up adding to the baggage you’re already carrying. The question is what you’re going to do with that baggage.
You can lovingly and gently engage in inner work. This will change the outer world. But not by force. It will change because you’ve changed.
In a video published yesterday, I shared that I’d spent over $100,000 on personal development:
Those numbers are quite conservative. As I thought about it, I realized I must be well beyond that figure at this point.
But I’ve noticed people like to call B.S. on this, so let me break it down for you. And I can’t emphasize this enough – all figures that follow are conservative!
Books & Kindles
I own roughly 300 personal development, leadership, marketing, entrepreneurship, and spiritual books, mostly paperbacks or hardcovers, some Kindles. Some books cost more, some cost less, and some were even gotten for free, but if I were to average it out, each book cost roughly $20.
300 titles x $20 = $6,000
Audiobooks & Audio Programs
I have not invested huge sums of money in audiobooks and audio programs, but I have spent some.
20 audiobooks x $20 = $400
4 audio programs x $40 = $160
Courses & Memberships
Courses and memberships (some of which came with personalized coaching) is one of the greatest costs I’ve incurred in growing myself. I don’t think of it as an expense so much as a necessity, mind you.
Fizzle (now ZenBusiness) – $720 (for a combined two years of membership)
I have also invested in some one-offs at Udemy and elsewhere, so the above should not be considered comprehensive.
Everything in life can teach you something, and I learned a great deal about business in network marketing, where I ended up spending a good chunk of money. I can’t say I lost my shirt, but I also didn’t earn a lot of money in the business. Thus, a business education.
Products – $28,800
Training organization membership – $720
Training resources – $720
Communication tool – $720
Business investments also ended up teaching me a great deal about life and entrepreneurship and I would count them towards my personal growth.
Let’s remember – the above figures are conservative. I have not covered everything I’ve ever invested in to grow myself, and since I’ve been investing heavily into my growth since 2009, some of the above figures would look very different (much higher) in today’s money.
In creating content, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds without ever finding your path.
Here’s the surprising truth no one tells you about content…
It’s Not About the Type of Content
We are often led to believe that content is, first and foremost, about the type of content you produce.
Blog posts, infographics, podcasts, videos. Pick one.
Picking one and sticking to it is good advice. Choosing one that’s matched to your preferences is even better. Even with a team, it can be very difficult to publish blog posts and make videos, as an example.
But you will not automatically be more successful because you publish a certain type of content…
It’s Not About the Platform
Secondly, we are told, publishing is about finding the right platform to publish to.
Facebook. Instagram. YouTube.
All things being equal, it’s a good idea to go where your audience is. And there is no mistaking that you’ve got to tailor the right kind of content to the platform you’re publishing to.
But publishing in the right place will not guarantee success. If you’re delivering the right kind of content, people will come to you.
It’s Not About When You Publish
Having figured out what type of content we want to publish and where to publish it, we start looking at when to publish it.
It’s funny because it’s mostly replacing one obsession with another.
Emails should go out between 9 AM and 12 PM EST on a Thursday. Facebook posts should be published between 8 AM and 12 PM EST on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or whatever it is.
Look, you can find this information anywhere, and nowadays Facebook will even help you schedule your posts at a time they are more likely to be seen.
It doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as you think it does, though, because people will still tune into their favorite show at 1:00 AM on Monday if it’s the only opportunity to catch it.
The Surprising Truth – It’s About the Personality
Personality, or what marketer Russell Brunson calls a certain “attractive character” in his book, DotCom Secrets, is what creating content is all about. This is a foundation on which you can build.
People will still occasionally stumble across your content if it’s valuable and optimized, but if there’s no personality in it, it’s unlikely you will be remembered and be able to get people on your list and create long-term engagement with them.
Think about it. Oprah can draw an audience and sell to them any time she wants. You can probably think of plenty of others – Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, or otherwise.
If you were to pay attention to your own consumption habits, you’d notice that large chunks of it are based on people you know, like, and trust too.