The Glue That Holds Everything Together
I want to you take a minute and think about the books that are on your bookshelf or on your e-reader right now. My guess is that several have never been opened or have remained on your “I need to read that!” list for quite some time.
Now think of the books that you read from cover to cover, that you couldn’t wait to break open, or those books that you automatically moved to the top of your list. What was it about that book or that author that made you want to drop what you were doing to read it?
The answer is that you found great value in what that author had to say or what the story was about. Whether that book answered a question you had, whether you connected with the storyline, or you felt it was very entertaining, you found value.
And here’s the thing: we aren’t talking about monetary value, we are talking about the value of time.
When someone considers buying your book, price is important. But this is what they are really thinking: “Is this book worth my time?”
Time is a rare and precious commodity - it’s something that we have a finite amount of. And we want to spend that limited time on something we know will be worth the investment.
If a reader sees great value in a book, they will buy and devour it. If not, they might purchase it, but it will sit on the shelf and the relationship ends there.
The key to showing that your book is of great value and worth their time is through the content that you share online.
What Content Really Is
So, let’s first define what I mean by content. Content is any free information you provide - your blog, social media posts, podcast, video, ebooks, Q&A’s, how-to guides, and more that attracts and keeps your ideal reader engaged.
You’re actually experiencing the power of content now. You found the information on our blog, newsletter, or ebooks valuable and the information we shared worked for you. So you knew that these lessons would be worth your time and investment because of the free content that we shared.
When authors provide consistent, quality content, it lets potential readers know what to expect with your books. It allows your readers to get to know you as well. And if they connect with you, they will enjoy your books on a whole other level.
The Time Factor
When we talk about the importance of creating content, one pushback that we often get is that they don’t have the time. I totally get it!
Believe it or not, the biggest time-consuming hurdle can actually be figuring out what to write about. When you have an ideal reader profile and you can speak directly about more specific and detailed topics, it becomes so much easier to create a long list of content ideas.
In today’s TAKE ACTION WORKSHEET we will help you come up with a list of topics that will give you six months to a year's worth of content to keep your readers coming back for more. And then we will also go over all of that together this week on our call!
How Much Content Do I Need To Create?
So how much content do you need to create? The answer is this: YOU determine how much is doable in order to create the best quality content you can.
Creating one high quality blog post a month is much more powerful than five mediocre posts. It’s quality verses quantity. When you create high quality content, people will perk up and listen. If you’re just writing a blog post to fill a quota, you are less likely to see the results you’re looking for.
In the exercise we have for this lesson we will help you come up with a ton of topics for you to create content with. But you have to remember that you have to make the time to actually write that content as well.
So ask yourself: how much time do I have to create consistent, quality content for my readers? We will walk you through that in the exercise too.
What Is High Quality Content?
When you think about high quality content, you want to think about the shareability factor - when your post resonates so deeply with them that they say, “Man, I’ve GOT to share this with my friends!”
This can certainly be done with both fiction and non-fiction authors. Many people think that creating content is more for non-fiction writers, but I strongly disagree. When a fiction writer knows exactly who they are talking to (their Ideal Reader) they will know what resonates with them - maybe it’s an issue with a character or plot point they are going through. Maybe it’s a deeper understanding of a secondary character, and so on.
You can get VERY deep and specific with your topics as a fiction writer - you have a world of content inside you that will resonate in a powerful way with your ideal reader. And when they read something powerful like that, they can’t wait to share it.
But here’s the golden rule of quality content: even if your reader doesn’t immediately buy your book (or never buys your book) think about how you can deliver tremendous VALUE so no matter what that potential reader walks away feeling inspired, challenged, or they learned something they otherwise would not have known.
If deep down the ongoing relationship you are trying to establish becomes secondary to your desire to make money by selling books, then that will come through in your content, which in turn will result in a weaker connection with your readers. If you keep focused on the primary goal of engaging with your Ideal Reader through quality content, everything else will fall into place.
Now it’s time to dig into today’s TAKE ACTION WORKSHEET. We are going to personalize this information to work for you. It’s a powerful exercise that you will be able to apply again and again throughout your career as an author. And don’t worry - if you get stuck or hung up on something, I’ll be there on our call this week to help you through it.
Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!