The Content-In, Content-Out System for Content Creation

"You get one piece of content to learn from, and then you write about what you learned. That’s it. One piece. No more."

- Niklas Goeke, Sumo Blog

This is Part 2 of three-part series on how to generate content quickly - even if you are pressed for time and/or not natural writer. Read Part 3.

In Part One we looked at documenting instead of creating as a quicker and easier way to blog and create content in general. Today, we'll take a look at a slightly different strategy that Niklas Goeke recommends over at the Sumo Blog.

Nik's article is long with lots of helpful advice. You should read the whole article. But I'm particularly interested in the section on The 1-in-1-out System to Minimize Research. Nik makes a great point on the need for solid ideas and structure to churn out consistent posts.

He's right! But the challenge with many would-be bloggers is they have too many ideas rolling around in their heads. The key, according to Nik, is to focus on one idea from one piece of content. Stop trying to write the Definitive Guide to Everything. Instead, focus on distilling the lessons an wisdom of one post.

Of course, this shouldn't be just any post, video, infographic or presentation. You want one that piqued your curiosity and got you thinking. Ideally, you might have something to add to what the author offered.

For me, it applies to things I've read or seen that really got me thinking. 

Nik's article struck a chord with me. I had been using his strategy for years, but it wasn't until I read it that I thought That's what I've been doing! Nik also gave me the framework I needed to share with others.

After you've chosen the article, Nik suggests the following structure.

Nik concedes that this structure is rigid, but it works for him. I've been using a slightly different structure for my posts.

1. Headline. This is has be a real grabber, folks. Write out five to ten title options and pick the best one.

2. Author quote. I like this because it nicely summarizes the post and gives the author the credit he or she deserves.

3. Intro with FLW. Whenever I write or speak I always include an FLW - Famous Last Words. This is what I want my listener or reader to remember above all else.

4. Three ket points. I work in threes in just about everything in my life so why not writing! But, truthfully, I find three key points gives the reader a great combination of substance and brevity. 

5. Conclusion. This is where I drive home my FLW and include a relevant call to action.

Resist the temptation to expand your post by adding an additional piece of content to the mix. Stick with sharing the wisdom of one piece. If you've chosen wisely, you'll have plenty to say that will be of great value to your reader.

In my last post, Gary Vee told us to stop creating and start documenting our journey. Great advice, but Nik takes it one step further by giving a structure for doing that. Next, we'll look at how to take Gary and Nik's advice and generate content at breakneck speed - in just 30 minutes!