Charlie Gilkey shared a great concept with our BOOST coaching group the other week. He talked about how all business owners have a gold mine of “trapped content” – things we’ve already written for other purposes, then forgot about or left behind.
“How many times,” he asked us, “have you answered a question in private that you could have answered in public?” — Linda Dessau, via The Accidental Blog Post – How to Free Your Trapped Blog Content.
“I don’t know what to write about.”
I hear that all the time when I’m talking to new clients, readers, and people in my network. I know where it’s coming from – I’ve been there – but the truth is that if you’re in business, you have something to say. You’re just scared to say it or you don’t think it’s good enough.
Your people show up because of the way you synthesize your experiences, expertise, and worldview, which means that every time you communicate, you generate content. But the majority of your content is trapped.
Trapped content is content that you’ve shared in one medium or context that can be used elsewhere. Let’s look at some places trapped content exists:
- Interviews and podcasts
- Email threads you’ve had with prospects, clients, or your peers
- Social media
- Worksheets, handouts, and other assets you’ve used to support any of the above
- The more or less mentally scripted responses you have to the questions people ask you repeatedly
- Products you’re no longer selling or pieces of products that you can share even though you sell the content elsewhere
- Courses (if you teach any courses, you have a goldmine of side conversations, asides, and supporting material that can easily be shared)
- The notes you take while reading books (or even just sharing the books you’re reading)
I’m sure you can think of more.
You have knowledge worth sharing; you just need to free your trapped content. (Click here to share this. Thank you!)
When I first started advising, I kept notes from every client session. I soon realized that within those notes were powerful post seeds – I had essentially created and gotten feedback on an idea that would likely resonate with other Creative Giants, too. So I also started the practice of pulling out one idea that I could publish on the blog.
Those posts have always been the most resonant and popular posts. They’re the ones that spurred people to email me or sometimes call to tell me how great the post was.
And all I did was set free some trapped content.
I don’t do that anymore because I have enough seeds for books and posts to write for the next year or two without coming up with a single new one. Making the time to write about them all is now the primary challenge, with the secondary challenge being my fear that you’d get reader fatigue with a post every day. (Because she’s a mind reader, Linda also wrote “How to Blog When You Don’t Have Time to Blog.”)
I’m so glad that Linda published her post as well because it set free an idea that’s been sitting in the idea garden for too long. Check out her posts for additional tips on how to free your trapped content.
One last thing: the Blog Post Planner can help you here. For “Categories/Type,” you can instead use “Source” and list the place where the trapped content lives. If you’re not sure what sources to use, pick the ones above that seem the most relevant and rich. Head over to the free planners page to download the most current version of the Blog Post Planner.
There. You now have one less excuse to avoid sharing your great work with the world.