Harnessing the hidden value of written content

blogging books content creation marketing monetization writing Jan 31, 2023

When I was in high school, I was required to take a typing class. I don't know how common classes like that are in present-day schools, but during my youth, they were relatively typical. At first, I wasn't sure what I thought of the class. I don't think I was immediately convinced it would have much value. I also didn't foresee a use for the skill in my future profession. It cracks me up when I think back to that early perspective because I couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, when I think back to my high school years, I can't think of a class that better prepared me for this season of my life more than that typing class did.

Our teacher taught us where to position our fingers on the keyboard. He helped us improve our typing speed. He forced us to keep our heads up and our faces looking toward him instead of looking at the keys while we typed. Basically, he ran the class like it was typing boot camp, but by the end of the school year, most of us had developed a strong ability to type. We were fast, accurate, and didn't need to stare at the rows of keys in order to produce content.

Since that time, I have used that skill essentially every day of my life. I typed countless papers in college. I type speaking notes as I prepare weekly sermons for my church. I'm also regularly typing blog content and book content that gets shared with a wider audience.

But admittedly, not everyone is a strong typer. And in many contexts, I have been told that the idea of writing intimidates people. For that reason, I know people who resist creating written content altogether. They don't want to type. They don't want to formulate their thoughts for the printed page. It's even possible they may not see direct value in utilizing written communication within their online platforms.


So what is the value of producing written content for your online platform? I think it's valuable in many ways, but I'll list a few that stand out to me right away.

1. It's one of the most effective ways to make your platform discoverable. Blogging, in particular, is rather helpful. Every time you create a blog post with a searchable title that helps a reader solve a problem, you're building a highly valuable piece of internet real estate. Blog content is one of the primary ways people discover my platforms. I give my blog posts titles that closely mirror what I think people will be searching for online. Once someone finds a link to my blog, I'm able to invite them to join my email list and introduce them to my entire ecosystem of content.

2. It can be a fast way to establish authority in your area of expertise. Because so many people are resistant to creating written content, only a small percentage of people actually bother to do it. Once you create enough of it, people will begin to see you as an authority on the subjects you write about. And if you turn your writing into a book, even a short book, your perceived authority in your area of expertise will grow exponentially. A book is a great tool to help you land interviews, referrals, and invitations to be part of conferences and events that you never would have been invited to without the necessary proof of authority that written content helped you generate.

3. It provides a form of "evergreen" monetization. There isn't a single day, literally, that I'm not earning an income from written content. That's because I have turned much of my writing into self-published books that are purchased or downloaded online every day of the week. I'm always in the process of writing new material, but I'm very grateful for the fact that the books I wrote a decade ago continue to perform well. From a financial standpoint, it's rather nice to consider that work I did one time allows me to be paid many times, potentially for the rest of my life. You could also be experiencing the same financial benefit as you consistently produce written content.

4. It allows you to convey your thoughts more clearly because it requires time and editing. Whenever I want to communicate something important, particularly in a subject area that might be sensitive in nature, I like to begin by writing my thoughts down. That forces me to give more thought to what I'm trying to say, and it also gives me the chance to edit my words before they're delivered. I have read many stories of President Lincoln choosing to write out his thoughts in hand-written letters when he had to address a sensitive or difficult topic. Some of those letters were found in his desk, unsent, after he died. Many of them went unsent because he later realized his words might unnecessarily discourage the intended recipient.

5. It can become an effective springboard to additional forms of content. I'm convinced that most platform-related content would benefit from being initially created in written form. Podcast episodes would often be clearer if the host was utilizing written notes. Courses could be put together from a series of blog posts. Coaching and training could follow a more productive framework if a plan of action was written down ahead of time.

6. It will outlast you and will allow you to speak to generations that come after you. This is one of my favorite realizations. There are generations of people who will live long after our time on this planet is complete. There are generations of people who will come from us that we will not have the opportunity to meet personally, but our ideas and insights will outlast us and bring benefit to the lives of those who receive that information if we'll just take a little time to write it down.


Again, I recognize that while writing comes easily for some people, there are many others who don't find it quite as easy. I do believe that when it comes to writing, practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better you'll get at writing and the faster new ideas will come to you when you sit down in front of a keyboard or computer. But in the meantime, here are a few additional thoughts on how to make the process easier for you.

Start by writing down your "big idea." What problem are you trying to solve? What's the point of what you're about to communicate? Just boil it down to a primary idea and write that concept on your paper. Once you're clear on your big idea, outline several sub-points that will operate like steps that can help the reader achieve the primary objective you've communicated in your big idea statement. Your big idea and your sub-points will operate like the skeleton of your article, blog post, or chapter. Once you have the skeleton in place, it isn't quite as difficult to put some meat on the bones. Go back and elaborate on your sub-points by adding a paragraph or two per point. Before you know it, you'll have a full-fledged article.

One other approach that tends to make the writing process a little easier for some people is utilizing a "speech-to-text" tool. There are many of them available, and if you genuinely dread the writing process, or you find yourself staring at a blank screen for an abnormal amount of time, a good speech-to-text tool can be a very helpful solution. If you utilize one, however, I would still recommend writing out a basic outline first to keep your thoughts on track as you speak.


Written content is one of the benchmarks of my platforms. I hope you'll consider adding more written content to your platform if you're also looking for some great ways to build a long-term connection with your audience.


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