How do you deliver your online content?

content creation getting started Apr 09, 2024

Today we’re looking at the second “D” in what I often refer to as “The 5 Ds of Online Platform Development.” We’ll be discussing what it means to “deliver your content.”

I’m sure by now you’ve heard me mention that I’ve been teaching university courses once again. I taught at my alma mater, Cairn University, from 2012-2018, and in the fall of 2023 when they added a new digital media program, I started teaching there again. It’s a lot of work, but it’s enjoyable work. I honestly look forward to my classes and the interaction I get to have with my students and colleagues.

To complement what is already being offered to our digital media students, I recently submitted a proposal for a new course which was just approved. It’s a course on podcast development and production, and I’ll be teaching it next semester. Podcasts are one of my favorite forms of media to listen to and create, so I can’t wait to teach my students more about what it’s like to produce them.

It's no secret that I like to record podcasts. At present, I host four shows and they’re all different from each other. At the same time, I have two blogs that I update with new content each week. I also write regular columns for another blog, create weekly videos for Platform Launchers and my YouTube channel, send out two weekly newsletters, and write several new books each year.

I don’t know if that sounds like a lot to you. On the surface, it certainly sounds like a lot to me, but I have a system in place that makes it much less work in reality than it seems to be. I’ll get back to that in a moment.

No one is making me create the content I’m creating. I do it out of a sense of calling and a sense of joy. I genuinely enjoy writing and recording all of it, and I’m guessing there might be forms of content you could create that would be an expression of joy for you as well. There are things that you know that would be beneficial for others to learn from you. There are things that you’re uniquely positioned to talk about because of your aptitude, training, and experiences.

With that in mind, I have three questions for you if you’re trying to build a message-based online platform.

1. What kind of content are you most likely to create?

2. Will you be consistent with creating it?

3. Do you have a system in place that makes content creation easier for you?

Let’s explore those three questions one at a time.

What kind of content are you most likely to create? In many respects, that question probably has a lot of correlation to the content you presently consume. If you’re an avid reader, you’re probably likely to create written content possibly in book, blog, or newsletter form. If you regularly listen to podcasts, you’re probably more likely to prefer creating various forms of recorded audio. If you regularly watch videos, you’re probably more likely to create video content than someone who doesn’t watch online videos would be. Please take a moment to think through what kinds of content you’d enjoy creating.

Will you be consistent with creating it? This is a key question that I wish more people who choose to develop message-based online platforms would be honest about. Consistency is one of the primary keys to success in almost every area of life. If you want to get good at anything, and if you want to build momentum that has the capacity to last beyond the initial push, you’re going to need to be consistent. Consistency is one of the most common points of weakness for people who aren’t gaining traction with what they’re building online. If you want to succeed in the online space, you need to be committed to picking one form of content that you’re willing to produce every single week for at least three years without taking a break. That’s what it takes to get good, establish an audience, and build lasting momentum.

Do you have a content creation system? I have a system in place that works very well for me. I didn’t have it in place on day one, but once I started implementing it, it became the key for me to be able to create all the different forms of weekly content I mentioned earlier. I refer to the system as a “content waterfall.” Let me explain what it is in case you aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about.

The content waterfall involves taking one piece of brand-new content and delivering it in many different ways every single week. There are different ways to do this, but in my case, I strongly prefer (and recommend) starting out with one piece of written content. Once that content is written, I use it as teaching notes and I record audio and video of me teaching that content to a live group. The video gets shared with the members of our online community, and a shorter version gets shared on YouTube. The audio recording is shared via my podcast. The text from the written content gets used in several ways, including a blog post, newsletter, and book chapters. It’s one piece of weekly content that gets repurposed in all kinds of ways.

So what do you think? Is the system that I’m using to create new content something you’d be able to replicate with your subject? Have you identified several kinds of content you’d like to start creating? Are you willing to consistently produce one new piece of content every week, without interruption, for the next three years?

If so, I suspect you’re going to be well on your way to creating a highly successful online platform.

© John Stange, 2024

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