Tropical Depression


If you’ve made it this far, you’ve come a long way.

Your ideas have been narrowed and honed to laser precision. You have a solid picture of your target audience, your competition, and your own positioning in the market. You’ve also planned out, created, and distributed that all-important first piece of content. And you’re monitoring its success as you go along.

At this point, the Instant Expert Formula cycle – the spinning of the storm – is in full swing.

So, now is the perfect time to really dig down deep into creating stellar content and making those incremental improvements (kaizen) we discussed in the last chapter.

In our Hurricane analogy, you’re now heading into the third stage of storm growth: Tropical Depression.

What does the Tropical Depression stage involve?

As you continue to create your content, you’re going to want it to constantly build off what’s already been created and increase in strength, reach, and effect.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that every single piece of content is a sequel to the last, or that you’re simply cutting a larger content piece into bite-size pieces and laying them out one at a time like a trail of breadcrumbs. (Although that kind of idea does work under certain circumstances, and should be included in your strategy if you want to experiment with it.)

Rather, it means that none of your content exists in a vacuum. Every piece you create, regardless of the format, the media, or the purpose, will be informed by, and possibly even refer to, what has come before it.

Depending on the purpose, it may make sense to directly call out points you’ve made previously when distributing a new piece. (For example, internal links in one blog post that bring a reader back to a previous post that provides additional topical information.)

And, at the very least, even if it’s not communicated to your audience, you know what’s gone before, and you can use that knowledge to your advantage.

That’s why, during the “tropical depression” stage, you’re not only getting the attention of the meteorologists watching your storm’s progression, but now those folks that live on the coast are starting to keep an eye on you too. They can tell you’re gaining strength and you’re headed their way. Maybe you’ll get to them, maybe you won’t.

But you can bet they’re paying attention.

We’re going to discuss the following ten steps in the “tropical depression” content creation process:

  1. Think About Your Audience – Targeting your content to solve a problem for your audience.
  2. Plan Ahead – Creating efficiencies and guaranteeing success.
  3. Get Excited – Putting your personal best into every piece.
  4. Write Like You Speak – Making your content conversational and engaging.
  5. Limit or Eliminate Jargon – Avoid one of the biggest problems rookie content marketers make.
  6. Trust Your First Draft – It came out this way for a reason, so trust that.
  7. Proofread – Get the technical junk out of the way.
  8. Read Aloud – Verify the content is conversational.
  9. Trash Your First Draft – Get it right the second time.
  10. Know When to Let it Go – Concentrate on excellence, not perfection.

As you become more proficient at creating content, these steps will become second nature, and you certainly won’t need to check them off like a to do list. But, to start with, that’s how you should consider it:

A 10-Step Checklist for Creating Killer Content!

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