Discover more from Ayodeji's Newsletter
Double Down on Your Good Ideas to Grow Your Audience Fast
The counterintuitive approach to predictable virality
If you want to stop being broke and make money with your craft, sign up today because it’s the smart thing to do
You have it backward.
You think you constantly have to come up with new and inventive ideas to grow an audience.
You’re worried about repeating yourself too much.
If you want to grow your audience faster, flip this thinking on its head. Instead of trying to say a bunch of different things, learn how to say the same thing in a bunch of slightly different ways.
In the Beginning, Go Wide. Later, Go Deep
The earlier you are in your content creation journey the more you should try to experiment with different ideas.
You can’t analyze what works and what doesn’t if you have nothing to analyze.
You want to create content and try different topics on an experimental basis. This is why you should never worry about picking the perfect niche.
Some content creators literally waste years trying to think of the perfect niche, when they could’ve figured it out years ago by just making stuff.
Form a hypothesis of what you can make content about and go from there. Some useful areas to dig to find out what topic you want to make content about:
Content you like to consume
Challenges you've overcome
Things others have told you you're good at
Things that come easily to you that others find difficult
Then just take the time to write a big ass list of everything you can write about
After you brain dump your ideas, you have to map those ideas against the real world to see if any of those topics have potential.
A lot of creators get stuck here.
It’s a simple process.
Step 1. Research content platforms
Step 2. See if the kind of stuff you want to make is already out there
If you want to make YouTube videos, type your topic ideas into the search bar on YouTube
Browse the categories here on Substack and see if there’s anything similar to the type of topics you want to write about
If you want to start a blog search “blogs + your topic” to see what’s out there
This method works for any content publishing platform.
A topic like “meditation and yoga advice for women.”
Is going to have a bigger audience than fiction articles about your dog.
Gotta use your brain here.
A lot of content creators pick these weird, naval-gazing, obscure areas to create content in and wonder why they fail.
If what you’re thinking of creating has little to nothing out there that’s even remotely similar, odds are, it won’t work.
Create Your “Content Pillars”
If you go through this process you stumble on a handful of ideas you want to explore.
The thing is, you have to go through the process.
One of my core themes throughout the entirety of my writing career — nobody can force you to do the work. Even the best information in the world can’t cause you to use it.
If you’re struggling to pick a topic, I’m almost certain you haven’t seriously taken a couple of hours to google around to look for similar content. You just sit there procrastinating.
I can’t fix that for you. Only you can.
Anyway. After going through the process, you’ll have some potential “content pillars” which are broader areas you want to make content about.
Health and Fitness
So you’re just out there making stuff non-judgementally. It’s the shotgun approach.
I’d do this for about 90 days just to get your feet wet.
By this point, you’ll feel a pull toward a certain topic above others. This will become your bread and butter.
From then on:
70 percent of the time you’ll focus on your bread and butter
20 percent of the time you’ll focus on adjacent topics
10 percent of the time you’ll make random stuff
Once you are in a groove with your content, you can now start to see what works and double down on it.
Tired of not getting paid what you’re worth? Subscribe to You Don’t Have to Starve to finally make serious cash with your craft.
Dig Into Your Archives for Clues
Your job as a content creator: figure out what people want from you and make even more of it.
I don’t have many regrets as a writer, but I do regret not being as data-driven and digging into my own ideas as other writers.
It just makes your life a hell of a lot easier.
You double down on your best ideas by looking to see what content performs best so you can start to notice patterns:
Which ideas get the most views (re-using these is good for engagement)?
Which ideas get the most comments and replies (these tell you what would make for the best product and service ideas)?
Which ideas don’t seem to resonate that much at all (ditch them)?
We don’t need to do a deep dive into how to check your stats. Just look at the analytics of the platform you’re making stuff on and choose windows to track this.
Get in the habit of noticing short and long-term trends.
Check your performance:
Once per quarter
The goal isn’t to become a stats nerd. You’ll just develop an intuitive sense of what works if you do this often enough.
Eventually, you will land on some core ideas that work well. After that, you will learn how to repeat those ideas in a bunch of different ways.
Create Unique Shades of Content With a Prism
You have to learn how to create content through prisms.
A prism is a piece of glass that shows different colors depending on the angle you shine light through it.
Your content ideas can be the same but said in many different ways and in different formats.
First, there’s creating your content in different formats.
Chances are if a topic you write about in a blog post gets traction, it’ll get traction in:
An email newsletter
If you shoot a long-form video on YouTube, chances are it’ll get traction in:
So that’s step one, just realizing you can repurpose what you already have.
Next, there’s the idea of saying the same thing in different ways. Say you write a how-to blog post about How to Create a Journaling Routine.
You notice people love the topic of journaling routines, so you can come up with a bunch of slightly different ways to talk about journaling.
I use James Altucher’s idea machine technique a lot. In short, you come up with 10 ideas for….anything. Every single day. You do this to get good at coming up with ideas.
You can use the 10 ideas strategy with the prompt: What are 10 different ways I can write about journaling?
Spit out some slightly different headline ideas:
The Benefits of Journaling: Exploring How Putting Pen to Paper Can Improve Your Mental Health and Well-Being.
From Mind Dumping to Manifesting: 10 Different Ways to Use a Journal for Personal Growth and Reflection.
The Evolution of Journaling: A Look at How People Have Used Journals Over the Years and How the Practice Has Changed.
A Guide to Gratitude Journaling: How Focusing on What You're Thankful For Can Change Your Perspective and Improve Your Life.
The Art of Journaling: How to Turn Your Notebook Into a Creative Outlet for Self-Expression and Artistic Exploration.
Mindfulness in Journaling: How Taking Time to Reflect and Focus Can Bring Clarity and Calmness to Your Life.
The Power of Reflection: How Journaling Can Help You Understand Your Past and Make Better Decisions for Your Future.
Beyond Words: Incorporating Different Artistic Elements into Your Journal to Deepen Your Self-Reflection and Creativity.
Journaling for Healing: How Putting Your Thoughts and Feelings Down on Paper Can Help You Process Trauma and Emotional Pain.
A Different Kind of Journaling: How Incorporating Mindfulness, Intention Setting, and Visualization Can Help You Manifest Your Dreams and Goals.
Each time you sit down to write a slightly different version of the piece, you’ll keep getting better and better at honing in on why the topic works.
Each time you create a piece of content:
You’re a little bit better at the skill
You have a different perspective based on life experiences
You can add new wrinkles to your content based on feedback and comments from your audience
So it’s more a matter of getting really good at tapping into a handful of core themes than it is trying to constantly reinvent the wheel.
Sometimes you can try too hard, think too much, and go in too many directions when the answers to what to do next are already in front of you.
When it comes to finding topics to play with, you just have to use your eyes and see what’s already out there & make your own versions of it.
The more you create, the more you can hone in on what works, double down on your ideas, and continue to inspire, entertain, and educate your audience.
You have to repeat yourself because:
Most people will miss your message the first time
And the second time
And the third
If you have an idea that hits when you have 1,000 followers. It makes zero sense to not double back on that idea when you have 10,000 followers.
You can even go so far as to literally re-post content you made 6 months ago. A lot of successful creators do.
To win the game of life you need to figure out what works & what doesn’t keep doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Content works the same way.
But you’ll never extract these insights until you get into the arena and test your ideas for strengths and weaknesses.
You don’t wait for the perfect content ideas to fall in your lap, you let them emerge as you create.
Stop struggling to get views, followers, and more. Start building an audience you love and get paid handsomely to do it
Links to other cool stuff you might enjoy
Watch this webinar replay I co-hosted with Self-Publishing School to learn how to write a best-selling book
Take my free 5-day course that teaches you how to make a living writing on Medium
Buy my best-selling book - Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement