Creating Your Content City
The more articles I write, and the more content I produce, the questions I ask myself about writing have shifted…
Instead of asking: “What am I writing about next?”
Ask: “What am I building?”
This is a subtle shift that has a dramatic impact. One is about the immediate future, the second is about the larger goals that you’re trying to accomplish.
It reminds me of a city — an interlocking content ecosystem.
1. Build a City of Content
With your writing, you are creating buildings, roads, highways, neighborhoods, and local stores with your writing.
Each is slightly different. Some topics will be a local boutique (a short article or passing though), others could be a gigantic skyscraper (a topic cluster if you will).
Yes, be known for a niche or a topic, but it goes deeper than that.
Many of your articles and ideas should build on top of each other, and even be connected.
Think of a city — it spreads out, it goes deep, it goes up, it goes down.
There are roads that connect one building (article) to another, and they are all loosely related.
In the SEO world, this is called internal linking to form topic clusters, related articles, and posts that show you’re an expert and that you have in-depth knowledge of the topic at hand.
2. Cities are known for something. Your writing should be, too.
I live in Nashville, Tennessee which is known as Music City.
I used to live in a smaller town called Wilmington, NC right on the water. Its nickname? Port City.
The same goes for your writing. What topics or niches will you be known for?
Us writers don’t like to be pinned down. We move around a lot, metaphorically and literally. But we all know by now that your “brand” can’t be too complicated.
Can multiple topics or niches live in the same city?
If not, you may have to go somewhere else. Or set up different highways (social networks, email lists) to get into your city. You can run multiple cities — various writing projects, fiction vs non-fiction, day job vs side hustle — and it can be liberating though exhausting. Sometimes one will get more attention than the other.
The metaphor starts to break down but you get the idea.
3. Your Job Will Shift in Your City of Content
Some days you will be in architect mode.
Then creating. And maintenance.
Soon, you will build connections and links to your content. Or drive everyone to your big event (product launch, course, book).
You want it to be very simple for a reader to keep exploring.
Here’s the beauty of it: you may never reach the end.
Or exhaust any topic fully.
And like any good city, your city of content will evolve, grow, and change.
What This Could Mean for Your Blog & Writing
I’ve seen a lot of writers mention creating a book out of their articles. That’s building towards something.
Maybe it’s a course.
An email newsletter.
Or educational content to promote a product.
Is your writing connected? Mine usually isn’t.
Once you realize that your writing can be connected, it takes some pressure off. You no longer have to come up with brand-new ideas every single day.
A simple tactic is to notice any articles or sites that you’ve linked out to in the past.
Is there a way you can write about them? Should you write about them?
If it’s a long research project, probably not, but if it’s a concept that you can research and write about yourself, give it a try. This is called the Wikipedia strategy.
In addition, you can also see what you’ve written about and generate more articles from that, and even develop a niche within your topics.How To Use Your Current Blog Post To Write Your Next Blog PostI’m trying to write for 30 days straight and post a quick essay (around 250 words or more) to Medium each day.medium.com
But you’re not looking to repeat yourself or to always be a broken record.
Instead, if you’re consistently sharing a topic or idea, you will become known for those ideas.
To accomplish this, you want to:
- Connect relevant posts together
- Make it simple for a reader to keep exploring
- Show them that you’re an expert
Soon, you will have built a content city, dense with expert, authoritative, and interesting essays.