The 30 Day Test

How to start when you have too many ideas

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“I have so many interests that I’m not sure what to write about.”

This is a common thing people say when they’re not sure how to start.

While it may be true and well-intentioned, the harsh truth is it’s usually an excuse.

It’s easier to think about all the things you could write about than it is to pick one and actually start writing about it.

So, let’s handle that mental barrier today.

Here’s how to get started if you feel stuck analyzing where to start.

1. Make a list of your interests

Write down everything you could write about.

Everything you feel interested in or passionate about.

Don’t leave any topics in your head.

2. Rank them by what feels most fun

Now rank all the topics by what would feel the most fun to write about.

Assume you’re going to write every day for a year on these topics.

Which would be the most fun and which would be the least fun?

Stack rank them in that order.

3. Rank them by your knowledge level

Now make a separate list, ranking these topics by how much knowledge you currently have about them.

Think about your experiences and insights on these topics.

What do you know the most about and the least about?

Stack rank them from most knowledgeable to least.

4. Pick one in your top 3 on both lists

Now review both lists and choose a topic that ranks in your top 3 on both lists.

We’re looking for a topic that you:

a) know a lot about

b) would have fun writing about

That’s the sweet spot for writers.

If you can’t find a topic that ranks in your top 3 on both lists, expand to your top 5.

5. The 30 Day Test

Now that you’ve picked a topic, you’re going to do the 30 Day Test.

Write about that topic online every day for 30 days.

Why 30 days?

It will give you enough audience feedback to determine if there’s at least a signal of traction with that topic.

It’s also long enough to test how much you truly enjoy that topic.

If you get to Day 30, your audience is giving you positive feedback and you’re still having fun, you’re onto something.

If either of the above isn’t true, pick another topic and repeat the 30 Day Test again.

Repeat this process as many times as necessary until you land on the topic you love writing about AND that resonates with people.

When you find that, write about it for another 90 days.

An alternative approach to this — if one topic for 30 days feels too constricting — is to choose three topics and write about all three for 90 days, alternating between the topics.

Here’s the most important thing to remember:

How you start is by picking a topic and starting.

There’s no magic to it.

Don’t debate for six months because you have “too many” topics to write about.

Pick one, start and adjust along the way.

Action Item

Do the above exercise and commit to the 30 Day Test.

If you do, within a few months you will probably have found your sweet spot and be well on your way to building a great audience.

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