101 Ways to Plan, Produce, Publish, and Promote Content

There's more to "content" than blogging and updating your social profiles. There's a pretty good chance you already have the skills to do many of the things below – you just need a reason to reflect on them and imagine how you can apply it to what you know.

As you read through the list below, reflect on each type of content and think of one or two things you could create in that format for your audience. When you're done doing this down the line, you'll have enough content ideas to keep you busy for the whole year!

Without further adieu…

The List: 101 Ways to Plan, Produce, Publish, and Promote Content For Your Business

  1. Share 100 things.
  2. Test something and share the results.
  3. Write about an organization you're involved in.
  4. Do an AMA (Ask Me Anything).
  5. Make an animated GIF.
  6. Share the best advice you've ever received.
  7. Publish your notes on a book you read recently.
  8. Share links you bookmarked about a topic.
  9. Do a "brain dump" of ideas.
  10. Create an editorial calendar.
  11. Add a new call to action to your site.
  12. Create a card deck.
  13. Write a case study.
  14. Tell a cautionary tale.
  15. Create a 30-day photo challenge.
  16. Create a cheat sheet.
  17. Define something that's often misunderstood.
  18. Share your process.
  19. Add "Click to Tweet" links to your content.
  20. Draw a comic.
  21. Compare two things.
  22. Do a giveaway or contest.
  23. Build an online course.
  24. Draw a diagram.
  25. Define some new industry terminology.
  26. Create a directory.
  27. Write an email series
  28. Promote an event you're attending.
  29. Fact or fiction?
  30. Answer frequently asked questions.
  31. Share your first impressions.
  32. Put together a free resources page.
  33. Predict the future.
  34. Share a favorite creative exercise.
  35. Share your progress toward a goal.
  36. Write a how-to guide.
  37. Write some headlines for future blog posts.
  38. Share the story of how you started your business.
  39. Add an illustration or graphic to a blog post.
  40. Create an infographic.
  41. Interview or profile someone.
  42. Share some lessons learned from a project.
  43. Do a Q&A livestream.
  44. Start an advice column.
  45. Write a manifesto.
  46. Show something on a map.
  47. Put together a media kit.
  48. Mind map all of your content ideas.
  49. Put together a mood board.
  50. Make a music video.
  51. Write an open letter.
  52. Outline a series of blog posts.
  53. Create a photo essay.
  54. Curate a playlist.
  55. Record a podcast.
  56. Design a poster.
  57. Analyze a trend.
  58. Design a slide deck.
  59. Create a printable resource.
  60. Review a product, tool, or book.
  61. Answer a "Question of the Week."
  62. Write an ebook.
  63. Share a quote.
  64. Share your reading list.
  65. Comment on a study or statistic.
  66. Record a screencast.
  67. Share a page from your sketchbook.
  68. Draw sketchnotes for a presentation.
  69. Express gratitude for something.
  70. Make a slideshow.
  71. Put someone else in the spotlight.
  72. Share a customer's success story.
  73. Write a thank you letter.
  74. Show events on a timeline.
  75. Share a top-ten list.
  76. Transcribe an existing video or audio clip.
  77. Make a tutorial.
  78. Start a video series.
  79. Develop a research report.
  80. Create a workbook.
  81. Design merchandise based on your brand.
  82. Curate the best tweets at an event or about a subject.
  83. Get diverse perspectives on something from other experts in your field.
  84. Create a new client questionnaire form.
  85. Start a private Facebook group.
  86. Recap an event.
  87. Start a link blog.
  88. Publish a list of your capabilities.
  89. Bust some myths about your industry.
  90. Create content for a single-purpose microsite.
  91. Turn an old post into an infographic.
  92. Film a product demo video.
  93. Visualize some difficult-to-understand data.
  94. Share your favorite reviews and testimonials of your work.
  95. Celebrate a holiday.
  96. Rank the ten most important things.
  97. Gather your best content into an ebook or audio book.
  98. Create a quiz.
  99. Hold online office hours.
  100. Make a list of "people to know."
  101. Create a template for others to use.
Even at 101 items, this isn't anywhere near a complete list. If you think of one you think should be added, shoot me an email with the form below and I'll add it in along with a link to your site! – Joe
Your Name *
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101 Calls to Action For Inspiring The Next Step

Action is the foundational key to all success.
— Pablo Picasso

A powerful call to action turns learners into doers, readers into fans, and visitors into customers, but if you want to inspire action in others without recycling the same phrases over and over again, you'll need more inspiring phrases in your arsenal than just "click here," "sign up," or "subscribe." Try a few of these lines to find one that feels right for the action you're trying to inspire with your own work.

Sign Ups, Opt-In's, and Downloads

  1. Start your journey today. 
  2. Unlock full access.
  3. Begin your free trial.
  4. Get started.
  5. New to _____? Start here.
  6. Get the goods.
  7. See what’s inside.
  8. I’m in! 
  9. Read on.
  10. Download now.
  11. Watch a quick overview.
  12. See how it works.
  13. Click to get your FREE _____. 
  14. Yes, I need/want _____. 
  15. Learn the secrets of _____. 
  16. Show me more.
  17. Learn more.
  18. Give _____ a try.
  19. Get your free demo.
  20. Get your hands on a free guide.
  21. Discover how we’re different. 

Email and Subscribe

  1. Be the first to know. 
  2. Stay in the loop.
  3. Click to subscribe.
  4. Let’s keep in touch. 
  5. Love us? Sign up to hear from us every (day/week/month).
  6. Become a part of our community.
  7. Become a VIP.
  8. Join our mailing list.
  9. Sign up for exclusive subscriber discounts.
  10. Our subscribers save.
  11. Subscribers get first dibs. 
  12. Get _____ sent straight to your inbox.
  13. Like being the first to know? Sign up to hear more.
  14. Get deals, discounts, and more before anyone else.
  15. Take an extra [%] off at checkout, as our thank you for subscribing. 
  16. Like this post? Get more just like it delivered straight to your inbox.
  17. Sign up for content worth subscribing to.
  18. Subscribe for early access to _____.
  19. Sign up to see what’s new.
  20. With love from our blog, to your inbox. 

“No Spam" Policy

  1. Spam ain’t our jam.
  2. We hate spam as much as you do.
  3. Only great content, never any spam.
  4. No spam here – pinky promise.
  5. This is a spam-free zone.
  6. We never sell your information.
  7. Your information is safe with us.
  8. Your inbox is sacred – no spam, ever.
  9. Don’t worry, we’ll never spam you.
  10. Spam sucks.
  11. We never sell, share, or rent your information.
  12. Our spam policy? Zip, zero, zilch. 
  13. It’s never okay to spam. That’s why we don’t.
  14. Your privacy is your first priority.
  15. We only deliver content with your consent.
  16. Although we'd hate to see you go, you're free to unsubscribe at any time.
  17. No spam. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.
  18. Bulk email is never better.
  19. We take sending email seriously.
  20. Spam strictly prohibited.

Events and Webinars 

  1. Don't wait another minute.
  2. Get in on the action. 
  3. Register now.
  4. Join us.
  5. Learn from the experts.
  6. Reserve your seat today.
  7. You’re invited.
  8. Seats are filling up – sign up now. 
  9. Demand is high – get in while you can. 
  10. Tickets are going fast.
  11. Save your spot. 
  12. Don’t miss out!
  13. Learn the secrets of _____. 
  14. Learn to _____ like a pro in just [timeframe]. 
  15. Prices go up in _____ days.
  16. Learn how I _____ in (timeframe) (and how you can, too).
  17. Master the art of _____. 
  18. Join the movement.
  19. Hurry, this opportunity won’t last!
  20. Blink and you’ll miss out. 

Online Retail

  1. Explore more.
  2. Shop now.
  3. View our lookbook. 
  4. Peek at our shop.
  5. Shop today.
  6. Click to browse.
  7. See what’s new.
  8. Add to cart.
  9. See what’s in store.
  10. Shop to save.
  11. Find your perfect _____. 
  12. Shipping is always fast and free.
  13. Introducing _____.
  14. Find a store near you.
  15. View the collection.
  16. Just arrived!
  17. Get the look.
  18. Now in stock.
  19. Limited time only.
  20. Click to order your free sample. 

5 Clarities That Emerge From a Well-Crafted Story Matrix

There's an old saying that goes: “Try to please everyone, and no one will be pleased.”

Great content is informed by a great content strategy. Before you can create a great content strategy, you've got to know who you are – and who you're not

One of the ways we help our clients clarify that is by building a Story Matrix: a strategic document that defines nine key components of the business, and describes them in plain English.

As we've improved our process, and as we've thought at length about what we want our clients to take away from this part of it, we've realized that this isn't a tool for clarity – it's a tool for clarities, plural.

So far, we've put our finger on five different clarities that emerge as we define those nine elements of a brand's story. We're sure we'll find others as we dig deeper, but for now, here are the ones we've found – and more importantly, what they mean for businesses that are mindful of them.

Clarity about what your business does and doesn’t do.

A Story Matrix is a living document that, like your business, is designed to constantly grow with you. Over time, it may evolve. It may become richer in detail. It may expand upon what you set out to originally do, but it won’t waver on what you do best.

By defining what you do versus what you don’t do early and often, the matrix helps key decision-makers amplify what you do best instead of succumbing to comparison traps, fear of missing out, or failed attempts to duplicate what others have successfully done.

The Story Matrix is also a rare opportunity for creatives to think in binary terms. Whether you’re leading a team or running solo, it’s critical that you have an anchor point that keeps you grounded in what your business excels at, regardless of the other skills you may possess. This process separates you from your business, so you don’t end up running yourself in a million different directions and taking your business along for the ride.

Clarity about who the business serves and what their circumstances are.

One of the most powerful byproducts of a Story Matrix is knowing exactly who you’re trying to reach and what the best opportunity is to introduce yourself to their world. After all, that’s content’s most important goal!

That’s why our Story Matrix also includes three Personas, stories based on ethnographic research, interviews, and empathy. Obscenely rich in detail, these Personas illuminate the exact moment a brand becomes relevant to their lifestyle and the tone, topics and messages that matter most to them.

Clarity about the voice and tone that everyone on the team should use.

Speaking of tone, the Story Matrix exists for another meaningful purpose: to unite everyone responsible for building the brand around a lexicon or language that reaches its target audience.

Our clients, all of which range from solo entrepreneurs to large scale agencies, love that their Story Matrix saves them countless numbers of explanations, phone calls, and (worst of all) meetings about how the brand conducts itself online and in person. Something funny tends to happen when everyone brings their own perception of how a brand functions: mixed messages, muddled graphics, and off-brand collateral all lead to a hodgepodge that becomes branding soup in the mind of the customer.

Enter the Story Matrix, a unifying document that clearly articulates how the brand’s content should behave in a variety of contexts, from email signatures to Tweets, annual reports to support tickets. Best of all, the brand’s internal stakeholders can print, duplicate, and share the Story Matrix with anyone who joins the team – whether they be a designer or an accountant – to ensure everyone is speaking the same language and working from the same page.

Clarity about the things that make you significantly different from other businesses like yours.

One of the questions we ask our clients in the process of building out their Story Matrix has to do with key differentiators. Specifically, we want to know: how are you just one degree different from your competition?

Many brands, especially ones that are entering a crowded market like food or fashion, feel like they have to come up with a wildly different offering or capture an entirely different audience to stand out from their competition. Not true!

In reality, you only need to have a few key differences that make your brand more valuable to a slightly different audience – but those differences DO have to be properly discovered and documented in order to prevent wading into copycat territory. The Story Matrix is where that happens.

Clarity about short term decisions that add up to longterm visions.

What have we learned so far? The Story Matrix is a living document, a clarifying document, and a unifying document that helps your brand share its story strategically, instead of flinging it to the wall to see if it sticks.

Our favorite feature of a well crafted matrix is its ability to provide an unlimited number of gut checks to help you make decisions that fully align with your vision for the business and the brand. Should you ever find yourself in an identity crisis, a period of wicked growth, or an opportunity to pivot, you’ll have everything you need to ask yourself: what would the brand do?

The answer will always exist in the pages of your Story Matrix.

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