So…you want to start an email subscription
That’s terrific and I couldn’t be happier for you! I have no doubt that after you get started you’ll experience a lot of success. They can be created and marketed in as little as 21 days, but I suggest taking a bit more time than that.
However, before you schedule a celebration party and send out invitations, you’ve got to pick a topic for your subscription. After all, it’s where your celebration actually begins. You might already know the topic you want to write about. If you do, great! Go ahead and get started.
But what if you don’t have a clue? Don’t sweat it. That’s where my special strategy comes in.
You remember Archimedes, right?
He was a Greek physicist and mathematician that lived in the early part of the third century who famously postulated:
“Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the world.”
He maintained that if he had a lever long enough and could apply enough force, he could move the entire planet. It perfectly illustrates how you can use leverage to achieve results you couldn’t otherwise.
In the early days of my first online business, I thought about the topic of leverage… a lot… and came up with what I called The Archimedes Strategy to choose the right topic for my first book. I used the same strategy to choose the topic and approach of my second, third, and fourth books.
The Archimedes Strategy can help you choose as well. It can also help you if you’re still unsure about what topic to choose or which novel or story collection to make the focus of your first email subscription.
How the Archimedes Strategy can help you choose a topic
The Archimedes Strategy is about applying leverage. For a non-fiction writer, it’s about leveraging what you already know to solve a problem that others experience every day.
Here’s a brief excerpt from one the lessons in my resource guide, Subscription Mastermind:
When you ask yourself what do you know that others would pay you to share, most likely your inner critic (and we all have one) starts laughing at you.
What? You… a teacher? You’re kidding, right?
To get past your internal critic (who’s dead wrong, by the way), let’s conduct an exercise.
Get out your notebook or journal or even a piece of printer paper and divide it with a vertical line a little ways from the left border.
At the top of the left column place a heading: Knowledge / Skills
Then brainstorm/brain-dump whatever comes into your head about stuff you know. Don’t edit your thinking. Just spill your brains on to this list.
Now make the second column and assign the heading: Better Than Most.
Review the first column of Knowledge / Skills and place a checkmark next to the topics about which you possess a deeper knowledge – the areas where your depth of knowledge is better than the average person.
Finally, create a third column and assign the header: Highly Desired Result / Outcome
Jot down a thought or two that describes the most-desired outcome for a person with whom you would share your specific knowledge and/or skill in a controlled, formatted medium.
Here’s what my list looks like:
However, not all topics are marketable
Some of the checked topics on my list -and yours as well, most likely- represent past experience and current interests. They’re probably the topics you care most about. As in my case, there might be areas where you feel your skill or knowledge level is better than most, but the topic doesn’t present a highly desired outcome right away. That’s OK, you can always come back to it later to see if one comes up for you.
In my example, my knowledge of writing and managing proposals for the architecture, engineering, and construction industries doesn’t really scream out a marketable skill that others might pay -at least in great numbers- to learn.
Don’t forget about your hobbies. There might be areas of your knowledge and experience that aren’t related to your current profession. If you have a hobby that’s really more of an obsession (some of us have those…), include that in your list and see it feels good to you. The point of that first column is to brainstorm as many topics as possible even if they don’t make sense right away.
The table exercise above helps you to identify the existing knowledge and experience and identify which topics are most marketable.
The Archimedes Strategy can also be used in packaging your knowledge into digestible bite-sized nuggets. I’ll get to that in another post. For now, let’s turn our attention to the competition.
Why competition is a good thing
If you’re scanning through the headings, don’t skip this one! Checking the popularity of the topic you’ve chosen is essential for determining its marketability.
Do a bit of Google research and search for ‘blogs: (insert your topic).’You actually want to see that there is healthy competition in the area of your chosen topic. It means that there is a sizable market for your email subscription.
If there is healthy competition in your area of knowledge it means that locating your audience is going to be easier.
Here’s what my Google search for “blogs: online courses” yielded. As you can see, there is a huge market for selling online courses.
Summarizing the Archimedes Strategy
Leverage is the key lesson in this strategy. You can apply it by exploring the knowledge and experience you already possess to choose a topic for your email subscription.
You can do this by making the table illustrated above and brainstorm the topics you that captivate your interest, identifying those in which your skill level is better than most, making certain they have a highly desirable outcome and some healthy competition.
Better yet, download my resource guide, Subscription Mastermind, and learn the basics of starting and running your own email subscription program.