We’re born content producers. The more prolific among us are literally volcanoes of content.
Yet, what you’ve generated probably isn’t working for you.
It’s probably not laid out as a path where you want to go, nor presented as an invitation to other like-minded souls and interested parties to join you in your journey. It’s not contributing to the discoverability of you.
Do you have shelves full of:
paper, boxes and binders, clippings, photos, slides, sketches and notes
memorabilia and scrapbook materials
What about in the hall closet, and all that stuff in the basement?
CDs, cassette tapes, video tapes
I bet you have a bunch of content stored here, there and everywhere. There’s a reason you haven’t gotten rid of it.
That mountain of stuff represents your effort and interest, and independent research.
That mountain represents the things you chose to do because they make you feel alive.
Think of all the activities you’ve poured yourself into and how you’ve retained the evidence of them. Anything that represents your experiences, your thinking and feeling on certain topics. All those photos of people and places and things that hold meaning and jog memories, yet haven’t seen the light of day in practically FOREVER. Some of it may represent creative failures. False starts. Ancient history. That’s okay. Include it.
Maybe now you’ve got a mental image of your piles of creation, content associated with the life you’ve lived and the things you’ve loved (or hated, who knows).
At GlobalNiche we believe it’s forgotten gold. (Don’t feel too badly. We all have similar piles that we haven’t used for much of anything. YET.)
So, next question.
Are you sitting on that mountain of content — and also wondering how you’re going to make ends meet, effect a career change, or achieve a goal?
Maybe you’re thinking you can’t do what you yearn to because you live in the wrong place and don’t have the right contacts and there’s no opportunity to pursue that interest where you are. As an expat for 14 years, I spent a lot of time wondering if my location was a disadvantage to what I want to do. The answer was “yes” most of the time. But no longer.
If we consider that earlier output and experience not as failure or a waste of time, but instead a chain of events that make us who we are today, then we can start to get an idea of the arc of our lives and how what we’ve done in the past can help us get where we want to go in the future. No matter where we are — with the help of the web and the platform we build on it.
What if you were prominent and findable in your chosen field of interest or activity?
How might your opportunities change if you let your content support your aims?
Whether you’re positioning yourself to land jobs or funding or a book deal, or you’ve got a completed book or other product or service to sell, it will make a difference to your results. If you’re findable and well-represented, you have a chance. If you’re unknown, unfindable, and a jumbled mess when people DO happen to stumble on you, you won’t make much of an impression.
Whatever you want to do, you’ll need help and support. An important part of gathering support is going public with your process, to attract likeminded people to your cause and to involve them in your journey. The kind of people who are interested your vision and your way of thinking and feeling, parties who can help you develop your plan, the kind of peers and confidants and guides who will form the basis of your network.
We’ve entered a golden age for content creators. Do you know how to wrap your arms around your content, see the story it tells, and link it with your goals?
Anastasia Ashman is a visionary for the robust, directed online presence we can use to reach our offline goals. The Californian with 15 years abroad in 3 countries is cofounder of GlobalNiche.net where she combines her global perspective with a pro background in NY & LA media & entertainment to train women everywhere in digital literacy through content strategy & web platform building.
A version of this post originally appeared at Kristin Bair O’Keeffe’s Writerhead