Product creation: How to use content triage to figure out what to do first

Ask the right questions before you create contentSo you have an enormous amount of content hanging out on your hard drive (whether the one on your computer or the one inside that beautiful head of yours). You’re ready to take the leap and share what you know using an information product…now there are suddenly 400 more questions.

(If you haven’t already read this post, I suggest you do so before giving this process a go. They go together!)

The challenge is there is no one size fits all answer (unless “it depends” counts). There is a way to tame the ContentBeastie™ that threatens to overtake you at every turn!

Then come the inevitable questions, right?

What topic do I share?

You know a whole bunch of different things and picking one is harddddddddddd. You may even have 20 years worth of stuff accumulated somewhere: notes, stickies, hard drives, note pads. If so, you’re normal!

Which information product?

  • books
  • audio
  • video
  • handouts
  • slides
  • blog posts
  • images
  • bleck, it just keeps going and going

What format do I use?

  • an ebook (which one of the several types? EPUB, PDF, Microsoft Word, Nook, Kindle? Something else?)
  • an audio (downloadable? On a CD? As a series?
  • a video (with me on the camera? Slides on top of audio? Screencasting? Something else? And then there is the HOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW?)
  • an image

When to deliver it? What technology to use?

And on and on the questions go.

So stop. Breathe.

Let’s try something called content triage

Let’s use what I use with clients when we’re in the seemingly never-ending question asking mode and need to get into the DOING mode.

Let’s adapt a tool used in the medical world called triage (choosing who gets care first based on how critical the condition is).

The core of triage is this: Deal with only the most critical issues first. Then see if you have time for the rest. Whatever question you have about your information products, return to this definition.

 To answer the question of “which topic”

  1. What information does your tribe need right now and what do you have that answers that need?
  2. What do you think would help your tribe, but isn’t critical to achieving their desired outcome?
  3. What would be “icing on the cake” and make their lives even better?

To answer the question of which product will make me the most money

  1. What do you already have that could be monetized in less than 30 days?
  2. What do you already have that could be monetized in less than 60 days?
  3. What do you already have that could be monetized in less than 90 days?

To answer the question “which type of information product”

  1. What do you already have that is 90-100%? Whatever format it is, go with it!
  2. What could you tweak a bit and complete within 1 week?
  3. What formats are most liked by your tribe?

 To answer the question “how to deliver it”

  1. What format is already done? If text, go with it. Audio, get it uploaded. If printed, get ‘er done.
  2. What format is easiest for you to create without additional time or money?
  3. What format is the one preferred by your tribe?

See how this works? Your focus for your first product is to get it out the door with the minimum of time and effort. THEN  you can come back and do the other stuff.

So whatcha think? How could you put triage to work for your decision making processes?

Pop your response or ideas in the comments box and let’s get your message out there.

You can do this. We can do this together. You’re not alone in your dreams and passions.

igKnighting passionately powerful possibilities!

MamaRed's Red Signature


  • Pat Moon says:

    Thanks for the encouragement to get it out there. My information has so far been in the form of a blog post.. I’ve been working with the nutrition supplements I use for close to 30 years now so am in the process of sharing things I have learned. I am finding it is a push to actually get a new article out each week, mainly because of other distractions going on in my life but am trying to be more consistent.

    • MamaRed says:

      Starting with a blog post is an excellent place to start Pat. Truly it is! It’s so much more do-able than saying “oh, hey, I’ve got this million page book to write” which never seems to get done. Congrats on taking a next step and I know what ya mean about the consistency thing. It’s something I’m working on this year too!

  • Great stuff MamaRed! I am printing this out to use as a checklist for deciding which content to use up first!

    • MamaRed says:

      That’s great news Helena. Glad it gave you a way to keep on keepin’ on

  • Sharon O'Day says:

    Sure felt like the list of someone who has gone through that process again and again … and how reassuring is that?!? Thanks for providing such a disciplined path, MamaRed!

    • MamaRed says:

      Yup, have been through this process a lot Sharon. I’ve spent 30 years in the corporate consulting world and found all sorts of paths through the chaos (took me a while to realize they were just as good for small businesses…heck probably more important because we don’t have the gazillion departments and other support, eh?)

  • Ruth Clark says:

    Hi Mama Red,
    The first thing I need to do is bookmark this page…this one right here…the triage one. Thanks a million.

    • MamaRed says:

      Hey there Ruth … loved that you bookmarked the page and that it struck a chord with you! Enjoy…MamaRed

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