My Own Core Element

Now, as you might guess, I'm going to assume that your Post - the central part of the VIPER method - is the central part of your efforts, because it's the central part of mine.

If it's not, then some of the advice here will apply more accurately to the central element. In fact, perhaps a better word for the P element of VIPER would be "Product" or "Promotion" - the thing you actually want people to look at. I may go back and edit this series once I think about that for a while. Remember Sunday's post about fixing your fuckups? It also applies to upgrades.

But in any case, your central element - around which everything else revolves - has to fulfill all your promises and close all your loops. It has to be relevant to the social sharing image, and it has to have some relation to the video you did.

There's no actual requirement that you do things in this order, of course, but I find it easiest to do them this way. Making the video helps me solidify my plan for the post, which in turn makes it easier for me to identify something short and pithy for the image. Once I've established those, it's reasonably simple for me to crank out the actual post, because it's just a matter of expanding on the ideas I've already spent some time considering.

That's not to say I do it immediately. This post is being written just 20 hours behind schedule, but it's also hot on the heels of Monday's and Tuesday's posts, even though the videos and images were done on the proper days. (You know, because of the shirts.) I've had some setbacks this week and I'm just now getting back on the horse to take care of shit.

Which is also why the images and videos didn't get pumped out there into social media: because you have to have all your elements in play. Since I didn't have a post to promote, there was nothing to which I could link them, so they just sit there all sad and alone not being shared.

This isn't really an issue, because they can be shared, which is kind of the point. What you're doing in the VIPER method isn't necessarily blitzing the world with promotions for your shit, but creating options for yourself. At any given time, for any given issue on which you have a promotion, you can share a video or an image or the promotion itself.

It is this massive collection of options that will make the difference. At its core, the site is just a few simple ideas which have been repeatedly expanded and extended to create a large amount of content. It all started with this.

The Core Teachings
The Core Teachings

Turning that into over a hundred blog posts and images and videos was a long process, and of course the "commentary" aspect is extensive, but the key factor is to build out from the core. Likewise, I led into the Manifesto itself with the SHIT and SLIM and FAT acronyms and a buttload of brain science with business applications.

You need to have a critical mass of content.

Once you have that mass, you have something you can promote, but if you promote before you have much of anything... there's nothing for people to consume when they arrive. You need enough for them to consume your content until they are gorged on it, and still not even be halfway through.

This is what I keep telling the people who argue about "create" or "promote." You have to spend a lot of time creating first. Until you've created that core content, promotion is a waste of time. You need a significant body of work to promote.

The goal for this blog is 150 posts, which I'm hitting at the end of next week, before promoting anything heavily. There needs to be enough content. You could sit here and read for about five to ten hours. That's a lot.

Once you hit that level, you can turn your focus to promoting. Some people stop producing content while they promote; I don't intend to do so just yet. But when you get to promoting, and you're in the "get word out" phase, it's useful to have marketing collateral already prepared.

Which leads us to the ever-popular issue of the listbuilding... and I'll cover that aspect tomorrow.