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Fragments and Shrapnel: Making Content

I have two rules I follow when it comes to blogging and social media: Never complain about work and never air your family secrets. Everything else is fair game. People don’t need to know that you hate your boss because everyone hates their boss or has an annoying co-worker. And honestly, I could care less if Uncle Lester got drunk at a family reunion and told you he wants to be Aunt Lisa instead. Save it for the tabloids.

This week, however, I am going to break one of my rules and air a family secret. This skeleton is hidden deep in the closet under a pseudonym and buried under pages of useless websites. It could possibly ruin my credibility as a writer but it is something I have to share: My husband writes fan fiction. He has fans stretching from India to Trinidad and Tobago waiting with baited breath as he cranks out page after page of Harry Potter stories. It’s embarrassing but it keeps him off the streets.

All joking aside, the reason I bring this is up is because this week I’ve been thinking about content. Like most people, I find myself clicking on various web pages or flipping channels when I’m seeking mindless entertainment and wishing there was something better. This came into a conversation when my husband (Mr. Fan Fic) and I were driving around and he was telling me about his latest story. He got the idea from one of the HP books and felt the concept could be expanded. Instead of spamming JK Rowling’s website, he wrote the story himself to much fanfare from his world-wide readers.

Making your own content is time consuming and not as mindless television but it’s much more rewarding. I shared this concept with my friend Jaymi and she passed along these tips to help get you started.

  • The first step is to identify your passion. What drives you to want to share? What things would you want to share?
  • The second is to create lists of possible interest topics or things to share. They don’t need to be long, shorter is better, but you might want to have a list of 30 items or more to kick start the writing/sharing bug.
  • Once you have your list, start working on your content. Buy a cheap camera and take pictures, create a blog or website, buy a flip camera and shoot a documentary on the daily rituals of your cat, dog or guinea pig. Jaymi’s husband recently bought a motorcycle and has been documenting his new passion by taking pictures of his road trips and posting them on Google Maps.

So, now that I have aired some family secrets and showed how you can be inspired by things like fan fic and motorcycle rides, what are you passions? How can you turn them into content for bored people surfing the internet or flipping channels? How can you create your own content?

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

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