The Content Road Map

Did you come up with a product name? Do you have a design? Even if it is a rough draft, these steps help to inspire me; I hope they do the same for you.

In my process, with the image to spur me on, I begin to lay out a road map. Think of it as the table of contents in a book, and if you are creating an eBook — it may just be.

I start at the beginning. Maybe I need to write a Foreword to introduce myself and give clients an overview of what they will learn. What is the first thing I would explain to someone with no experience? How do I help them start down the path towards their goal or benefit of the product? What do they need to know? That becomes the first chapter or lesson.

Then I jump to the end and write an outline of my last chapter or lesson. It is an overview of all they have learned. I imagine where they are, what they have achieved and how we got there. At this point I start to backtrack. I list all the steps to go through to reach the final chapter. Sometimes I start at the beginning and move forward. Other times I start at the end and work backward. If an idea comes up in the middle, I write it down and start working on either side of it.

This outline of my chapters is only a rough draft. Chances are I will think of things as I go — maybe something I missed or could explain better. Perhaps a step I thought was important has to be moved earlier or later. On occasion, it may not be as important as I thought and gets deleted. Again, this outline is only a guide. As you begin to flesh it out, you’ll experience this. There are no rights or wrongs here.

Keep in mind something I said at the beginning. Don’t wait for perfection. Do the best you can and move forward. If you slow down or keep agonizing over details, you will never be able to help anyone, including yourself.

So now is the time to cement the image of a product as a destination in your mind and begin to lay out your road map or table of contents to get there.

In the next lesson, we’ll be using this outline to start having some fun!