1. Discover the topics you *want* to write about
2. Get *specific* with those topics so readers will trust you (even if you’re not an expert)
3. Come up with *engaging* ideas about those topics that go viral
Let’s dive in:
During this exercise, do not judge the quality of your ideas.
The goal here is to generate a ton of raw materials, knowing you won’t write about 90% of them.
BUT—you will emerge with crystal clear clarity.
Step 1. Use the 2-Year Test to find your topic ideas
Step 2. Add specificity to match your credibility
Step 3. Use the 4A Framework + proven approaches to generate ideas
Step 4. Choose 3 ideas to write about over the next 3 days
Finding the general topics you want to write about starts with 1 simple question:
“What are all of the problems I’ve solved and topics I’ve learned about over the last 2 years?”
Why 2 years?
Thinking they have to be an “expert” to write about something.
But this is wrong.
The truth is, people don’t want to learn from experts.
They prefer to learn from those just a few steps ahead of them on the same path.
• Skills have you built?
• Struggles have you faced?
• Transitions have you made?
• Hobbies have you picked up?
• Problems have you overcome?
• Stories have you experienced?
• Topics have you learned about?
Write down as many as you can.
(Here’s my list from earlier this year, which I’m still referencing.)
Now, it’s time to narrow it down.
From that list, which 1-3 topics jumped off the page when you wrote them?
Lean into those and latch on.
• How to build a writing habit
• All things journaling and asking high-quality questions
• General golden nugget growth frameworks
You should have your 3 buckets as well.
Now, onto Step 2: Getting specific
That was only half-true.
It’s true you don’t need to be an expert in a topic to write about it.
But, you need to add specificity to match your level of credibility.
And there are 7 ways to do this:
• By price
• By problem
• By industry
• By location
• By situation
• By experience
• By demographic
And the goal with each of these levers:
Make the audience you’re writing to *the same person you were 2 years ago*
Here are examples:
1. How to build a writing habit for beginner writers
2. Journaling for entrepreneurs who aren’t yet journaling but know they should be
3. General golden nuggets of wisdom for ambitious 20-somethings
Then, add 1 more level.
That’s when you know you’ve gotten specific enough.
From here, we move on to Step 3 where the real fun begins:
Using the 4A Framework to write headlines:
You can write every idea in 4 ways:
• Actionable (here’s how)
• Analytical (here’s a breakdown)
• Aspirational (yes, you can)
• Anthropological (here’s why)
And here’s an example using the topic of personal finance:
These are actionable, implemental pieces of content.
The reader should gain some new insight or instruction they didn’t have beforehand.
• Ultimate guides
Take your core idea and help the reader put it into practice.
These are breakdowns involving numbers, frameworks, and processes.
Take your core idea and support it with numbers and analysis.
• Swipe files
Help the reader unlock a new way of thinking.
These are stories of how you or others put your core idea into practice.
• Underrated traits
• How to get started
Help the reader understand the benefits they unlock when they see the world through this new lens.
These are things that speak to universal human nature.
• Why others are wrong
• How you’ve been misled
Create a sense of urgency for the reader to fully embrace your core idea or be forever left behind.
Now this brings us to the final step: choosing 3 ideas.
This is better than having nothing to write about!
But many writers will fall into the analysis paralysis trap here.
Here’s how to overcome it:
Your next 3 days of content.
The 3 ideas that most resonated with you from that list.
And that’s all you’re allowed to take away from these ideas (for now)
Because here’s what’s going to happen:
And in the process of writing, more ideas are going to jump into your head.
From there, your creative flywheel has started to spin.
This is the whole point of the Endless Idea Generator—to get you started.
So take your 3 ideas and start writing!
The rest will take care of itself.
• Start with a massive 2-year test brain dump
• Grab the 2-3 buckets that resonated most with you
• Tailor the specificity to match your level of credibility
• Use the 4A framework to generate ideas
• Pick 3 ideas, then get going and iterate from there
If you did:
1. Follow me @dickiebush for more threads like this on digital writing
2. Jump back to the top and retweet it so others can use the system too (and you can find it later!)
Here’s the link:
So if you want a deeper dive into this framework, sign up for this FREE Endless Idea Generator workshop with me and @Nicolascole77.
When: Friday at 1 PM ET.
Replays sent to everyone who registers: