101 Talking Points You Can Use For Any Piece Of Content
What To Write About When You Need To Write Something
There are times you may get stuck when creating content. It could be for a variety of reasons such as...
- You have already created a lot of content on the subject.
- You have not had time to do a lot of brainstorming.
- You have only a small amount of time for the project.
- You have trouble coming up with a variety of ideas.
And so forth. It doesn’t really matter what the reason is, the fact remains that you’re going to get stuck.
Stuck in a writer’s block. Stuck in a time crunch. Stuck in a rut.
That’s what this resource is here for: to help you get un-stuck. It will serve as a handy tool for generating ideas anytime you wonder...
- What should I write about?
- What talking points should I include?
- What do I need to share in this content?
That’s exactly what you’ll find out inside this report, where we’ll discuss 101 talking points you can use for just about any type of content.
NOTE: Some of these points are framed as a single item, but you can create content around multiples.
For example, the first one is to answer a frequently asked question, but you can also answer a list of questions. Or take #2 as an example – you can insert a tip, or you can insert multiple tips.
Point is, you can do singles or multiples for many of these, depending on what you need.
So, with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump in…
You may have a sense of what types of questions your audience asks about simply by checking your email, blog comments, social media comments and similar.
You can also gather additional questions by checking Quora.com and JustAnswer.com, as well as seeing what questions your audience is asking on other people’s blogs and social media.
For example, if you’re creating weight-loss content, then your content can include the answer to, “How many calories should I eat per day?”
TIP: You can search Google for “frequently asked [your topic] questions” or “most asked questions about [your topic]” for even more ideas.
A good tip can often be one of the most valuable components of a piece of content. That’s why you’ll want to aim to provide high-quality and preferably novel tips in every relevant piece of content you create.
To make your content even more useful, share tips that make a process clearer, faster, cheaper, easier or in some other way better.
For example, if you’re creating content about dog training, you can share a tip about how to read a dog’s body language in order to make a correction before a dog does something he isn’t supposed to do (like barking and lunging at other dogs).
Offering a warning helps someone avoid a problem or mistake, perhaps one that’s even dangerous.
For example, if you’re teaching people how restore a classic car, you might provide a warning about how old cars may be painted with lead paint. You can then provide information about how to strip this paint safely.
Every topic has potential hazards associated with it, and you can provide a valuable service by warning your audience about them.
What mistake (or mistakes) do people in your niche often make? You can share this common mistake, tell readers how to avoid it, and let them know how to correct their course of action if they’ve already made the mistake.
For example, if you’re sharing information about how to land a new job, you might share a common interview mistake that most people make.
TIP: You can connect with your audience by sharing a personal story of how you made the mistake.
A good example helps clarify a step or tip, and makes it easier for the person to apply the information you’re teaching them.
For example… well, look at this entire report! After every entry, I’ve provided you with an example to make it easier for you to understand each talking point we’ve covered. :)
Seriously. There’s very little that better explains a point than to share an example to “show” what that point might look like in a real setting.
You can think of a list of dos and don’ts as being a list of tips (dos) and mistakes to avoid (don’ts).
For example, if you’re teaching people how to swap out a kitchen faucet, you might share a list of dos and don’ts. E.G., “Do be sure you have the right tools before you begin the job” and “Don’t forget to turn off the water first.”
NOTE: Oftentimes when people share this sort of list, they have a lopsided list of considerably more dos or don’ts. You can avoid this problem by rewriting some of your dos to become don’ts, or vice versa.
Take the example above where it says “Don’t forget to turn off the water first.” If you have a list of nearly all don’ts, and you want to balance it with a few dos, you can rewrite the point like this: “Do turn off the water before you start.”
Here you can share a relevant quote, preferably from someone who is (or was) famous. You can find these quotes by searching quotes sites such as BrainyQuotes, or by doing a Google search for the type of quote you’re seeking.
For example, if you’re writing about motivation in your niche (such as fitness), you might share a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
Quotes can drive home important information and provide essential inspiration to your audience.
There’s news going on in your niche all the time, but in many cases your audience doesn’t really know how it applies to them. That’s where you come in – you can share the news (preferably before everyone else) and explain why it’s relevant to your audience.
- If you’re writing content for people who have rheumatoid arthritis, and a new drug comes on the market, you can explain the drug trials to the audience to help them make decisions about whether they should talk to their doctors.
- If you’re writing content for entrepreneurs in the United States, and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) enacts some new regulations for advertisers, you can explain this news to your audience and let them know how to avoid running afoul of the regulations.
Be sure to keep yourself informed of what’s going on in your niche by regularly following industry news publications, reading relevant academic journal articles and similar.
Obviously, if you’re creating a tutorial, you’ll list the steps of a process. But even inside other content, you can do the same thing. For instance, if you share a tip, then you can list the steps people need to take to implement that tip. Same goes for other types of content, such as sharing the steps required to use a piece of gear that appears on a gear list.
For example, if you just shared a tip with your audience about how a good email subject line can really boost open rates, then you’ll want to share the steps of HOW to craft this type of subject line.
In some cases, you may share ideas that are self-explanatory. In other cases, you’ll want to elaborate on the idea. This adds value to the content and makes it more useful.
For example, if you shared an idea about how to persuade a potential joint venture partner to accept your proposal – such as developing relationships first – then you may want to elaborate on the idea. In other words, you’d share steps and tips for developing these relationships.
TIP: You can also elaborate on someone else’s idea. For example, if someone posted an idea on Facebook without further explanation, you can reference the post and then elaborate.
Here’s the idea: if someone doesn’t have the money, equipment, software, or other tools or resources necessary to complete a task or accomplish a goal, you can suggest a substitution.
For example, let’s suppose you’re teaching about editing photos, but you know that not all of your audience may be able to afford Photoshop. You can suggest they obtain a free software program like GIMP to complete the edits.
Which strategy will work best for someone? That’s a question your audience is asking themselves frequently. You can provide a lot of value to your audience by helping them answer that question.
For example, if you’re serving a fitness niche, you can help them decide which type of cardio best suits their needs (high intensity interval training, moderate intensity, or low steady-state cardio).
TIP: Be sure to address the pros and cons for each of the options that you mention.
Another way to provide value is to compare and contrast two products. In particular, you want to compare and contrast the two products that most people in your niche tend to buy. So, someone who’s a first-time buyer may be torn about which product is right for them, and your compare/contrast look at the options can help them make a decision.
For example, if you’re creating content for ultra-marathoners, you might compare and contrast two popular types of running/trail shoes.
People love and seek out product reviews no matter what niche they’re in. That’s why your audience will greatly appreciate a product review, either as a stand-alone piece of content, or as a talking point within a bigger piece of content.
For example, if you’re creating a tutorial about how to set up a mailing list, you might review and recommend a specific autoresponder.
Sometimes someone in your niche has achieved really good results, and no one is exactly clear on how they did it (since the person in question hasn’t publicly shared any details). You can attempt to reverse engineer and perhaps even test the process yourself.
For example, if someone in your niche is driving a huge number of views and getting engagement on YouTube, you might study their videos and YT channel to try to reverse engineer their process, pointing out the key factors that appear to have contributed to their success.
The idea here is to field readers’ questions, and then answer one or more of them. You can think of this as a group-coaching session. You can do this live (such as on a webinar) or solicit questions ahead of time and answer them on a regular basis, such as in a weekly blog post. You can insert these questions and answers into any type of content.
For example, if you’re helping people with do-it-yourself remodeling projects, you can answer your audience’s questions every Friday.
NOTE: you can also use these questions to update older pieces of content.
For example, if you have a blog post where readers started asking questions in the comments, you can include a “Group Coaching Q&A” section at the end of the article, where you include answers to these questions.
Here you can share the history of a product, a strategy, or even the niche as a whole.
- Product: You can share the history of someone else’s product, your own, or even the history of the type of product overall. For example, an online marketer might share the history of an autoresponder such as Aweber.
- Strategy: Let’s stick with the online marketing example. Here you might share the history of how social media marketing evolved.
- Niche: If you’re in an online marketing niche, you can share the history of online marketing as a whole. OR you can share your own personal history of it (e.g., “I started online 20 years ago…”).
You likely share plenty of how-to information. You can make this content even more valuable by sharing your exact schedule. This may be your daily schedule, weekly schedule or even monthly schedule.
For example, if you’re teaching people how to become better and more
profitable bloggers, you can share your monthly schedule with all the steps you take each month to market your blog and create content for it. These steps might not be right for everyone, but nonetheless, people do like to see what experts in the niche do.
TIP: You can also share other personal, relevant documents such as your travel itinerary, meal plans, marathon training plan and so forth as it relates to the topic of your content.
Chances are, there are persistent myths in your niche. You can help your audience by debunking these myths and then telling people what to do instead (where applicable).
For example, if you’re teaching freelancers how to improve their customer service, you might debunk the myth that “the client is always right” – especially if the client is abusing the freelancer’s time. You can explain how freelancers need to end toxic business relationships (and how to do it gracefully).
If you’re teaching a how-to process or sharing tips, then you can add a lot of value to the piece by providing a list of gear or resources to make the entire process faster and easier. This saves your audience time, as they don’t need to research and do their due diligence on the gear themselves, which can slow some people down to the point where they don’t take action at all.
For example, you can give classic car restoration enthusiasts a gear list of tools and equipment they need to re-upholster their car’s interior and change out the headliner.
TIP: While you can provide both free and paid resources and gear, any paid gear you promote also gives you chance to make a sale or earn a commission. Just be sure to disclose that you will be compensated.
The idea here is to summarize a process and make it easier for people to take the needed steps by providing them with a checklist.
For example, if you’re sharing content about how to pack for a backcountry hiking trip, you might provide a checklist of everything they need to pack and everything they need to do before they head out on their trip. For instance, an item on the packing list might be a solar charger, and an item on the “to do” list might be to ensure one’s phone and weather radio are fully charged in case of emergencies.
These can vary in size from a “mini” checklist with a few relevant entries to a very lengthy checklist with a thorough sequence of entries.
TIP: There are two basic kinds of checklists – things to do and things to include.
A pop quiz can be either fun or serious. But either way, it helps engage your readers.
- You might offer a pop quiz at the beginning of a piece of content just so readers can gauge their knowledge on the subject. E.G., “How much do you know about taking care of koi fish?”
- You might offer a pop quiz at the end of a piece of content so that readers can check how much they learned (and if they need to go back and study part of the content). E.G., “Test your knowledge of healthy recipe alterations for people who need to avoid gluten.”
- You can give a fun pop quiz just to engage readers. E.G., “If you were a dog, what breed would you be?”
Of course, you will need to provide “answers” at the conclusion of the quiz so participants can “grade” themselves.
TIP: You can even provide an explanation of what their score means or what their next step should be. E.g., “If you scored more than 50 points, then you definitely have the entrepreneurial spirit. Your next step is...”
Your how-to information tells people what to do and how to do it. However, it doesn’t tell people WHEN to take these specific steps. A planner does provide this valuable information, which many in your niche will find helpful.
For example, let’s suppose you’re helping people start up a YouTube business. Here you might create a 30-day planner which tells people exactly what to do for 30 days to get their business up and running, including setting up the YouTube channel, deciding on an audience, selecting a monetization method, choosing equipment, and creating the first couple videos.
Planners are also great tools to help people track their progress, which can be very motivational as they make their way through the daily activities.
This talking point works great to engage your readers or viewers on an emotional level and to build rapport with them. Just be sure that your story is relevant to the content you’re sharing.
For example, if you’re writing about how to raise chickens, you might share a story of a mistake you made in constructing the coop that almost cost you all your chickens. This sort of story makes your content more memorable versus just telling people to avoid a specific mistake.
NOTE: The more your audience “knows, likes and trusts” you, the more they will do business with you. Telling stories helps with this.
Here again, your goal is to make the content more memorable and engaging. Except instead of telling a story about yourself, you tell one about someone else.
For example, if you’re sharing content about traveling overseas, you might share the story of someone who lost their passport (and what a hassle it was to get a new one at an embassy). You can then provide tips for securing one’s passport.
TIP: You can even create a fictional story, provided your audience knows the story is fiction. E.g., “Imagine a man getting on an airplane for the first time...”
Here’s where you put a product or strategy to a test and then share the results. Be sure to share as much “before,” “during” and “after” data as possible, along with pictures, videos or anything else to help support your case study.
For example, if you’re sharing a traffic tactic case study with your audience, you can share your “before” traffic logs, explain exactly what you did and how you did it, and then share the “after” traffic logs to show whether the tactic worked or not.
Case studies build your credibility. Credibility builds your trustworthiness. Trustworthiness builds your business.
Here you want to pull an excerpt of any length out of one of your paid products. This could be as simple as a tip, or you might share an entire step-by-step process. You can then provide elaboration as needed or additional information to add value. One of the benefits of this strategy is that your talking point becomes a sales tool, as people who like your excerpt will want to purchase your product.
For example, if you’re teaching people about how to adopt a child, you might share an excerpt about what people can expect when they begin the process.
One advantage of being interviewed is that it positions you as the authority and expert in the niche.
That’s why you’ll want to seek interview opportunities, whether from well-known podcasters, bloggers and other interviewers in your niche, or even having a friend interview you. You can then share the entire interview in your content, or just pull out excerpts to share within bigger pieces of content.
For example, let’s suppose you’re an organic gardener who was interviewed on the topic of companion planting. You can pull an excerpt out of that interview and include it in a piece of content that covers pest control.
TIP: A variation of this would be to simply write out a series of “interview” questions yourself and answer them in text form for distribution as a PDF.
The key to success with this method is to pick an expert that your audience knows and trusts. That way, the interview will bring additional visitors to your content.
For example, if you’re creating a webinar on the topic of creating and selling information products, you might interview yours truly because I’m a well-known content and product creator.
Alternatively, you can interview someone who’s a trusted expert in your field, even if your audience doesn’t recognize the person’s name.
For example, if you’re writing about back pain, you can interview a local nurse who specializes in helping patients with sciatic pain.
Perhaps another expert in your field has shared a new tip, created a strategy, or even shared a controversial opinion. If this information is gaining a lot of traction in your niche, then you can use it as a talking point.
For example, let’s suppose someone has shared an opinion about how to train a dog, and you completely disagree with this training method. You can share an overview of the method, and then explain why it’s dangerous and likely won’t work in the long term. Or, if you completely agree with it, you can share an overview and provide a variation that you personally use for even greater success.
IMPORTANT: Be careful not to write anything about anyone else that could get you in legal hot water.
People across just about any niche love a good prediction. And as an added bonus, making a prediction tends to generate new traffic and help establish you as an expert.
For example, if you’re an online marketer, you might make a prediction about how the Google algorithm is going to change in the coming months or year, and how people need to prepare by making changes to their search engine optimization efforts.
TIP: Be “calculated” in your predictions, sharing logical and likely potential outcomes. Or give “best case, worst case” scenarios. Being wildly off target or consistently wrong in your predictions can damage your credibility.
The idea here is to teach a “twist” on an old process, tip or commonly accepted way of doing things. This may even be a twist on the way you’ve taught a certain process in the past, but you’ve developed a new and better way of doing things.
For example, if you’re in a cooking niche, you might show people a new and better way to shuck corn. (Such as microwaving it, cutting off the end, and simply squeezing it out of the husk.)
If you’ve been in your niche for some time, then you’ve seen some changes, you’ve experienced some things, you have some stories to tell. You can share these observations with your audience.
Those in your audience who’ve also seen these changes will feel like they’re part of an exclusive club of insiders who remember things that others weren’t there to experience. And those who weren’t there will enjoy learning a bit about what happened in the past.
For example, if you’re an online marketer who’s been around since the 1990s, you can talk about using dial-up connections and accepting checks in the mail in the early days of your endeavors.
I’m guessing you have an opinion about a news story in your niche, another expert’s product or activities, or even just an opinion about the best way to do something.
Opinions are like noses; everyone has one. J
You can share this opinion, and (where relevant) explain why your opinion matters (and should be trusted).
For example, maybe you’re in a marketing niche, and many people swear by Google ads. You can state an opinion about why you think the Google Ads platform isn’t all that great, provide data to back up this opinion, and then provide an alternative ad venue. (Note: This is just an example… I’m not actually stating an opinion on Google Ads. J)
The important thing to always include when stating your opinion is the reason(s) why you feel/think as you do. The more statistical or logical support you can make for your viewpoint, the better you will establish it.
Most people don’t notice trends (in any niche) until the trend data is very strong. And those who notice them don’t necessarily understand what they mean. That’s why analyzing a trend – especially one that’s still in its early days – provides a lot of value to your audience.
For example, if you’re in a gardening niche, you might talk about the climate change trends, and how that’s going to affect gardeners in different gardening zones around the country.
The idea here is to share a peer-reviewed research article, but explain it in a way everyone in your niche can easily understand the information.
You can provide further value by elaborating, such as explaining how the data affects your audience, and what steps they need to take to get a benefit or avoid a problem.
For example, if your audience consists of bodybuilders, you might explain a new research article that talks about factors that influence muscle-building.
Just as the title suggests, the idea here is to do your own experiment, and then share the results of the experiment.
For example, if you’re a vlogger who has come up with a new hack for recording smoother videos while in motion, you can do a series of scientific experiments to see if your method is a fluke or works consistently. Then you can share the results of your experiments with your audience.
If you’ve surveyed your audience lately – whether it’s a full survey or just one question – you can provide the results of this survey and discuss it.
Alternatively, you can discuss the results of a relevant survey that someone else has completed in your niche.
For example, if you teach people how to strengthen their marriages, you might discuss the results of a Pew Research survey that looked at the factors that most often cause dissatisfaction in relationships.
TIP: Don’t just reveal the results; discuss them. Provide helpful commentary for interpreting the results, noting the implications and application for your audience.
For this talking point, you first ask your audience to submit something for your feedback or review. You select one or two submissions, complete your review, and then provide the feedback/review to your entire audience.
Thus the “tear down” (review/feedback) becomes a teaching tool for all your students, not just the one who submitted their item.
For example, if you’re a copywriter, then someone can submit a sales letter. You can do a video review of this sales letter, which you then use as a teaching tool for your entire audience.
TIP: Before you use this strategy, be sure people who submit something to you know that their item could potentially be used in a public tear down/review. You’ll want to secure their permission, such as by having them read a short agreement and click “I agree” on the submission form.
The idea here is to take a long piece of content – such as a course or ebook – and summarize it by focusing on the most important points.
Typically, this is something you would do with your own content. If you intend to do this with other people’s content, you want to be sure to get their explicit permission first.
For example, if you have a home-study course that helps college students get into medical school, you might provide a “Cliffs Notes” version of the content. This version could be used as a lead magnet or tripwire for the full version, or simply as a talking point within some other piece of content.
A roundup is where you share the best blog posts, social media posts, videos, and other resources that you’ve seen recently.
Depending on your niche, you can do daily roundups, weekly roundups, or monthly roundups. Or, you might just do a general one-time roundup of the best information, and update the roundup as needed when new and better resources get published.
For example, if you’re in a gardening niche, you might share a roundup of the best pest-control techniques you’ve encountered lately, such as blog posts and videos. To add value, be sure to mention what you like best about each resource, and then link directly to it.
TIP: Take note, it’s a good idea to focus your roundup on a specific theme or topic.
Here you share a best practice for a particular process in your niche, which will help people complete the process in the most effective, easiest and/or fastest way possible.
For example, if you’re teaching fitness trainers how to be better trainers, you might share a best practice that encourages them to study all aspects of fitness and nutrition (as often fitness trainers end up focusing on specific types of exercise and don’t take a wholistic approach with their clients).
The idea here is to take a strategy or tip that everyone else does in a certain way and provide a different (and better) way to do it. Preferably, you should also provide an explanation of why you do this process in this specific way.
For example, perhaps everyone in your dog training niche is just crazy over clicker training. You might create a talking point where you go against this type of training. E.G., “Why I Never Use Clicker Training.”
Here you pen a letter, typically addressed to someone in your niche, a person in a position of authority in your niche, or even a group. This open letter typically sides with people who’ve faced some sort of injustice, or you use the letter to openly lobby someone to change their ways/policies for the good of those involved.
For example, let’s suppose you’re an ultra-marathoner, and there was a really big race in your area. And let’s further suppose that there is an antiquated rule that (in your mind) shouldn’t even be a rule. You might write an “open-letter” to the marathon committee to express your disagreement with the rule and to encourage them to change with the times and change the rule before the next big race.
TIP: Tone counts in these open letters. You aren’t purposefully trying to be antagonistic or unkind, but rather are supporting healthy and beneficial change.
The idea here is to join the conversation that everyone in your niche is already talking about.
This strategy can work for ANY piece of content on any platform, but it works particularly well when you share the content on social media.
For example, if you’re in a fitness niche and everyone is talking about the Olympics, you can jump in and join the conversation too.
TIP: If you’re posting on social media, be sure to use relevant hash tags to bring even more traffic to your post.
This is a way to engage readers and get them thinking more deeply about a topic. You can also use it as a way to encourage readers to interact on your platform, such as reply on your blog, ask a question during a webinar, comment on your social media platforms and so on.
- If you just shared a somewhat against-the-norm opinion about a topic in your niche, you can end your content piece with, “What do you think?”
- If you want to engage readers and get them to self-identify as part of the target market, you might ask a question. E.G., “Has your arthritis ever been so painful that you had to cancel plans with a friend?”
Asking questions gets people to slow down and think about the significance of what you said, consider their own feelings and situation, and even take a more active interest in hearing more from you on the subject.
Here you can write about a past historical event that changed your niche, or you might write about a niche event that’s happening right now.
You can even write or share this content live, such as live-blogging, live-tweeting, or doing a live video stream via YouTube or Facebook.
For example, if you’re in a dog agility niche, you might live-blog an agility competition that you’re attending.
TIP: When writing about an event, share your biggest takeaways.
Has there been an injustice in your niche? Do you disagree with how a person was treated, or perhaps a court ruling or new law? You can point out this injustice in your content.
For example, if you teach people how to home educate their children, you might point out how a certain law works against homeschoolers and what they can do in response to it.
TIP: A variation of this is to identify what’s “wrong” within your niche and write about it. Again, this would include pointing out the problem and sharing a solution for it.
You share ideas all the time, right? The strategy here is to share a really big idea – something that could really change your audience’s lives.
For example, you might share a big idea with aspiring novelists about how to use their books to promote social causes without sounding “preachy.”
Focus on big ideas that are nuances of existing ideas.
For example, in the previous example, there might be other people who share how authors can use their books to promote social causes... but they stop short of explaining how to do this “without sounding preachy.”
There is a huge difference between the two ideas: (1) using books to promote social causes, and (2) doing this without sounding preachy.
This is a bit of a thought exercise, where you take a position that may be a little different than your normal position on a topic, or it may be different than another expert’s position. The idea is to get people thinking more deeply about the topic by presenting an alternative view.
For example, if you’re teaching online marketing, you might ask, “What if social media, blogging and SEO didn’t exist? How would you market your business?”
NOTE: This is similar to writing a “position paper” where you contend for a specific side of an issue.
If your niche requires members to do any sort of brainstorming from time to time, then your audience will love this talking point. Simply sit down and do your own brainstorming, and then share the results with your audience.
For example, if you’re in a wedding planning niche, you might brainstorm unique wedding themes.
NOTE: You can share the entire brainstorm, or just pick out the best bits for your audience.
Hint...The very document that you are now reading is the result of a brainstorming session.
What started out as a couple dozen ideas quickly ballooned into 101 and became this feature-length, premium resource.
Whether your results are shared as a few words in a free blog post or a full paid product, it’s important that they be shared.
Your audience knows how to use a particular product (or service), either inside or outside of your niche. You can share a unique niche-relevant use for this product.
For example, people in the dog-training niche often use clicker training to train dogs. If you’re sharing tips for owners of blind dogs, you might suggest they use clickers to help a blind dog follow them on an unleashed walk. (Of course, this only works if the dog has not been clicker trained, and if the owner has no intention of starting clicker training – for commands or tricks - with this particular dog.)
For this talking point, you can research another expert and then create a profile. The details you include in your profile will be determined by your niche and what you hope to accomplish with the profile.
For example, let’s suppose you’re crafting content for aspiring writers. And let’s suppose that many of them are older, but they also feel like maybe it’s “too late” for them to start writing this late in life. You can profile successful authors who didn’t even begin writing until late in life.
Profiles are great tools for...
- Encouraging members of your audience who think they cannot accomplish a particular goal because of a perceived weakness.
- Preselling members of your audience who are ideal candidates for a related paid product that is promoted on the backend.
Here you can comment on some data, such as to put it in perspective for your audience, or to alert an audience who may simply be unaware of it.
For example, perhaps you’re in a health niche, and the latest numbers just came out about how many people are diagnosed with heart disease each year. You can share this statistic and note how startling it is, and then share tips for leading a more heart-healthy lifestyle.
TIP: You can provide commentary on just about anything... statistics, news stories, events, blog posts, new products, and so forth.
Here’s a great way to build rapport and audience loyalty: highlight a reader’s comment inside your content.
For example, maybe last week you posted on your blog about how to avoid overtraining while training for an ultra-marathon. And perhaps a reader left a comment, such as a tip that you hadn’t shared in your article. You can highlight this insightful comment in another piece of content, whether that’s a blog post, email, video, webinar or something else.
NOTE: Be sure to get permission from your reader to share this in your content.
If you’ve been working in your niche for some time, then you probably have an archive of older content: blog posts, emails, social media posts, videos, webinar replays, products and more.
You can pull out a point from this older content and comment on it, such as pointing out why it’s still true… or pointing out how things have changed.
For example, if you have a marketing blog, you might point out to your audience an old article you wrote about Facebook marketing – and how Facebook changed their rules, and thus Facebook marketing had to change along with it.
Additionally, you can issue an “update” or “appendix” to the original piece of content by adding new ideas, insights and information.
What scares you about your niche? If you share a personal fear, you can build rapport with your audience, especially those who feel the same way.
For example, if you’re someone who makes a living blogging and teaches other people how to do it too, you might share how you occasionally fear that your whole business is going to collapse. Then you can use that as a teaching moment, by telling your audience what safeguards you’ve installed to prevent that from happening.
TIP: A variation to this would be to share a weakness or other types of struggles / challenges you face in the niche (and how you minimize or overcome them).
Here’s a talking point that you can use when you’re preselling a product: discuss a customer testimonial. You can do this with your own products or products you’re associated with, such as those you promote as an affiliate.
For example, if you’re in a weight loss niche and someone provides a testimonial about how delicious the meals are in your meal plans, you’ll want to share this with your audience. You can even provide a free recipe or two as proof that the testimonial is true.
Here you can challenge yourself and/or your readers to do something, and then share the results of the challenge.
For example, let’s suppose you’re in a fitness niche. You can challenge your readers to walk 100 miles in the next 30 days. You can then set up a place where readers can report their results (such as a social media page). After the challenge is over, you can share the group results and talk about why this challenge motivated people so well.
As with many other entries in this resource, you can elaborate on your results by sharing lessons learned, practical tips, mistakes made, best practices and other helpful discoveries made during the challenge.
This is a great way to open a piece of content, or to use as a re-engagement tool in the middle of a piece of content.
For example, if you’re creating content about writing a novel, you might open with a joke such as, “What’s the difference between a romance author and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four.” In this particular example, you might then share a “surefire” strategy for marketing a romance novel.
Just be careful...
Whenever you share something humorous, be sure you know your audience, as humor is subjective and even varies by culture.
Here you can compare two things to help your audience better understand the niche-relevant component.
Typically, your analogy will be in the form of...[Item #1] is like [Item #2].
For example, let’s suppose you’re teaching about online marketing. And let’s suppose there’s a persistent myth in your audience that new marketers must have big budgets in order to get their businesses off the ground. If you know how to get people started on a shoestring budget, then you might make that point with an analogy.
A singer without a guitar is like a marketer without a big startup budget. The point being, she doesn’t need a guitar to sing any more than a marketer needs a huge budget to get started.
The idea here is to share your greatest moment in the niche, which can be really motivational and inspiring for your audience.
For example, if you’re an ultra-marathoner, you might share the story of running your best-ever race. You can share how absolutely everything went right, from your training to the weather, and you ended up with your personal-best time (or maybe even a win).
NOTE: This is especially helpful if you are an average, typical person in your niche and not someone who clearly possesses skills and abilities that most ordinary people do not.
Here you can share the story of your absolute worst moment in the niche.
Why would you do that? Several reasons. It builds rapport with people who won’t feel so alone when they realize everyone has bad days, weeks, months or longer. Plus, you can use it as a teaching moment to share how you overcame this bad moment.
For example, if you’re writing about fertility, you might share how you got overly excited about a pregnancy, and you told everyone about it… only to have it end in a heartbreaking miscarriage. And then you can talk about how crushing it was to have people ask you, “When does the baby arrive?”
That. Is. Real.
People can relate to that. And it gives you a perfect platform to tell them about what you did next and offer hope to those who are experiencing any kind of similar heartache.
The idea here is to share a “behind the scenes” look or a bit of history about one of your own products. You might discuss how it was developed, how you got the idea for it and so on.
For example, maybe you sell a web auditing tool. You might share with your audience how you developed the tool simply because you weren’t happy with any of the other tools currently on the market, so you created one that exactly fit your needs.
Point out the particulars: why you weren’t happy, what steps you took to create the tool, things you would do differently if you did it again, and so forth.
Your readers have a problem, yes? And that problem causes them some sort of pain, right? You can draw yourself closer to your audience by empathizing with them, while at the same time demonstrating that you truly understand their problem.
This is important because many people feel let down by other marketers, product creators and service providers in their niche, simply because they feel like no one really understands their problem and the pain it causes them. If you can demonstrate that you do understand, they’ll be more open to the solutions you’re offering.
For example, if you’re writing to people who suffer from anxiety, you can talk about the signs and symptoms, which shows you understand the problem and their suffering.
E.G., “I know how much anxiety runs your life at times. Your heart pounds in your chest for seemingly no reason, you startle easy, your mind is always racing right to the most horrible scenario. It’s exhausting, and yet you don’t sleep well at night either…”
Most people in your niche are seeking out a solution to a problem. They’ve tried a few different ways of solving it, but at this point they’re not sure if it’s even possible. You can help your readers by painting a picture of hope for them. You can let them know that their problem IS solvable, and that they can start feeling better soon.
Let’s go back to the example of someone with anxiety. You might paint a picture of hope, such as “Imagine getting through a day and suddenly realizing you’ve been calm all day. Your body feels relaxed, your mind calm. Any worries that float into your head float away almost as quickly as they arrived…”
NOTE: Of course, when you paint this sort of picture, you also need to provide proven strategies and tips to make it so. Focus on a “quick win,” which will give the audience a strategy that provides good results really fast, which will motivate them to take further action.
Better still, tell them what worked for you.
People are always looking for faster and easier ways to do something, which is why sharing a shortcut is such a valuable addition to almost any type of content.
For example, if you’re teaching people how to write better content faster, you might share a shortcut such as using private label rights content. Then the user just needs to tweak the content, rather than writing something completely from scratch.
Another thing that people universally love is saving money. In addition, some people simply don’t have a big budget for their niche. That’s why people will really value any content that shows them how to save money.
For example: if you’re writing about traveling, you might share with your audience tips for getting the best airfares and hotel rates.
TIP: A variation of this is to show people a way to MAKE money from something they already plan to do.
People love “behind the scenes” views because it makes them feel like an insider. For those who hope to be doing the same thing someday, it also helps them better envision what it is they’ll be doing, which in turn can be very motivating.
A behind the scenes view may literally be a peek behind the curtain at an event. Or, it may simply be a look at some part of a day that most people never see.
For example, if you’re creating content for aspiring novelists, you might give them a behind-the-scenes view of what it’s like to go on a book tour.
My wife and I love watching other RV travel vloggers because their “behind the scenes” videos give us practical ideas for our own travel.
If most people in your niche are teaching a process with a fairly complicated step, you can provide value to your audience by simplifying the step.
Usually, this means breaking the step down into its most essential components, and then teaching the step using everyday language (e.g., laymen’s terms) so that it’s easy for your audience to understand.
For example, if you’re teaching people about search engine optimization, one of the steps is to select keywords. Some people find this step confusing – but if they get this step wrong, then they’re not going to get good results. As such, you can simplify this step by being very exact about what keyword tool to use, how to use it, and which keywords to select based on search volume and competition.
TIP: As a general rule, always strive to “simplify the complex.” This alone will give you numerous ideas and opportunities for additional talking points as you consider, “What do my readers need to know in order to get from here to there?”
Sharing a relevant personal goal helps build rapport with your audience and personalizes your content. You can then provide a lot of value by explaining how you plan to achieve this goal. If you’d like, you can even write about the steps you’re taking and the results you’re getting live, such as in a weekly newsletter, on your blog or via a social media platform.
For example, if you’re a triathlete, you can let your readers know that you’ve set a big goal for yourself in an upcoming race – to achieve a personal best record that’s significantly better than your current best time. You can then explain how you’ll train in order to achieve this goal.
If you were just getting started in the niche today, doing some specific process or trying to achieve a specific goal, what would you do differently? Whatever that thing is, you can turn it into a talking point.
In some cases, this might be a mistake you made early on. In other cases, it wasn’t necessarily a mistake – rather, you just would have done things differently due to personal preference, budget constraints or similar.
For example, let’s suppose you’re writing about generating web traffic. And let’s suppose that when you first started out, you tried to implement too many traffic methods at once. You might now say that what you’d have done differently is focus on ONE method at a time, get results with it, and then add the next traffic method.
Do you have a formula or system you use to get results? If you’ve named this formula or system, you can first share the name. Personally, I like to create formulas around acronyms. You can then unpack the formula to explain exactly what each step means and how users can apply it to start getting good results.
For example, if you’ve developed a system for working with freelancers (including finding them, researching them, hiring them and motivating them), you can name your formula (e.g., the Hands-Free Method) and then unpack it for your audience.
Creating formulas not only gives you a unique and exclusive way to present content (that others can only get from you), but it also gives you an additional set of talking points to unpack with each piece of the formula.
Sometimes people do better with a process when they understand WHY they should do things a certain way.
SIDEBAR: Indeed, sometimes people will discard your advice if they feel like there’s an easier way – even if doing it the way you’ve described will ultimately give them better results.
As such, you can add value to your content by providing “reasons why” when it makes the content more useful.
For example, let’s suppose you’re teaching aspiring copywriters how to craft a sales letter. Most people have heard that they should focus on benefits rather than features. However, some people find it easier to just list the features, as rooting out the benefits takes more time. As such, in this case you may explain the reason why the copy should be benefit-driven showcasing what the features actually do for those who purchase the product.
If you’ve been in the niche for some time, then you’ve no doubt seen some changes. You can create a talking point where you discuss what has changed in the niche over the last five, ten, twenty years or more.
For example, if you’re in a weight-loss niche, you might share a list of some of the crazy fad diets you’ve seen over the years. You can then talk about why they didn’t work, which allows you to easily transition to sharing tips and strategies that DO work.
No matter what niche you’re in, there’s a good chance that getting results takes some time. And that means that people require motivation in order to see results. From weight loss to starting a business to running a marathon, people need to keep and stay motivated in order to see results. You can offer useful advice on how to achieve this high level of sustained motivation.
For example, let’s suppose you’re writing about overseas adoptions. This process can take years and a lot of money, especially for those who’re looking to adopt newborn babies. You can talk about how people can stay motivated to keep going, even when they’re faced with bad news (such as when they were very close to an adoption, but then it fell through).
IMPORTANT: Motivation can be just as important as information. If the goal of every piece of content is to help your audience make progress toward solving a problem, reaching a goal or better enjoying an interest (in other words, reaching a desired outcome), then it’s important to encourage them to do what you educate them to do.
Simple question: what don’t you like about the niche?
You can share this dislike with your audience, which will help build rapport. This could be a pet peeve, or simply a task you don’t like doing in the niche (but you do it anyway). Others who share this dislike won’t feel so alone, plus you can offer tips for “pushing through” if it’s a task that you and your readers don’t like.
For example, many beginning bodybuilders skip “leg day” because they think it’s hard or they’d rather just focus on their upper body. You can share your dislike of leg day, and then offer tips for getting it done anyway.
When you’re teaching big processes with lots of moving parts, people can get overwhelmed. And if they get overwhelmed, then they might just freeze with analysis paralysis or some other fear. You can help kick people back into gear by simplifying the process a bit, which means telling people what to focus on first.
For example, let’s suppose you teach traffic generation methods, such as pay per click marketing, search engine optimization, joint venture marketing, guest blogging, paid ads and more. If you teach all of these things, your audience may get stuck about which method to try first, so they end up not taking any action at all. You can eliminate this problem by specifically telling them exactly what to do first, such as guest blogging (which is simple to do and often creates good results relatively quickly).
TIP: A variation is to tell people what to focus on most.
Here’s a related talking point…
In the last talking point, you told people what component they should focus on first in a big process. For this talking point, you can let people know what step or component they can safely ignore… for now. Not forever – especially if they want to get great results – but for now, they can ignore it to avoid overwhelm or other issues.
Let’s go back to the example of you teaching people how to generate traffic for their websites. If you’ve noticed that a lot of your students have troubles with a particular method – such as pay per click marketing – you may tell them to ignore that method (for now). Once they’ve gained some experience and are getting results elsewhere, they can try PPC marketing.
Here’s a bit of a thought experiment that wanders into hypotheticals, engages your audience, and gets them thinking about “what if?” This can be a serious talking point or a light-hearted one.
For example, in the travel niche you might ask something like this: “What if money was no object? What would be your dream vacation?” Or, “What if you could only spend $500 on a vacation – where would you go and what would you do?”
If you attended an event, went to a meeting, worked with a client, listened to a podcast or engaged in some other activity, you can summarize what you learned for your audience.
For example, if you’re in a gardening niche, and you attended a local meetup for gardeners, you can share with your audience some of the best tips and tricks you learned.
Here’s where you go through the signs and symptoms of a problem, and then go through the steps someone needs to take to identify and solve the problem.
For example, if you’re in a car restoration niche, you might troubleshoot a carburetor’s problems based on how the car is acting and how the carburetor sounds. You can then provide your audience with the fix for these various problems.
TIP: Be mindful of not just your past problems but your future ones as well. When you experience upcoming niche relevant challenges (and you will), then be sure to log your steps and solution to share in a future piece of content.
These aren’t necessarily mistakes (which were covered before), but rather things to avoid. By avoiding these particular items, you can make a process or a goal easier to achieve.
For example, you might tell dieters to avoid grocery shopping when they’re hungry, as they’re likely to purchase sugary, high-calorie foods.
TIP: Again, explain the “reason why” these items should be avoided. If not self-evident, be sure to also share what your audience should do instead (or give them a solid tip for helping them to avoid the item.)
If you made a prediction in your niche and it turned out to be wrong, you can discuss why you were wrong. Or if you taught some sort of specific process and later it turned out to not be the best way to do something, you can discuss why you were wrong. Or if you did something, said something, thought something, or felt something that turned out to be wrong, you can share it.
NOTE: This can be a serious talking point or a light-hearted one.
For example, if you’re in a running niche, you might predict who’s going to win a big upcoming marathon. If you were completely wrong, you can discuss why. For example, did your favorite not train in the heat, and then was slowed down by an unusually humid day?
Previously we talked about sharing a mistake and how to avoid it. Here you analyze a mistake that already occurred and discuss why it happened, what one should do differently to avoid the mistake, and so on.
For example, let’s suppose you’re a gardener, and your tomatoes didn’t grow right this year. You can analyze your mistakes (such as too much water, too little water, a plant disease and so on), talk about how to fix the mistake if it’s still possible, and how to avoid this mistake in the future.
NOTE: Have you noticed that you can use “spinoffs” of many of these ideas? Share a mistake and analyze a mistake are two different things, but closely related.
Earlier we talked about sharing a tip, which is generally a proven tip. Here you share one you haven’t tried, such as one a reader gave you or one that saw or heard elsewhere in your travels around the web.
Here’s the key point...Make sure the audience knows you haven’t tried the
tip and that you aren’t endorsing it... yet.
Rather, you can tell your audience that the information looks interesting and that it has potential. You may even ask your audience if anyone has ever tried it.
For example, if someone in your golf niche shares with you an entirely
new tip that’s supposed to improve drives, you can share it with your audience to see what they think.
This hypothetical could be an idea, a case study, a process, or some other type of thought experiment.
For example, perhaps you create a hypothetical case study of a bodybuilder who goes against some of the best practices in the field, such as eating the wrong foods at the wrong times. You can then present hypothetical poor results, just to make a point how every little piece of a serious bodybuilder’s nutrition and exercise needs to be on point to get great results.
Just be sure your audience does indeed know that it’s all hypothetical.
TIP: You can even be satirical or sarcastic in your hypothetical to have some “over-the-top” fun with this while driving home your important point.
This is a fun talking point to engage your audience and get them laughing. This is even the sort of thing that may go viral, depending on what you’re sharing.
For example, if you’re in somewhat technical niche, you may go outside the niche to ask the average person what they think various niche jargon words mean. You can then report your results to your audience, some of which are likely to be quite humorous to those who are well-versed in the niche.
There used to be a segment on The Tonight Show called “Jaywalking” where Jay Leno would ask questions about current events to people on the streets of NYC. The answers were often outrageously funny.
Here’s a simple yet useful talking point: define a word, especially some sort of niche jargon. You can even include a mini-glossary inside a greater piece of content.
For example, if you’re writing marketing content, you might define common abbreviations and jargon such as PLR (private label rights, a type of licensing).
TIP: Again, provide examples to further explain niche-specific words and phrases.
The idea here is to thank someone or otherwise give a shout out to someone in your niche for sharing a tip, offering help, providing advice and so on.
For example, if another expert in your niche spontaneously jumped on your Clubhouse Chat and offered some awesome tips, you can give a shoutout to them in the next piece of content you create (such as your next blog post, email, social media post, etc.).
If applicable, you can share in your new piece of content what someone else originally shared that prompted your shout out.
The idea here is to help motivate your customers by sharing “breakthrough” stories of other people. You can then offer tips and advice to help your audience start experiencing their own breakthroughs.
For example, how did one of your personal-training clients have a breakthrough that allowed them to finally start getting results? What changed with their mindset or routine?
This is a great idea as just because someone has access to the tools and training they need to get a result doesn’t mean they will. Sometimes having that “moment” is the trigger to finally put it all together.
This talking point isn’t something you’d necessarily recommend to your audience – rather, it’s a personal tidbit about you, though it should ideally be related to the niche. It personalizes your content and engages the audience by providing a little personal insight into something you do.
For example, if you’re in a fitness niche, you might share your Spotify playlist of the music you listen to when you work out. You can then engage your audience by asking them to share their favorite workout music too.
TIP: Alternatively, you might share your own “reason why” that keeps you motivated.
The idea here is to offer some insight on your own personal success, even if it’s not necessarily something people in your niche can replicate. This is another talking point that provides a “human interest” angle to your content and helps you build rapport with readers/viewers.
For example, maybe your first job taught you about managing your money… and now 30 years later, that’s helpful to you as an entrepreneur budgeting for a business. You can share this insight and even engage readers by asking them what has helped their success.
So many people in your niche exaggerate how easy or simple or fast it is to do a particular process or achieve a goal. You can set the hype aside and paint a realistic picture of what someone will need to do in order to achieve a goal.
For example, many “make money online” marketers peddle these ideas that anyone can get rich virtually overnight. You can share a realistic idea of what most people experience – spending time learning about marketing, setting up a business, etc. And then seeing a trickle of results that the person needs to consistently build on in order to be successful.
One of the most important things you can do is set “reasonable, reachable” expectations for your audience. Fill them with “hope, not hype.”
Here’s a great way to make a point, make your content unique and make it more memorable: connect something seemingly random with something in your niche.
- You might create a talking point such as “what my dog can teach you about living a happier, healthier life.”
- You might write a blog post such as, “Everything I Needed To Know About Running A Business I Learned In Sunday School.”
- You might insert a section in your course such as, “three things to do when you start looking and feeling like the man from the Operation Game.”
What do you do every day as part of your niche? Even if you’ve shared the steps and tips elsewhere in your content, just laying out your daily routine in detail will be of interest to people. If you’re doing a video, you can do a vlog-style video actually showing people what you do.
For example, if you’re sharing content for aspiring novelists, you might lay out your own morning routine of how you get in the right mindset to write, how you use productivity apps to block distracting websites, and what your routine is for actually doing the work of writing itself.
Share all of the details from start to finish.
In many niches, your audience’s mindset is important to their success. You can help your audience by discussing how to get into the right mindset.
For example, if you’re in a market where you help people do successful job interviews, you might discuss how the right mindset is going to affect their body language and interview performance. And then you’d explain how to get into the right mindset to project confidence, success and competence to the interviewer.
TIP: Don’t stop there... Discussing mindset, attitude, focus, resolve, motive, visualization and other “internals” can be very helpful in preparing your audience to reach their desired results.
Here’s another talking point that gets a bit personal, but sharing this information engages readers and builds rapport with them.
For example, if you’re in a weight-loss niche, you might explain how your own obesity led to a myriad of health problems – and how you realized you had to turn things around now before it was too late.
TIP: A variation of this is to share how you discovered any particular talking point you plan to share.
For example, if you switched from Nike running shoes to Hoka, when and why did you do this?
Coining a new phrase in your niche – even if it refers to “old” information – helps make your content seem fresh and unique. As such, on occasion you may coin a phrase or attach a new name to something, and then unpack what this phrase or name means.
- Most people understand the idea of being a “pack leader” when it comes to dog training. This is old information. And yet you can make it seem fresh by giving it a new name, such as Pack CEO.
- Giving away “samples” so people can try your product (and then buy your product if they like it) has been around for centuries. But back in the early 2000s, I coined the phrase “useful, but incomplete” to describe giving away free content that helps your audience while pointing towards paid content they can purchase for additional help. This is basically the same concept, but it was said in a new way for a specific market.
Every piece of content you create should have a purpose.
You may use it to presell a product, encourage someone to join your mailing list, get people to share your content and so on.
Your purpose may even be as simple as teaching your audience something, in which case you want them to apply what they’ve learned.
No matter what the purpose is, you should include a call to action in your content, which is where you encourage viewers and readers to take your desired action.
For example: “I bet your friends will laugh and love this video as much as you did, so click here to share it with them now.”
And there you have it – a list of 101 talking points that you can add to any piece of content.
Whether you’re creating a 20-module home-study course, a quick blog post, a five-minute video or anything in between, you can use these talking points to add value and engage your audience.
Your next step is easy...
Look at the next piece of content you plan on creating,
and choose the talking points that are a good fit.