There you are at check-in, about to catch your flight.
And right beside you is your carefully packed carry-on luggage.
In that luggage you have your clothes.
Your surf board.
Your Christmas tree.
Ah, but you think no one would be so fruity as to put their surf board, and ahem…Christmas tree..and um…guitar in carry-on luggage.
Nope, that stuff would go right in the hold.
But that's exactly what happens when most people try to increase their expert status. They fill their articles with stuff. They always chunk up.
So what's chunking up?
Chunking up is a bit like watching a presenter make a Powerpoint presentation. And there's one topic. And fifty thousand points under that topic. And your eyes start to glaze over, as the presenter starts to go over all of those points, one by one.
Most article writers do the same chunking up.
They fill the article space with so much ‘stuff' that you as a reader can't focus on one thing.
And while the article (like the Powerpoint presentation) looks nice and chunky, it's completely counter productive to portraying yourself as an expert in your field.
To create a factor of expertise, you need to chunk down.
What's chunking down?
Let's say you're talking about ‘travel restrictions' on airlines.
What are the possible angles you could take?
-Know Before You Go Travel Card
-Bag And Zip For A Short Trip
-The Right Bag For Your Carry-on
-Female business traveller
-Male business traveler
-Travelling with a baby or small child
-Travellers with special needs
The novice writer would dump all of these steps in the ‘carry on'. The expert writer knows better. The expert writer would chunk down and cover each angle in the greatest detail.
So for instance, if I were to write about testimonials, what could I cover?
I'd chunk down and make a list of angles. Then just for good measure I'd chunk down even further.
So I'd go from ‘Testimonials', which is a broad topic, to a narrow topic like ‘Reverse Testimonials'. And under ‘Reverse Testimonials', I'd dig deep.
And here's what I'd get
– The Power of Reverse Testimonials.
– How to Structure (and Get) Reverse Testimonials.
– Three Big Mistakes with Reverse Testimonials.
– How To Source Attention-Grabbing Headlines for Reverse Testimonials.
– How To Create ‘Mirrors' With Reverse Testimonials.
Notice how the topic got chunked down?
It wasn't just a factor of testimonials.
But Reverse Testimonials. And then chunkity, chunk, we chopped up the chunks into diverse chunks.
Each with their own curiosity and possibilities.
So why bother to chunk down?
Because chunking down enables you to focus.
As a writer, it's far easier to focus on the material you're going to write about. It's much easier to do the research for the article.
And that's not all.
The reader finds it easier to focus and consume your information
And because you're chunking down to the tiniest chunk, suddenly that itty-bitty chunk gets relevance; importance, and becomes practical information.
But most of all, the article becomes memorable. And when you’re memorable, customers remember—and that makes your expertise level go even higher.
So how do you get on the heady road to ‘expertise?'
If you want customers to look forward to what you write–and buy into your products and services, dump the ‘Christmas tree, the surfboard and the guitar.’
Focus on what’s critical for the ‘carry on’.
And expertise will be yours!
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Paul Kotta says
Very interesting … I see exactly what you mean. In other words, drill down to a deep level of specialty.
So, instead of talking about water temperature for tea broadly, I could talk about, say, the fine art of using a traditional yuzamashi to cool your water.
I get it. Thanks!
wes thomas says
what did you say?
Sorry you lost me somewhere and I’m too tired to figure out where
Joshua Black says
I can totally picture this. Great metaphor for getting to the point and being specific in your articles. I really like it.
As an article writer as well I totally appreciate the value of getting really specific. Customers have almost no attention spans these days and if you start to drift to multiple topics, you can really lose your audience quick.
Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire says
Oh, and one more thing… I can see how this will be a great tip if you were giving a guet lecture to a niche audience.
You want to show your expert status, but staying on track is critical to maintain the audience.
The Underdog Millionaire