How online content creation and a hurricane evacuation are similar: 5 lessons

The idea of creating valuable online content—articles, audios, blog posts, e-books, informational products, newsletters, tweets and other social networking updates, videos, and fresh Web pages—can leave you feeling almost as overwhelmed  as a mandatory hurricane evacuation during your vacation. Here are five key lessons to help you weather storms and the creative process.

1. Real life yields some great content so make the best of it
The news is full of the stories of our lives. Natural disasters turn some people into heroes and others into fools—you have plenty of material to work with—so make the best of it. Even if you type slowly, you can turn out a blog post like this one while sitting in traffic as long as you are the passenger, not the driver, and you carry a charged mobile phone, netbook, or laptop.

2. If you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, at least you are going in the right direction
When you first start creating content, it seems like extremely slow going, especially if you aren’t making money. Just like being stuck in traffic heading away from the threatened coastline, you may question the wisdom of what you are doing at present. Remember, you are headed in the right direction.

3. Don’t wait
You could wait to start online content creation until a better time, maybe “when everybody’s doing it.” You could then be like the person with the empty boat trailer, racing to the beach to save the boat, knowing traffic is only going to get exponentially worse.

4.  Be prepared doesn’t just apply to the Scouts
Why do so many people wait until the moment they leave the beach to gas up the car, especially when forecasters have been calling for a storm of major proportions? Be prepared by gathering content ideas or emergency supplies before you need them.

5. You get to decide what really matters
The material you share online should reflect both the needs of your intended viewers and your expertise. Your choices will be uniquely yours. Someone whose livelihood depends on operating a large fishing trawler might make a different decision than someone deciding between saving family or the family home during a hurricane.

Don’t let creating valuable online content scare you. Use real-life circumstances to inspire you. Get moving in the right direction, no matter how slowly you seem to be going. Don’t wait. Be prepared by collecting ideas and materials before you need them. Focus on what really matters to you.

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