April 22, 2022

Solar System Content Model

Let’s say you wanted to start a daily mailing list…

To address these issues, I dreamed up a framework I call the “Solar System Content Model”.

Here’s how it works:

Picture a solar system.

There’s the sun in the center with a bunch of different planets circling around it.

The sun in the metaphor represents the central idea of your work, and the planets represent all the different topics that you might write about to support your central idea.

The “planets” need the gravitational pull of the “sun” to revolve around, otherwise they would just fly apart in different directions.

Without the sun, there’s no system.

For example…

Years ago, when I first started blogging, I would sporadically write about whatever I was interested in that day. And then a week or a month or six months would go by and I wouldn’t post anything.

Topic-wise, it was a real flea market. Nothing made sense together. The organizing principle was basically “whatever Jonathan was interested in that day” and it didn’t do anything for my business. It was tough to stick with and nobody really read it. It was a complete waste of time.

In contrast, I have been publishing my current mailing list every single day for years, and it’s been, hands down, the best single thing I’ve ever done for my business.

If you look at the list of topics I cover, it’s pretty diverse:

If I didn’t filter this grab bag of topics through my “sun” - i.e., the idea of ditching hourly billing; that I want you to stop trading time for money - then they wouldn’t hold together as a body of work. It’d be a mess.

I can write about value pricing one day and then productized services the next and then about mailing lists and podcasts and book tours and all of these things day after day after day because they are all held together by the central theme of ditching hourly.

Here’s the thing…

If you have a strong “sun” in the middle of your solar system, you can have loads of very different planets that revolve around it.

The gravitational pull will make everything make sense for the reader and it’ll give you plenty of room to write every day without getting bored or feeling repetitive.

Of course, this raises the question…

What should your “sun” be?

More on that tomorrow…