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The situation is far too familiar. An entrepreneur with a stockpile of blog posts and recorded interviews decides that creating marketable products is the next step in the entrepreneurial journey. Not being familiar with content development or what it takes to put an ebook, book, workbook, or course together, the decision is made to outsource the process. There must be someone who can create effective products from random ideas, right?

The description above is more indicative of someone who needs a magician, not a content creator. Content creators and instructional designers do their best work when their clients have a well-defined and organized message. Chances are good that you've never applied educational strategy to your products or services. You need to understand this process related to your content. Otherwise, you'll be looking for a magician.

How to Bloom Your Ideas

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and a team of collaborators developed a framework for categorizing educational goals. This framework is called Bloom's Taxonomy. The taxonomy helps us understand how learners work with information. The process is sequential, so skipping steps isn't allowed.

This presents an interesting situation for many subject matter experts. They suffer from the Curse of Knowledge—they don't know what it's like to not know what they know. Therefore, they present information at a more complex level than many people in their audience can understand. This explains the high attrition rates in most online courses.

So, let's use the six steps in Bloom's Taxonomy as a tool for communicating your ideas.


This is the simple act of recognizing or recalling information. When it comes to your products or ideas, you want people to recall or remember why they need it. No matter how simplistic you think this step is, you can't move forward without it.


If I understand something, I can interpret it or explain it to someone else. This requires me to grasp the basic functionality or benefits of a product or idea. This isn't expert knowledge, but it is one step beyond rote memorization.


This describes the ability to implement an idea or use a product or service. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs start here and wonder why people aren't excited about what they have to offer. People can't get here without the previous two steps.


When people are at this point, they can separate complex ideas into smaller parts. They can compare and contrast similar ideas and quickly identify variations or innovative uses.


Using the information gathered in the previous steps, learners can view the world through the lens of this new knowledge. They can connect this idea, product, or service to real situations in their lives and identify benefits of using it.


Learners can plan and produce new ideas and products based on the knowledge gained in the educational process. These people become the biggest proponents of your product, service, or idea.

Entrepreneurs want customers who are at level six. They want to see their products, services, and ideas being used in many different ways. This can happen for you if you learn how to use the six steps in Bloom's Taxonomy to describe your specialty.

So, here are five questions you need to answer about your specialty...

  1. What is your specialty and why do people need it?
  2. Who needs your product or service? Be very specific.
  3. What benefit does your product or service provide?
  4. Can people easily explain your product or service? If not, go back and review Bloom's Taxonomy.
  5. How can you package and present your product so people will recognize its value?

A content creator or instructional designer can't bring more clarity to your ideas than you already have. If you aren't clear about your message, you need a coach, not a content creator.

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Group Leader
Comment by Terry Hadaway on November 30, 2016 at 9:18am

Thanks, Jen.

Group Leader
Comment by Jen McDonough "The Iron Jen" on November 30, 2016 at 7:41am

Thank you for sharing Terry. 

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