Why Blog Now?
A few months ago I decided to start a blog. Late to the party but no better time to start than the present, right?
Of course I had a few goals with blogging:
- Testing ground for new, unrefined ideas
- Sharing lessons learned building two companies
- Practice building an audience through content development
What’s an MVP for a Blog Look Like?
When starting out I tried to keep things very lean. The first hypothesis I wanted to validate was that I could consistently write. As I’ve heard many times:
Post 1 is easy. Post 15 isn’t too tough either. But can you make it to post 150 and still write compelling content that others value?
To test this out I started with a single, simple goal – write 1 post a week for 4 months. The rest I tried to keep as minimal as possible. That meant I spent little time focusing on site design, hosting, or even the content quality.
What’s the point in spending hours, or even days, building a fancy site if I stop writing after a couple months?
4 Tips to Writing Each Week
After 18 weeks I have 16 posts, so I hit just shy of 90% of my target. I’ll take that as a win.
As expected it hasn’t always been easy each week. Here are a few lessons learned along the way about writing consistently.
- Get in a Routine – I’ve started setting aside time to write each weekend. Dedicating this time keeps this a priority.
- Capitalize on Ideas in the Moment – BUT if an idea comes spontaneously, write about it then; the same enthusiasm and creative ideas won’t be there later.
- Get a Draft Done – Focus on getting the first draft down without worrying about form or style; that’s the easy stuff that can be done later.
- Average is Ok – I’d decided that amazing content quality wasn’t part of this test, so even if I wasn’t 100% thrilled with a post I still clicked publish.
Up next I’m planning to figure out if there’s actually an audience for all this stuff I’m writing, even a small one. Or are my only readers lonely internet cats? Longer term I’ll then try to build and cultivate an audience.
- And if there is an audience to be found, what do they want…
- What types of posts get the best responses – Lists, Essays, Short thoughts, etc…
- What topics are most popular…
- What layouts get read the most…
While I try out different variations I’ll be measuring things like page views, engagement, shares, time on page, repeat visitors, and more. Looking forward to finishing out the year strong…