Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Eric Ries’ book “The Lean Startup”. Eric believes that entrepreneurship is a science not an art. His book is an eye-opening review of how the scientific method, hypothesis and experimentation, can methodically build a successful business from scratch.
Eric also asserts that most successful start-ups rarely succeed with their first idea. It seems that business success is largely an exercise in rapid evolution not dogged devotion to a single founding idea.
The idea is to quickly test, evaluate and identify promising (read profitable) products before the founders run out of money. It’s a fascinating thought, especially because it applies to almost any business – especially small businesses and solopreneurs.
Your First Idea is Probably Your Worst Idea
Pushing Social was originally targeted to Social Media Managers at Fortune 100 businesses. It failed.
I changed direction. For 3 months I focused on chief marketing officers in large businesses. This didn’t work either.
Next, I went for marketing directors in medium-sized businesses. I found a little success there.
My last pivot was focusing on small business owners with established businesses and moonlighting solopreneurs. Bingo.
My first ideas was my worst idea. It’s very likely that your first idea sucks too. The good news is that you are supposed to change direction. Your success depends on how quickly you can find the right blogging idea. Stubborn persistence kills.
Most of my clients are shocked to learn that their first idea is killing their blog and business. We’ve been taught that entrepreneurs are mythical geniuses with ungodly focus on their vision. That’s partly true. They are focused on succeeding. It doesn’t matter what product they create. Remember, Microsoft started with software and now makes games consoles. Apple started with user-friendly computers and now makes music players and phones.
If you are stuck, it’s probably time for you to pivot.
How to Achieve Blog/Market Fit
You might be asking, how do I know when I have the right blog idea?
Look for blog/market fit. This means watch for the point where your content satisfies your reader’s primary objective.
If you write for single moms, you have achieved Blog/Market fit when single mom’s show up in comments, subscribe to your daily emails, and begin sharing your content with other single mom’s. If you are attracting happily married career woman, you might need to pivot.
In most cases, you can subtly shift your focus over time to align with your audience. However, don’t be afraid to yank the plug on a blog that is consistently attracting the wrong audience or no audience.
Resist the urge to post and run.
You know what I’m talking about…publishing a post and moving on to the next. Never looking at how the post did. Sure you might look at how many retweets the post received but that’s about all.
I recommend you set aside 30 minutes every week to review the people behind the numbers. Ask questions like:
- Who shared the post? Who are they targeting? Are they talking to my audience?
- Where did my traffic come from?
- Which keywords brought the most visitors to past posts?
You can take this one step further and contact commenters and subscribers via email and chat for a while about their background and what attracted them to your blog. Use what you learn to evaluate your blog/market fit and decide if you need to pivot.
Frustrating and Sad…
It’s natural to believe that hope and determination is all that’s needed for blog success. Just kick out great content…right? Wrong. Very wrong.
It’s frustrating and sad to hear about bloggers that spend months writing posts they hate for an audience that they don’t want. I’m giving you permission to hit the reboot button and reimagine your blog and pivot.
Talk to me.