As my one reader knows, this blog has almost no reach. However, I’m ok with that because I am using it as more of a way for me to practice clear thinking. I also intend to look back and see how my thought process and worldview changes over the coming months and years.
Anyway, I am saying this stuff because I have an idea that I don’t have the reach to test out, but still think it would be effective. A hot buzz word in the startup community is the “lean” movement. What this essentially means is that a company should spend little to build the cheapest and least-complex product possible (a Minimum Viable Product) and put it out into the market. Once in the market, test, iterate and re-release. The lean movement basically means that you allow the market to tell you what to build, rather than pour money and time into something that has a relatively high chance of failure.
With lean blogging, I had the thought that individuals who care a lot more about blogging than I do could probably use this framework to quickly grow their blog. I have two suggestions for doing this:
1. Using Twitter search (www.twitter.com/search), find topics people in your niche or market are currently talking about. If you have a crazy new take on why the latest mp3 player is awesome, try searching for the terms “love” and “Zune” (good luck). Doing such a search will allow you to see what people are talking about, and could give you a good idea of the kinds of views and interest that your blog post would draw.
2. Use bit.ly to Tweet links to topic-specific articles that you are thinking of writing about. If you have a decent amount of Twitter followers, and if they are your target audience, using bit.ly’s cool click-through tracking platform, see which links from your Tweets got the most views and click-throughs from your audience. That would be an excellent way to gauge audience interest, and then you can write a post that you know will interest many of your followers.
A lot of bloggers do this now by writing a short post and expanding it later based on the number of comments. I could be totally off, but using Twitter to estimate interest in a post seems like a good way to determine what to write about.