Use the lean startup approach to launching your blog and launch it as soon as possible, even with only one blog post.
Are the blogging experts correct when they say do not launch a blog until you have 5-10 great blog posts? One of the most consistent advice I have read about blogging over the last couple of years is do not launch your blog until you have written and posted 5-10 great articles. There was even this very recent post over at Problogger that you should have 20 blog posts before you launch your blog. Is this the right approach I asked myself?
Lean Startup thinking applied to starting your blog
Coming from a different angle one key aspect of the lean startup method is ship early (though by itself this is not enough). It might not be perfect but the only way you are going to learn and improve your product is by getting it out the doors.
I took this lesson to heart by launching my first startup you introductory post without any other content when I launched the blog. It was far from perfect, and far more like a minimal viable product (MVP), as minimal as it could get.
My blog didn’t have a custom logo, or even a decent header. I could have decided to spent the next several days, or weeks, before I managed to obtain these, among other things, but instead I just launched. No fanfare, just posted it.
But most blogging experts suggest having your blog pre-populated with 10 (at least 5) solid pieces, anchor blog posts, before you launch. The reason for this is that when somebody comes to your site they are met with a mere dribbling of posts, or even worse, only one.
So why then did I decide to open my blog to the public with only one post? Well, for one it fits the lean startup paradigm of launching as soon as possible, but there are other good reasons.
Increase your motivation
A really big one is by actually posting something it helps with your motivation. Your site is up and live. And this logic of shipping as early as possible is consistent with the lean startup paradigm, which is the foundation of my thinking – not only regarding blogging and running a startup, but also life in general.
Secondly, unless you already have a huge following, because of another blog or large following from the various social sites, it isn’t like you are going to get a flood of visitors when you first launch.
A far bigger problem is getting traffic, so there is not too much of a worry that people will come raining in our your site and find in wanting.
So my advice is soon as you get the minimal backend of your blog completed (template, wordpress plugins, mail list signup, etc) that you write and post your first piece. You will feel like you are progressing, that you have reached and passed a significant plateau – you now have a blog.
Some good quotes by people that know
“Real artists ship” Steve Jobs.
“If you are not embarrassed with your product at launch; then you launched too late” Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin.
Steven Pressfield says something very similar: “Start before you are ready”.
Over the next several weeks I will be tweaking various components of the blog, but I am still unlikely to have many of the pro refinements. It is far more important to me to start generating quality posts. And that task should also be your number one criteria if you are just starting a new blog.
Take home message
Ship your product as early as possible, one post is enough to launch your blog with, then concentrate on building on your momentum with more great content.
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