Tonight I was reading through the last of my backlogged venture capital posts, and I came across a post by Mark Suster titled http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2015/07/14/how-the-hell-do-i-prioritize-work-blog-find-balance/.
In a number of blogs I read, including Mark's, a writing trend has emerged: get your mind out on paper, and ignore the distrations. I've even noticed some authors timebox the problem. More importantly, I've noticed that everyone close to me who has chosen their own adventure (successfully) had an outlet in writing. I'm not sure if this is a selection bias kind of thing, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
The first problem to tackle is the audience problem. This has to be a common problem: who the hell am I writing for? Similar to "if I build it, they'll come" (something that I've experienced to be wrong many times), "if I write, will they come?"
I have to believe that writing is different. I dont' have any hard and fast data to live by to demonstrate this, but I know that 1) if I don't write, they definitely won't come, and 2) consistenly producing medium quality content is more sustainable than producing intermittment pieces of high quality journalism. This takes us to our second problem...
The second problem to tackle is the content problem. How can I rapidly produce content that attracts a similar audience and is meaningful enough that others would want to consume it?
The shortcut here is to believe that over time the content peices and formats that are better will naturally attract more viewership and more participation. The shortcut, then, is to focus on a limited number of styles of content, and mass produce those as the backbone of this blog. I expect this will make the process of blogging fun and simple – a simple outlet for creativity that isn't overly burened by the rules of a professional content calendar.
The first template I'm going to use is the "playbook". I guess I have yet to decide what a play in the playbook looks like (the actual format), but I figure these pieces should be very consumable. We'll see – right?
The third problem to tackle is the traffic problem. The only opportunity I have to impact success here is to write and devise over time what content is working (ranking, attracting visitors, producing engagement, etc.) and double down on similar content. The chicken and the egg problem seems to be a common problem for all blogs, but some eventually do make it through.
When the stakes are high, it's worth pursuing traffic. Hell, at the end of writing this article, I feel exhuated and optimistic. The former because I've been working for the last 15 hours, and the latter because the only way for me to develop the foothold and mindshare I need to take me to the next level in fugazi-startup-land is to take control of my brand.